Starting out in your own small business needn’t be daunting with technological advances improving the ways you can reach out to your customers, gain funding and plan for future success. These ideas below are a handy guide to a few essential changes you can make to grow your enterprise.
Cash Flow – Smooth Sailing
No customer wants to be turned away from an independent business because they don’t have the cash to pay upfront and no card machine is available. It’s inconvenient in our increasingly cash-less consumer world, and simply leaves a bad taste in the mouth of a customer – no matter the level of apology and excuses made by the business. ‘Popping out to the cashpoint down the road’ makes the consumer’s job harder, when you want it to be easy.
There’s no excuse any more with card machines being readily available and cost effective. Additionally, the incremental raising of the maximum contactless card payment to £30 has made carrying inconvenient cash around much more avoidable, added to the fact that there is less margin for human error. Card payment is a win-win situation all round.
A Success Story
Crowdfunding is becoming a more viable option and has seen new businesses like Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium soar from an ambitious dream to a booked-out success story. Using them as an example, it’s notable that their success is partly due to their obscure niche as well as their excellent social media presence. Social media engagement is something that small businesses should be focussing a huge amount of attention on in order to get success early on.
The ‘shareability’ of crowdfunding schemes on Facebook and Twitter often makes campaigns snowball to viral levels when done right. Sites like Kickstarter work on a rewards basis rather than purely donations, meaning whoever pledges to the campaign will be rewarded based on the amount of their offer. Incentives are key if you aim to raise a large sum, and they can help turn donors into customers in the future.
A number of platforms are available for getting started with crowdfunding – here are three of the most successful:
These are just a couple of ways you can really nurture your business in a way that demonstrates market know-how, and that all-important awareness of customer priorities – arguably it is paramount to really know your customer’s needs in order to get the most engagement and turnover. This, coupled with staying up to the minute with current trends are a sure-fire way to be successful in 2016.