With the economy looking not so great, many people are looking for ways to make extra money. Starting a small business is arguably one of the most viable options.
A well-structured small business can generate significant profits, yet still allow you to pursue other interests and have quality time with your loved ones. However, to get the most out of your side hustle, you need to follow a few essential tips, and here are six of them.
1. Do Sufficient Due Diligence
Before implementing your business idea, you must spend adequate time researching the viability of it. Market research is crucial as it will give insights into potential demand for your product or service. It will also enable you to learn about your competitors and ways to make your products or services more attractive to consumers.
An excellent way to start your market research is by visiting online forums with your target audience. Once there, you can ask potential clients questions about your product to gauge their interest in your proposed business. You can also conduct surveys by interviewing prospective customers face-to-face and checking your competitors’ websites to learn about their businesses and marketing strategies.
2. Write a Business Plan
There’s an old saying that goes, ‘failing to plan is planning to fail,’ and you don’t want your small business to fail. Therefore, creating a solid business plan is essential for your success.
A comprehensive business plan not only helps you identify potential roadblocks to your business. If you plan to fund your start-up through investors and lenders, a business plan is your essential tool to impress them and secure their funding. An ideal business plan should include your company’s history, goals, strategies, organizational structure, financing needs, marketing plans, and management team.
3. Protect the Unique Appearance of Your Product
If you want to beat your competitors, you must make a unique product that will set you apart from the crowd. But even after creating your product, you still have to protect it from knock-off competitors or copycats.
An excellent way to protect the unique appearance of a product is by filling out an industrial design registration form with the local authority and applying for a patent. This will entitle you to a monopoly on the production of your product and afford you exclusive rights preventing others from producing and selling similar products.
4. Pick an Appropriate Location
Most small businesses rely on foot traffic to drive sales. So, you must choose an appropriate location for your business. The key is to select a high-traffic area near your potential customers.
It would help if you also choose an area accessible to public transportation and main roads. You don’t want customers to have any trouble finding or accessing your business. Moreover, consider setting up your business in an area with favorable business terms. This includes a low cost of doing business, affordable taxes, and fewer restrictive regulations.
5. Provide Great Customer Service
Your customers are the most important people in your business and should always come first. That’s why you should go the extra mile to provide superior customer service.
A good customer service strategy involves providing personalized service to each customer. You should also respond to client inquiries promptly and provide helpful solutions to meet their needs. Whenever possible, give free samples and special offers to get new customers in the door. If customers find your services unsatisfactory, it can affect your bottom line. On the other hand, happier customers can quickly turn into advocates who will promote your business to their friends and family members.
6. Be Honest and Ethical
Honesty and ethical business practices are a fundamental part of every successful start-up. Customers are more likely to trust and stick with start-ups that maintain high standards of integrity.
You can demonstrate honesty by providing precise and consistent pricing policies for your products and services. Additionally, refrain from using misleading marketing tactics to sell your products. Lying to your customers will only lead to business disaster in the long run.