We hear all the time about how most businesses fail in a year. While that’s a widely shared statistic, it’s not only untrue but also something that can be avoided. Having a business that’s a long-term success is not only possible but well within your sights.
Establish Consistent Revenue Streams
A significant part of having long-term success is creating consistent revenue streams, as well as ensuring that your business is efficient with all the processes it uses to generate income. According to Entrepreneur, businesses lose on average 20 to 30 percent of revenue due to inefficiencies, which goes to show how much going without the proper preparation could be hurting your business. And if you haven’t quite put forth the effort in organizing your revenue streams for consistency, then it might be wise to perform an audit.
In conducting an audit, your first order of business is looking through your current processes as well as what the steps are for each to be successful. For example, if you conduct orders through a third party vendor but feel as though you could save money by going directly to the manufacturer at a higher minimum, then possibly working the numbers on that might be ideal. Furthermore, it’s okay to cut back on things that are nice to have or not necessities, as having your business draining money on things like that could be hurting you quite a bit. While it’s not always the most fun process, going through and trimming the fat could potentially lead to your business holding more consistent revenue streams.
Listen To The Experts
Another important factor for having your business be a long-term success is listening to the latest happenings both in the news, but also by the experts. After all, there are quite a bit of people who have already been around the bend and can tell you both what history has taught them as much as what they believe the future will hold. Outside advice has been proven to be a great tool for founders because as noted by Startup Delta, approximately 70 percent of mentored small businesses survive more than five years. No matter if you have a particular person already as a mentor or a list of individuals you follow in the news, it’s not a bad idea to start compiling a mix from different disciplines.
A simple, but a wise suggestion is to pick out a time every week to wind down and listen to what others are saying in their industry. For example, if you’re working in blockchain, then listening to someone like Tom Zaccagnino can provide insight into what investors are looking for in that space. Furthermore, make sure to balance out your audience, including going after inspirational mediums like TedTalks or The Talks. Try to take what you can learn and apply actionable solutions, as this is one of the most valuable tools any business owner has.
Establish Exceptional Customer Service
One of the most important functions businesses should serve is providing exceptional customer service. While that might sound cliche, it’s a pretty significant money saver for any firm. In fact, according to HelpScout, it’s between 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one, which goes to show much you could not only save on marketing but also gain from providing great service. That starts with your processes.
First, do a run through of what your current customer experience is like. Are there a lot of steps to reach you? Where are your pain points? The basic goal is to find where customers could complain, which involves crossing every “t” and dotting every “i” because even if you don’t particularly mind something or find it that big of a deal, others might. However, avoiding those shortcomings out of the gate will not only give your customers a better experience but more word of mouth over time as well.
Keep Up With The Proper Marketing Channels
Finally, a significant part of keeping your name out there is by consistently marketing your business. While you might not necessarily have the budget to be running ads or doing promotions continuously, it’s important to keep up with the items that you can control regularly, such as content marketing, email marketing, social media, and SEO. And if you’re not familiar with how to keep going with these, the process is relatively simple.
With social media, blogging, and email, the goal is to produce content regularly, usually by having all three work in tandem with each other. For example, making it a goal to produce two blog posts per week, then promoting them on social, as well as once a week on email. Especially with your blog, the goal is to bring on inbound traffic, which often comes from search engines. In fact, according to Junto Digital, 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search, which goes to show how important it is to get your keyword metrics consistently in order. While this isn’t something you’re going to get perfect every time, keeping up with marketing is a vital component to bringing on inbound traffic and is a practice you should make a priority long-term.
What are some long-term strategies your business has found successful? Comment with your insights below!