Small businesses need some time to settle down and grow as a stable business. The majority of small businesses require a period of 2 to 3 years to earn profits and gain cognisance in the market. It is a fact that many large organisations across the world have started their journeys as a small business. There are a lot of constraints in the path of small business ventures which they have to face before being a reputed organisation. The following are some tips for starting a successful small business:
- Registering your business- The first point in starting a small business is to register one’s business name and domain.
- Applying for permits and licenses- The other important step is to apply for legal permits and licenses for starting the business.
- Organise your resources- Organising and arranging your resources like capital, raw materials and manpower is the next step to be kept in mind.
- Restricting your expenditure- This is the most pertinent attribute for a small business venture. One should never go over the board in expenses and as much as possible keep the expenditure to a minimum level.
- Conducting a detailed market research: Before embarking on the journey of a small-scale business, it is important to conduct a thorough market research, which is essential for knowing one’s customers and their purchasing habits.
- Expanding your network- It is also important to strengthen your contacts and build new contacts for a successful small business.
- Usage of digital marketing- Digital marketing is a platform that helps the businesses to boost their customer base and improvise on their products.
Small Business Growth tips
Once the small business is established there are some crucial years to watch before the business hits the success button. For any business to be successful it is important to know about its customers as well as competitors to formulate any business strategy. There are some ways in which a small business could achieve fast growth.
- Increasing the customer base- By adding new customers and pre-existing customers, the venture can expect more and more profits. Old customers help in retaining brand value and new customers' help in appending revenue for the company.
- Hiring productive employees- Right employees are productive and know how to utilise their potential in the right way so that the company earns maximum profit margins.
- Curtail the risk factors- In every small or big venture risks are attached. But there are ways in which the risks can be mitigated if not averted. As a small organisation, there are a number of challenges and worries strewn in the path of the company. So the business firms must be able to handle those challenges with precautions like insurance cover and other legal documents.
- Adapting according to the changes of the market and economy also helps a company to grow well in future. It will also add strength to the company in need of dire situations.
- Small businesses can also invest some funds in the overall betterment of the company and its employees. It can provide some certifications and training to the employees so that their productivity is augmented.
- Using Digital Credit Management Services- The small businesses can utilise digital credit management systems to maintain their credits. One such digital platform for credit management is OK Credit. OK Credit is a digital ledger management system which helps small business owners to keep a track of their deliverables and receivables accordingly. It is a simple app to use and comes in many regional languages so that people are able to comprehend it easily.
- Managing Employee data- Small business ventures can also use OKStaff which is a digital platform to manage employees’ details like their attendance and their total count in a detailed way. OKStaff helps in maintaining a regular employee database digitally.
Small Business Vs Big Business
- Small businesses are built with low investment and low resources. Whereas big businesses are created with a large sum of money and with abundant resources.
- A small organisation has the leverage of interacting and being on good terms with its customers and is able to understand and work for their requirements. But, on the other hand, big companies are not able to keep a constant eye on their customers owing to their big size.
- A big organisation has a strong corporate culture as it has a wide range of employees working in numerous wings by manufacturing the products. But a small organisation may or may not possess a strong corporate culture. Many times, it comes on the onus of the owners who strive hard to maintain a good corporate culture amidst its employees.
- Big organisations can easily spend a huge amount in innovating their products, but small companies do not have enough funds to invest in innovation.
10 Best tips on how small business can compete against Big Businesses
There are some aspects of small businesses that they can utilise and leverage against the big giants.
1. Small businesses can make progress swiftly as there is dedication amidst the team as it is small in size as compared to a large team where sometimes it's difficult to manage a big team in a big business.
2. Being a small business, it is easy for companies to incorporate innovation and bring changes in the product offerings.
3. Use of Digital marketing- Small business firms can make wide use of digital marketing channels in order to promote their products and amplify their customer base. Social media platforms are an important medium of connecting with customers and building one’s brand worldwide.
4. Small business firms can build a strong customer base by giving them full customer satisfaction for their products. They can also improvise on their products after getting periodic feedback from their customers.
5. Branded content means presenting one’s brand through the art of storytelling. By sharing about the company’s issues and caring about the sentiments and feelings of the customers, brand content can be presented. This brand content is showcased in the form of social media campaigns, online surveys advertisements through infographics can help the small companies compete against their big arch rivals.
6. Think out of the box- Small companies should also have a distinct approach of handling things. They can be involved in some corporate social responsibility programmes and charity work so that they get noticed by the customers.
7. It is an axiom that big companies often tend to create the personal feel with their audiences as they have to cater to a large number of people. But on the contrary, the small businesses are able to attract and target a niche segment efficiently.
8. Applying guerrilla marketing techniques- Guerrilla marketing means employing creative or non-conventional modes of marketing for promotional branding. Big businesses are wary of using these methods as they are scared of their brand name getting ravaged. Many small companies deploy these methods as they are cheaply available and are hugely creative in nature.
9. Small businesses can form mergers and acquisitions with other small companies in order to compete with the big goliaths. The strength of both the companies merged together will furbish a strong marketing orientation to conquer big companies in the long run.
10. Use of Technology- With the advent of new technology tools, small businesses can leverage new technical domains like AI, ML, SAAS and Algorithms to become a strong and foresighted company and will be able to compete with big firms.
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Q. Is it a myth that big companies are more profitable than small ones?
Ans. Yes, it is not necessary that only big companies are profitable, since small companies require less infrastructure and resources they can be equally profitable in the long run.
Q. Do small businesses translate into big versions?
Ans. Yes definitely, small businesses can transform into big businesses with time and competitive edges.
Q. Is there more job satisfaction for employees in a smaller firm as compared to the employees working in bigger companies?
Ans. It depends on the nature of the job and the work environment. In a small company there are fewer employees and the work is also structured , the employees may have a greater degree of job satisfaction as compared to their counterparts in bigger firms.