Local businesses are fast springing up in every part of the world as a result of their huge investment potential. In the US alone, there are over 20million of them, and 71 percent of local business owners expect an increase in revenue in 2016.
However, this is not to say that every local business is successful. For every new business that survives, many more won’t stand the test of time. The reasons accounting for such failure include inadequate resources, lack of planning, gross incompetence and starting a business with the wrong intention.
Therefore, if you’re looking to build a successful local business that’ll stand the test of time, the following tips will help you a great deal.
- Have a solid business plan
For any business to be successful there must be a viable business plan. A business plan provides the framework for business operations, ensuring that the right things are done and the basic requirements provided. For a local business, the business plan has to be simple and realistic as you’ll need to understudy the business before investing a lot of money in it.
In essence, a good business plan must define your mission, vision and objectives. It must also outline your basic strategies, enumerate your action plan, determine the required workforce, highlight potential challenges, identify major competitors and take care of finances. But remember to keep it less complicated and robust at this stage.
- Raise enough capital
Raising insufficient funds is one mistake a lot of people make when they’re trying to set up their new businesses. This is because the amount of money you need to run a successful business includes the startup costs as well as the cost of running the business. And for this reason some of these businesses fold up within the first few months of their establishment.
Since the expectation of incoming revenue at the beginning phase of a business isn’t precise, enough operating funds should be provided to cater for employee salary, overheads and asset procurement. Using a startup cost calculator makes it very easy to determine how much cash you’ll need to launch your business and run it until it becomes profitable.
- Build a unique brand
Branding is one of the most important aspects of business because it gives you an edge in a competitive market. It is what creates a perception about your business and differentiates your products and services from those of your competitors. To build a unique brand, you have to understand your competitors, do things differently and provide great value.
One essential requirement for brand development is a unique business name. Before going ahead with company formation, ensure that you create a localized business name that’ll capture your service and location. Also, take advantage of “Google My Business” which connects you directly with customers, whether they’re looking for you on Google search engine, maps or Google+
- Create a business blog
One of the best ways to make your local business successful is through the creation of a business blog. If you already have a company website, ensure that you incorporate a functional blog in it. Basically, a blog helps to drive traffic to your website, converts the traffic into leads, establish credibility for your business, and produces long-term results in terms of sales. However, to achieve all these, you need to make your blog content more discoverable by optimizing it for search engines.
According to some recent local SEO statistics, 97% of people use the internet when looking for a local business and 98% of searchers will pick a business on the first page of Google. Knowing this, it is obvious that your customers are online and you need to do some rigorous SEO to make it to the first page of Google. So you definitely can’t afford to ignore this aspect.
- Improve customer service
There’s no gainsaying that great customer service is of utmost importance in business. It helps a business retain loyal customers, attract new ones; and that’s what every business needs for its survival. Businesses shouldn’t concentrate all their efforts on providing quality products and services only; they should also ensure that customers are satisfied.
Although, providing good customer service involves a lot of efforts, the results are quite rewarding. To retain your customers, you need to engage with them at every opportunity, pay attention to their complaints, offer great customer support and reward customer loyalty.
In conclusion, chances are that a business would succeed if the necessary things are put in place. Implementing the above strategies in totality will ensure that your business starts off on the right foot.