Many people are considering whether now is the right time to set up their own business. However, building a business isn’t easy, with around 20% of UK businesses failing within the first 12 months.
Learning from fellow business owners who have made it through that first difficult year of trading is a surefire way to maximise success. A good place for startup owners to start is the Sound Advice: get year one in business right podcast, which has helped thousands of subscribers build a successful small business. Hosted by small business expert and leading business journalist Rebecca Burn-Callander, the podcast is packed full of useful tips and advice as well as real life case studies across a variety of different industries.
Below are some top tips from Rebecca and her super-line-up of globally successful, small business stars on how you can future-proof your business:
Build a solid team
Making sure your team has the correct skills for your company is key in future-proofing your business. A good team can help you to expand or improve the areas of your business that may need more focus. They can also help you address any potential weaknesses as well as providing a means for you to delegate work, allowing you to focus on business expansion.
When it comes to knowing who to hire and when, it’s best to think about where you want the business to be in five years time. This will help you recruit and cultivate a team with the right skills to take you there.
Decide who your target audience is and research their buying behaviour
Think about who your target audience is, how you’ll reach them and how you’ll discover what you need to do in order to turn them into paying customers. Understanding their needs and developing your products and services accordingly is an important part of future-proofing your business. This could include asking for feedback on your current products or services as well as finding out what areas of your business they like or dislike. These kinds of actionable insights can then help you to improve on specific areas of your business and/or provide ideas for new products or services.
Understand your industry
Startup business owners who immerse themselves in learning and understanding are empowering themselves to succeed. Not every entrepreneur knows the basics of business when it comes to launching their startup, so it makes sense to do some research in order to find out what you need to know. Moreover, learning from other small business owners provides invaluable advice that can make a tangible difference to your overall chances of success. Remember – there is no end point, no stage where you can say you’ve learnt it all, as even the most successful business owners are learning new things every day (even unwittingly).
Of course, startup business owners are most of the time busy working on their business which is why subscribing to podcasts such as Sound Advice: get year one in business right is a convenient way to gain invaluable insights at a convenient time. You’ll learn actionable advice from other business owners on how to make your business a success in the long term.
Explore Social Media
Social media is a great tool for startups as it provides multiple opportunities for business growth. Some of the most common methods are through sponsored advertising, with the ability to target hyperniche audiences, either locally or within a specific demographic or cohort. As well as paid advertising – social media can also be used to promote your business organically, by registering and then posting regularly on the most popular social media platforms.
Social media is also a great way to stay in touch with existing customers as well as an opportunity to find new ones. Jess Gohl, founder of Burnt Toast Designs, discusses how she leveraged the power of social media in order to help grow her business in Episode 17.
Now you’ve had a taste of how to make your business fit for the future, subscribe to the Sound Advice podcast on Apple iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, for more expert tips and actionable advice on how to keep your business growing.