We embark on many journeys in life, often without a roadmap. As a small business owner, this journey is a make-or-break career move, and a little direction can be helpful. We’ve been assisting startups for a long time now, and have definitely taken notes along the way. With that being said, here are five concepts we’ve found essential to every small business owner’s “roadmap.”

1. Your Brand is Imperative

As we explained in a previous post, your business’s brand is its reputation. How it looks (in person and online), what it represents, and even the customer service experience all play major factors. Every business has a story, and that story is depicted through its brand. What is it about your marketing strategy, online presence, and services that make your business admirable and interesting?

2. No Matter How Small Your Business is, Always Have a Business Plan

Having a plan makes it easier to understand the vision of your business and communicate it with others. Trends are always changing, and strategies that did or didn’t work previously may take a turn in the future. As profits increase, your business may have the ability to expand as well, and thus offer more products or service areas. Business plans analyze goals, ideas, and work as a guide for the direction your business is heading. 

3. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Many successful business owners understand that they can’t do it all. More clients means more demand. What was once two projects per week has grown to multiple projects per day and, as the owner, you no longer have time to juggle as many responsibilities as you used to. That’s okay! Don’t be afraid to hire an extra pair of hands or train someone to take on additional work. An efficient team of employees can expand in areas of service that were once restricted, strengthen brainstorming sessions, and increase turnaround time . . . as long as everyone is working together and on one accord.

4. Understand Expense vs. Investment

The fear of heavy spending is logical–no one wants to start a business in debt. The key, however, is to understand the difference between an expense and an investment. Entrepreneur explains that this mindset not only helps a business survive, but also thrive. Analyze your business plan and determine what ongoing investment contributes to efficiency, productivity, and increased profitability.

5. Your Business Needs a Website. Period.

It’s 2016; everyone hops online to search almost everything known to man. Users most likely research a business online to get familiarized with its products, services, and prices before visiting in person. In plain terms, if your website doesn’t exist, people assume your business doesn’t exist. Your competition will most likely have a website and, if your target audience can’t find you, they’ll probably turn somewhere else.

 

Feeling more confident now that you’ve gained some insight? Great, now go out there and build your business! And remember, whether it’s branding, website designing, or consulting, we’ve got your back. Emerge is dedicated to helping small business owners grow from the ground, up.