5 back-to-school tips for small business ownersRebecca Bendikov
The fresh feeling of heading back to school after a break inspires and motivates students. Often small business owners and customers have that initial motivation too, but over time it wears off. Not only do you need to remain enthusiastic and focused, but your customers need to be reminded why they chose to do business with you in the first place.
You can learn a lot from the back to school season, so here are some school inspired tips for your small business.
Aim for Bonus Marks
Small businesses are able to connect with their customers on a much more personal level. This is where the bigger businesses miss out. Providing excellent customer service and going the extra mile makes all the difference in gaining ongoing business. It will definitely help you get an A+ with your clients!
You should set some new goals for yourself when it comes to your customers. These could be things like following up with customers, and checking how they are going with your product. These friendly conversations are great ways to transition into new sales too. You can start out by sending automated emails to follow up customers and remind them of your business. Your customers are most likely not thinking about your business other than when you contact them, so make sure they keep you fresh in their mind.
Keep up with your Homework
A lot of business owners say that they are too busy to keep up with their bookkeeping. Entering your information into an easy accounting program for small business each day won’t take long at all, and will ensure that your financial data is up to date. This will give you greater control and a clear picture of your business. With concerns about cash flow being named one of the biggest pressure points for small business owners, it’s about time you get your records under control.
Get a Mentor
Just like at school where you can get a mentor or tutor to help you through, it’s also helpful to have a business mentor. You can learn a lot from someone who has been in your position before. They can put you in touch with industry connections and give some valuable insight into your present and future business goals.
School is a pretty social affair, and you do a lot of growing by interacting with others. As a business owner you aren’t making friends on the playground, but networking is still very important. You have to reach out to other small business owners especially those in your community and in your industry – meet as many people as you can! Determine what business organisations you could fit into and join one. Make sure you attend functions and meet at least 5 new people at each one. Carry your business card everywhere you go as you never know when you could meet a key contact. Linkedin and other social networking sites are also a good place to meet and connect with others in your industry.
As an entrepreneur, you should never stop learning! Take an online course, read as much as you can and don’t be afraid to learn from others. Continuing your education will not only expand your knowledge, but it will sharpen your skills and help you to grow your business.