Although many entrepreneurs have enjoyed great success on their small business journeys, choosing to start your own business comes with many risks. One of these risks is the financial burden it can bring3.
While there are various challenges faced by small businesses in South Africa and the rest of Africa, it is possible to overcome these and jumpstart your business in 2018 with these useful tips:
Network: Attending networking events will allow you to connect with professionals and other small business owners who offer services your business may require. Many small business owners get this critical aspect of starting a new business wrong by networking purely to gain customers, not realizing that networking with other business owners can assist you in acquiring the services you need to continue the growth of your business.
Use social media: There are a number of social media networks and platforms that can drastically grow your business, however, it is important to understand your customers and identify the channels they prefer to communicate on. For example, Facebook is one of the most popular channels for customer interaction but not all businesses will benefit from having a Facebook page.
Build customer loyalty: Building customer loyalty begins with great customer service. Great customer service starts with a positive customer experience and first impressions are vital. If a customer has an enjoyable experience when using your services, it is likely they will return and use your services on an ongoing basis.
Ask for help: All small businesses face challenges, particularly in the early operational stage. This is why asking for help from your peers/mentors who may be more experienced than you is critical. Tapping into the mind of someone with more experience and a broader knowledge base will ensure you learn and acquire the skills needed to make a success of your business.
Manage your cash flow well: Many small businesses in South Africa and around Africa collapse and eventually shut down due to cash flow problems4. Managing money spent versus money earned is critical as it provides you with a clear indication of whether your business is running at a loss or whether you are excelling. If your small business is losing money, you can implement a strategy to iron out the issues that are contributing to this and identify ways that will ensure your business generates profits.
For more information visit the FedEx Small Business portal www.smallbusiness.fedex.com for more tips and success stories that will inspire and help you to grow your small business.