11 Must Read Business Tips for 2017
So, you want to start a business? Great! There is no better time to get started than 2017. Stocks are up. People are buying more. People are eating out more. You’ve chosen the best year to jump into it.
But you may not know where to start. If you’ve never opened a business before this may be scary. But trust us, if we thought you couldn’t do it, we wouldn’t go through the effort of writing anything at all.
Instead, we’re going to give you a little bit of insider knowledge. The world of business might be a mystery to those on the other side of the counter. But it’s no Wizard of Oz trickery or magic. To the people inside a business, everything is pretty straight forward.
And we want everything to be straightforward for you. Which is why we’ve put together a list of the best business tips for 2017.
1. To Start Small And Move Fast
You are joining or have joined the 60-80% of Canada’s businesses which are categorized as small businesses. Small business is the area that grows the fastest. Large corporations do not grow relative to their size. They stagnate. But you’re small.
This is an advantage against your bigger chain competitors. But only if you sit down right now and do some recon.
Business is war. And while your competitor may not be a mortal enemy, they are competing for the exact same customers that you are. If you know nothing about their strategies, their brand, their marketing game plan, you are flying blind.
You can be more creative and smarter than your competitor because you’re not managing a massive infrastructure. You’re only managing yourself and possibly a few employees.
While you may not have the massive capital your bigger competitor might have, a lot of advertising is free or cheap now. This evens the playing field for the little guys such as yourself.
2. Talking Of Free, Social Media Is Your Friend
In the SEO world, they call this business tip “focusing on social signals”. In business, it’s just good sense.
And your big competitor may not actually be using social media to its fullest capacity. Only 35% of major enterprises have a social media strategy and only 55% of small businesses.
One of our favourite business tips for 2017: Create a social media persona for your brand. Your brand is more than just a logo and a clever statement. It’s a full persona. And it takes on a personality of its own in the minds of your customers. So when you engage people on social media pretend that your company and your brand are a person.
Toss in some humour. Engage users who follow you. And make an impressive page. You can very quickly gather a following on both Twitter and Facebook without spending a dime.
3. Speaking Of Social, You’ll Go Nowhere Without Promoting Yourself
You can put in the work of starting a business. Getting a loan, buying or renting a building. Setting up a domain name. Hiring employees. But until you start promoting your new business, you’ll go absolutely nowhere with your business in 2017.
Do your research and find where your target audience spends there time. What social channels are they using? What media outlets/blogs do they enjoy reading?
Finding where your target audience spends there time can save you a lot of time and money finding them.
Once you know where to find them, you can spend your efforts getting your marketing materials in front of them.
4. Make Change While The Roof Isn’t On Fire
This is like someone who never puts anything into savings and uses all their money.
One of the best business tips for 2017 is this: While you have space to grow and while things are stable in your company, make the needed changes. You’re not going to have time to do this during a crisis when the cracks become utterly apparent.
Times will boom. That’s the time to invest in your company and increase your assets. Because you want to be prepared for when you’re in a slump and you can’t budge and shouldn’t budge.
Things will get tight. But it’s important not to panic when the tight times come. And you won’t panic if you made all the necessary changes during the fat times.
5. Choose Only The Best Employees
There’s a quote from Richard Branson making the rounds about putting employees over customers. You can see it in this article. But he’s utterly right about what makes a business successful. It’s the employees.
You want to find the best employees. That’s a no-brainer. You want them to be first class, upstanding people.
But you also want to be the boss or owner who employees want to work for. You have to have reasons why they should work long hours. You have to have great incentives. If you’re going to spend money somewhere, spend it on your employees. They’ll work harder, treat customers better and then you’ll have a successful business.
6. Put Together A Report On Your Niche
If you’ve worked in the field or have a passion for the field where you’re building your business, you know more than you think.
Let’s take the coffee business for example. If you love coffee. And we’re talking real coffee. Single origin, locally roasted, possibly fair trade coffee. Then you might already have what it takes to start a business in coffee.
People who can taste the different notes of a pour over coffee and can describe what they taste already know a lot about coffee. And it wouldn’t take much more research on their part to learn exactly what they need to start a business in coffee.
So, if you are already on the path to starting your own company, make a report. Include statistics. Then publish it on your website. Not only is a great way for you to see what you know, but it’s a great way to promote your business and your niche through the internet.
7. You Will Fail, Learn To Accept This
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Only entrepreneurs and artists really take this one to heart. Most people don’t see failure as a good thing. They don’t see it as a way to learn.
But that’s the thing with business. In order to succeed, you must transversely learn to fail.
But it doesn’t mean your whole business will come crashing down around you every once in a while. But if that does happen, get up, dust yourself off and rebuild.
No, it means that things you plan for may not work. You may have to scrap whole business plans in favour of better one that works. You may have to fire people. You may lose your cool every once in a while. You might miss a deadline or a payment. But these things make us better business people. They make us better owners and managers.
8. Determine Your Legal Structure Now
We can’t say this strongly enough: Do not go about running a business without a legal person backing you up.
You may not be able to afford a full-time legal team. But when you open your business, hire a tax attorney for a short time to go over your licensing. He can give you advice on what kind of corporation you are.
Depending on your situation, with the right advice, you could save a ton on your taxes and keep the tax man out of your hair forever.
9. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Just like you came here looking for the best tips, you should be willing to do the same thing in the real world.
Most cities will have opportunities to connect with other like minded people. Whether your find local meetup groups or simply expand you our personal network.
There are always ways to network with people who have succeeded at business. And there is no shame in asking for advice or help from friends in the business world. We’ve all been there and needed help or advice.
10. Don’t Take Everything On Yourself
You can’t do everything on your own.
Managing is a skill. And if you know how to let go of the reigns every once in a while, you will live a much healthier and balanced life.
You hired staff for a reason. And your goal as an owner should be to eventually have a manager who runs most everything for you. Why not start now?
There are always little things trusted employees can accomplish. Things like counting the cash at the end of the day or calling customers or shoring up leads.
These might be things you do at first by yourself, but if you want to grow, you will eventually have to delegate.
11. Take Care Of Yourself
This is one of the best tips we could give.
Your business may take a lot of time, energy, and dedication, but if you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to give it your best.
You have to sleep adequate hours. You have to eat enough food. Get exercise. Take a day of rest each week.
These are important things you need to do to avoid burnout. Even if you live above your shop, you can have a life of your own.
That’s all of the business tips for 2017 we have this time. Tune in for more as we keep writing great advice for those entering the business world.
And if you’re about to choose a business name or already think you’ve found one, see if it’s available through our Free NUANS Preliminary search.