Small businesses are a driving force for the economy. There are approximately 28 million operating in America and account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales, reported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Entrepreneurs see this impact and more will join in the global community this year. From cupcake shops and vintage goods to flower shops and homemade soaps, 2013 is the year for entrepreneurs.
Every entrepreneur knows the importance of creating a business plan before starting their own company. However, an entrepreneur must recognize that a business design is just a guide. It must be flexible if it is to be of use.
Success Can Be Problematic
At some point as an entrepreneur your business will grow quickly. While it may be dumb luck that you latched on to a quick-moving product, the sustainability of the growth surge can be uncertain. You need have a plan to handle sudden growth and be prepared to meet the challenges facing you.
It is ill advised to make any permanent changes in staff, real estate or marketing budgets until you determine if you’re having sustained growth or an anomaly in your sales numbers.
With higher travel costs you’ll have to be smarter with your business travel and meeting plans. According to a 2012 American Express Global Business travel report, the travel spending budget for businesses is expected to grow by 2.6 percent overall by early 2013.
If your growth is sustained, chances are you will need cash for added payroll and inventory or better handling of your supply chain. Some solicit investors but many small business owners avoid outside financing as they fear loss of control. Others apply for traditional business loans, but they may find the loan process takes too long. Business owners who have thought ahead have included the need for capital growth in their business plan.
One important trick of the trade is to never make business purchases with your personal credit card. Sign up for a business-specific credit card to keep personal and business accounts separate. Choosing something like an American Express business card allows you the flexibility to pay your bills with your card and includes incentives to pay early. Perks even allow you up to 60 days to pay your bill penalty and interest free.
Plan To Expand
There are many things that won’t be in your business plan. Know what is going on with your competitors. Check out their Twitter and Facebook pages and see what they’re offering their customers. Explore every marketing opportunity available and use the ones that make the most sense for your business. Believe in your product and learn the best way to sell it. Understand all financing options and use the one that is best for you. Hiring the best possible person is a sure fire growth strategy.
It’s no secret that people prefer their smartphones to computers. It’s fast, easy and convenient. As a business you only have a few seconds to grasp a customer’s attention. A 2011 Google Analytics Report found that the average person spends 5.23 minutes on a site. Eye-popping statistics and easy to read content help gain reader attention. A Forbes article reported that 13 percent of all Internet traffic is from mobile phones. So when creating a website, make sure it’s eye-catching, a great design and mobile friendly.