Having a business either as a full-time job or as a side hustles to bring an extra source of income is no easy task. Often times entrepreneurs don’t have it easy in the first five years. Several studies showed that most businesses fail in their first 5 years. In order to avoid losing the money you invested, the time and resources you’ve invested while setting up this business, here are 5 guidelines to help you stay on the right track.
‘No Credit Today, Come Tomorrow’
As a Nigerian child, this phrase should not be new to you. I remember writing these same words on the walls of my mum’s shop as a child. Business moves forward when friends and family pay for services immediately after the service is rendered. The biggest mistake any business owner can make is to sell to people on credit, including friends and family. Why?
Well, that’s because once a friend knows you sold to another on credit; they keep coming and your money ends up getting tied up. In some frustrating cases, business owners make the mistake of letting customers pay in more than two installments. Anything more than twice is doomed to fail as the money becomes harder to account for. To develop a tough skin, and stop selling on credit.
Take Branding Seriously
Another mistake you can make as a small business owner is to think that you don’t need to brand your business. Several surveys on the internet reveal that customers feel more comfortable identifying with a brand, than buying from a “brandless” business owner. Having a brand gives your business class, direction, goals and in the long run a sense of assurance. A good brand leaves a footprint in the heart if a customer especially when your product surpasses the customer’s expectations.
Take Time To Educate Yourself On Your Product/Service
There is nothing as embarrassing as having a business or rendering a service you have no well-grounded knowledge in. Selling a range of products, rendering service, or whatever business you intend to embark on requires that you research and study. That way you can serve as a consultant for your customers. Apart from this, when you know your onions in any business you are into, it gives your clients a certain form of assurance.
Follow Up On Customers For Feedback
Feedback helps businesses grow. It is during the cause of feedback that you as the business owner knows where to work on, and what customers to appeal to due to a bad service rendered. Feedback also assures the customers that you think about them and love to hear their reviews on your products. With feedbacks, you have a better chance at retaining your customers.
Inform Customers About New Products
A small business owner who sells shoes will keep having customers who need shoes even after he has branched out to selling clothes alongside, simply because his customers have no idea he sells. Small business owners must endeavor to inform their customers about any new development, either on your unavailability or a new product in stock. Carry your customers along.