While it can prove an incredibly rewarding experience, there are several trials and tribulations when it comes to keeping your small business afloat and thriving. This doesn’t just simply apply to your profit margins though, you will want to create a safe and secure working environment for your employees as well.

Look to a business strategy

This can seem like a daunting task at first, but it doesn’t have to be a ten-page list of torturous specifics about exactly where your business will be exactly five years down the line – a single page will do. This will help give your business focus as long as it is well thought out, it doesn’t even have to be a particularly polished piece of work – just as long as it is followed at every turn. Good things to include are financial planning, product strategy, marketing differentiators and an employee retention plan.

Make first-aid your priority

The safety of your employees (and customers if you are based in retail/hospitality) should be paramount. Make sure that at least one member of staff within your building is first aid trained and you have the correct first aid equipment present on site. While it may seem like an extravagant first aid expense, the benefits of having a defibrillator to-hand in your business makes it 50% to 70% more likely that the person suffering from cardiac arrest can survive. Click here to learn more about the benefits of AED Defibrillators in your business.

Time to go mobile

In 2012 mobile commerce, otherwise known as customers shopping from their phones and tablets, made approximately £14 billion in revenue. If that’s not enough to convince you, that approximation stands to hit £90 billion by the end of 2017. If you are an ecommerce business and your site isn’t optimised for mobile, then you are missing out on a huge chunk of your selling potential. Investing the money in a website that is flexible and responsive to cater to whatever demands the device accessing it needs.

Don’t be afraid to take risks

We don’t mean take all your savings, go to the nearest casino and put it all on black. We mean calculated risks, by which you can judge what the worst case scenario of your actions would be and deciding whether or not it is worth taking such a gamble – often this can lead to far greater rewards than those who just stay in their lane and take no risks at all.

Be a social butterfly

Unless you are literally trying to make yourself hid from your customers, then you have no excuse not for utilising social media with your business. Not only is it a fantastic way to be ‘found’ by potential customers, you can also engage with them and provide answers to their questions with relative ease. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn (to name but a few) are all fantastic methods of free advertisement. This is time consuming, however, so it may be best employing a marketing professional within your business to handle social media and get the most out of your online profile.

Training never stops

Business practises are constantly evolving. You might ask why this is? Well, think about it: the world is constantly evolving. As such, you should always dedicate time to train your workforce whenever possible – even if the seasoned veterans of your company, extra knowledge is always power. Do not, however, waste your time with unnecessary training, implement these sessions only when they can be proven to help you achieve your business strategy.

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