When you run a business, there are countless areas that you need to focus on to make everything a success. There’s so much more to the entire process than simply coming up with a product or service and putting it on the market. All sorts of cogs will have to work together to keep things up and running and it’s going to take a lot of investment in the right areas to make as much profit as possible. Here are just a few that you might want to take into consideration.
Staff are going to prove to be the backbone of your company. Sure, you might be abel to control everything yourself for so long, but as soon as your brand builds some gravitas and orders start flooding in, you’re going to need helping hands to keep the momentum going. Whether that’s order fulfilment, customer service, marketing, advertising, shipping or any other part of the business process, you’re going to end up hiring at some point or another. Here are some steps that will help you to get the process right the first time round.
Generally, many small businesses will invest in a recruitment agency to find staff suitable to fill vacant positions. They will be able to help advertise and conduct initial checks. However, this isn’t an essential step – you can carry out the work yourself if you wish. To start, you will need to advertise positions well. There are a number of ways to do this without breaking the bank. Traditional brick and mortar stores might simply like to stick a notice up in the window. But a more modern approach is posting on jobs boards on jobs sites. Popular options include LinkedIn, Indeed and Monster. Make sure to create thorough job descriptions, detail any requirements you may have and, if possible, include a salary. This will help ensure only people genuinely interested in the position for what it is will apply.
Carrying Out Interviews
Next, you will have to sift through applications and invite potential candidates for an interview. Interviews give you the chance to meet applicants face to face and get a genuine feel for their experience, characters and skill set. People can put whatever they like on a CV, but an interview allows you to test the candidate and ensure that they are actually as knowledgeable and experienced as they claim.
Making an Offer
Once you’ve completed interviews, you’ll probably have a good idea of who you’d like to offer the job to. It’s important that you go about making an offer in a professional and positive way. Make sure to complement the candidate on their interview and let them know why you’d like them to join the company. Outline important practical information, such as the salary you’re offering, expected working days and hours, annual leave, sick pay policies and other perks of the job. Make an offer and wait to see their response. You may experience some negotiation to get them on board, such as an increased pay offer or more flexible working circumstances. You will then need to determine whether this is feasible. Hopefully, they will accept! If not, you can move on to the next appropriate candidate or continue the interview process until you do find the right fit.
Team Building Activities
Of course, if you’re going to invest in quality staff, it’s important to encourage them to work well together too. This is where team building can come into play. Now, many people avoid team building activities, as they worry about feeling awkward or having to break the ice. But the whole point is that these activities do break the ice and make communication much easier amongst your staff. There are all sorts of fun and engaging team building activities that you can get ready for your team. This will help processes within the workplace and can ensure everyone knows who to get in touch with when they need help with certain aspects of their work. For example, it can introduce members of your marketing team with members of your IT team. Some good ideas include escape rooms, treasure hunts or other specialised activities.
Regardless of what type of business you’re running, it’s highly likely that you’ll need some sort of commercial premises to operate from. If you’re running a traditional, brick and mortar store, this is going to be an extremely important investment. This is the space that will represent your brand through branding and where customers will actually browse and purchase your products. You’ll need to make sure that it makes a good impression. Some key factors to consider include:
- Location – where do you want your store to be? High footfall areas that your target demographic frequent are ideal, as they can drive more traffic into your store and maximise brand exposure and sales. However, remember that these stores tend to come hand in hand with a large price tag. Consider cost and profit before settling on anything in particular. You may need to find a compromise.
- Size – how big does your store need to be? Do you need a lot of room for stock? Do you need displays, a large POS? Some stores can get away with less floor space, reducing costs, while others will definitely require more.
- Licencing – is your business going to be selling food, drink or alcohol? You may need licencing to run this sort of store. Find whether you could get licencing in your desired location before settling on a specific space.
- Back rooms – will you require back rooms as well as the storefront? Do you need a room finding ultra low temp freezers? Do you need a stock room? Do you need a warehouse?
We don’t have time to go into marketing in-depth here. But there are some key areas you should really focus on to make sure that people are aware that your brand and its products or services exist. Some include:
- Email marketing
- Print marketing
If there is one thing that will make your business stand out, it is the little things. This might sound crazy but it is the little things that people take note of. It is the tissue paper that your products are wrapped in that matches the colour of your logo, the custom labels that you put on your packages and letters, or the free samples that you drop into the packages to showcase the other products that you sell. Every little detail that you put into your items can help elevate your brand in ways that can be unimaginable. Not only do these make your brand appear like a high-end luxury brand, but they can also give customers a feeling of trust. By putting in these small extras, you are showing your customers that your business is prepared to put the extra effort in for their enjoyment. There are many ways that you can add that like extra and it really comes down to what you are selling and who your target audience would react to it.
As you can see, we’re just getting started when it comes to areas of your business you should really invest in. Hopefully, some of the options above can serve as a good starting point for you and your brand!