Small Business Success
For the thousands of small businesses that open each year in Australia, only half will survive the initial five years. Here are some simple but effective tools that can lead to successful longevity, says Shayna Price.
Commitment: Running a small business takes an enormous amount of energy and drive. Get involved, know every aspect of the business and be as hands-on as possible. If you dont know how to do something, or dont have the time to do it, hire someone who does, and stay in close communication with them.
Belief: If you love what you do and truly believe in your product or service, it isnt “work” and it isnt “hard”. Passion is something you cant fake or force but it gives meaning to the “hard work” and is noticed, and this has a flow-on effect to other staff and customers.
Getting back to basics: Customer service and value for money are age-old assets appreciated today more than ever. Create relationships with customers, know what competitors are charging and, even if you cant compete financially, highlight your point of difference – your knowledge, quality, experience or, indeed, your superior customer service.
Adapting and evolving: Regardless of how well your business is doing, never get complacent or rest on your laurels. If you dont keep up with the times and look for newer and better ways of doing things – such as updating equipment or incorporating new technologies – you risk falling behind.
Marketing: Marketing is all about brand awareness, an essential tool for attracting new clients seeking the service or product you sell. Simple things like networking, letterbox drops, local advertising and social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and website blogging, can be effective yet inexpensive ways of ensuring people recognise and remember your brand.
Location: Take the time to select a location that will work for you and your customers. Pick a site with high levels of walk-by traffic, ideally set among banks and eateries to catch the lunchtime pedestrians, and with sufficient parking and good access.
Shayna Price is chairman of Pittwater Business Limited. She is a director and manager of Style Communications, Mona Vale. Phone 9997 7833.