More and more, we’re seeing people decide to jump into the world of small businesses, as opposed to trying to start up anything big. The recent financial crisis has made it increasingly more difficult to get anything off the ground, so starting out small in scale is a smart way to go.
But what is also becoming more of a trend is the fact that these companies are being opened by entrepreneurial novices. For whatever reason, some people are choosing to try and make a go of something off their own back, perhaps forced to with the jobs market drying up in most areas of the UK.
So, in light of these new trends, we’ve decided to draw up a few tip for new small business owners, that can give them the boost they may need to compete with other similar companies that they are in competition with. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the business world, or a well-versed veteran, these tips could make a big difference if implemented correctly.
Cloud Based Project Management
We’re not suggesting, straight off the bat, that you go and purchase a software that can do your job for you! No, instead we’re suggesting utilising an online project management system. In today’s increasingly mobile world, it is good to have a centralised hub anyone with an internet connection can see and use. That way, even if you are on opposite sides of the world, you can stay on track with what everyone is doing.
Trello is a great example. It’s simple layout masks it’s powerful engine, which allows users to organise tasks via a “card” system, that breaks things down into smaller tasks. You can set deadlines, and chat with other users. It’s a great way to keep everyone on point, and make sure every part of the business is being as productive as possible. Productivity, or lack there of, can make or break a company in it’s early years.
Speaking of making your business centralised on the internet, utilising cloud storage, such as this one means that you can also access any documents, emails, pictures or videos you need from anywhere in the world. Instead of having to carry around a laptop or memory stick, everything exists virtually.
Google Docs is the most prominent “online office” suite out there at the moment. Coming free with a Google account (you will have one if you use Gmail or YouTube), it offers equivalents to Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but with the added benefit of being available worldwide from any internet enabled device. No more “forgetting documents”, or “losing financial numbers” – everything is safe in the cloud. The autosave can catch you out if you’re not careful, but get around that problem, and you’ll solve many more.
As you can likely tell, we here at Bootcamp Media know Search Engine Optimisation intimately. We’ve helped tonnes of small businesses get ahead in the difficult world of SEO, and we know the benefits that come with it. So, if your business is in anyway dependant on Internet (be it orders, customer finding you), you need to have at least some understanding of how Google works and what is Search Engine Optimisation.
Seek out a company that will scale their advice to your business. Honest companies will let you know exactly how much you need to spend, and how best to market your company on the internet. A new burger place in town will see no value from trying to take on McDonalds for the Google term “burgers”, but there is a good chance they could rank for something like “Local burger restaurant in _______”. Be smart, and any money you spend on SEO will pay dividends sooner than you think.
Know the Law
Finally, you need to know the laws that govern small businesses intimately, for two very good reasons. Firstly, you need to know the boundaries within which you can operate. Knowing tax law, employment law, health and safety law and so on is essential, if just for avoiding any legal headaches down the road. You can find all of these facts on government websites, usually written in a way that makes them clear and easy to understand.
But also, it’s worth finding out what kind of benefits you are entitled to. The government are actively encouraging small businesses right now, offering tax breaks, and even grants! Without researching into these things, you could be missing out, so go take a look at the government’s “Business funding” page by clicking here.