As any small business owner will tell you, the road to success is paved with adversity.
Research by the SBA suggests that about 627,000 businesses open each year and only 32,000 live to tell the tale.
Spencer Shaver Denver is a business consultant in Colorado who has worked with over 100 small businesses to help them master the everyday challenges of production, staffing, marketing, and motivation. He offers 4 key tips to help businesses get past this dreaded statistic.
1. Market Like You Mean It
Marketing is expensive and small businesses don’t have all the money in the world to splurge. Spencer Shaver Denver advocates that email marketing campaigns and social media are a great way to nurture relations with customers. Not only are these super cost-effective, but they help reach new prospects in a fraction of the time.
Word-of-mouth referrals also do the trick. For instance, you could offer your current clients 10% off of their next invoice for every referral. That way, you don’t have to rely on an expensive online referral system.
2. Streamline Supply to Save Costs
Production chains are getting more and more complex for small businesses to handle, given the logistics; large amounts of inventory, multiple suppliers and overseas shipping. It pays to ensure that supply chain breakdowns are averted. For instance, have alternate suppliers, store sock off-site and have sufficient backup inventory.
The rule of thumb, according to Spencer Shaver Denver? Never have surplus stock lying around as that ties up capital that could be used for more immediate opportunities. Moreover, learn to measure the value of a supplier. Even if one is more expensive than a handful of others, they may be more valuable to your business in terms of reliability, quality, and support.
3. The Right People Can Take You Places
When recruiting a team, use selective hiring tactics. Make sure to communicate the type of work culture you’re looking to build. Spencer Shaver Denver believes in setting the scene; talk about your customers, partners and investors, so that candidates know whether they’re the right fit. That way, it’s easier to align HR assets with business objectives.
After the recruitment phase, it’s just as important to continue investing in your employees, basically, holding workshops, training programs, and making resources available to those who need it.
Statistics released by the Association of Talent Development show that companies that spend more on training, enjoy a 24% higher profit margin than those that do not. And when employees know that their worth is valued, loyalty and productivity rise.
4. Foster Long-Term Motivation
The key to long-term motivation is supportive leadership. These types of leaders work closely with their team, lend a sympathetic ear and offer great incentives. Empower your workforce by delivering positive reinforcement; “What can I do to help make your job easier?” rather than “Here’s how you can do your job better.”
And whether in a boardroom or soccer field, it’s important to push for teamwork. Employees have to be given something bigger than themselves to focus on. Recognize and reward hard work. This boosts morale and sets the stage for future success.
Spencer is an entrepreneur and small business consultant with a flair for developing management, sales, and marketing strategies that get the job done. He believes in sharing the philosophies he’s picked up through decades in the field, philosophies that became the bedrock of his professional consulting firm, founded in 2009.
Spencer Shaver Denver’s mission is to continue to empower business owners from coast to coast to seek out meaningful vision, create actionable strategies, fix weak links and become stronger than they ever were before.