Building Your Brand: The Good, The Bad, The Digital
Some of the top reasons new businesses fail are poor accounting and operational inefficiency. According to New York Times business expert Jay Goltz, these things should seem obvious, but many businesspeople don’t spot them until it is too late. To help avoid being blindsided by a fatal condition at your fledgling company, keep these tips in mind.
Take Care of the Basics – Without Breaking the Bank
Don’t fall into the trap of paying the high dollar for “professional” or “business” versions of common items. For example, brick-and-mortar stationery companies often charge a fortune for things like custom printed paper, envelopes and business cards. Instead of using some giant printing company that normally caters to Fortune 500 firms, choose Printing for Less business cards or buy supplies in bulk online. You can often find bulk office supplies available at an auction or university surplus stores.
Watch the Books
The New York Times article mentions that many entrepreneurs don’t have a good handle on their finances. They know that customers are coming in and have a vague idea as to whether businesses slow or brisk, but have no real clue about whether the business is really profitable. Do the math— often. Make sure your expenses are not outstripping your profits. Factor in the cost of your building, packing materials, utilities, product returns, office supplies, Internet connection and everything else that can fall into the category of overhead. Selling a lot of things is no good if you aren’t actually covering your costs.
Learn Some SEO
If you run an online business, Search engine optimization (SEO) can mean the difference between being a smashing success and abject failure. SEO usually determines if people will be able to find your site in the search engines or if you are consigned to obscurity.
It is common knowledge that content is considered essential to good search engine optimization. Do not, however, fall for the popular wisdom that says that you don’t have to worry about keywords in that content. The search engines can only tell what your content is about by reading it and monitoring which links point to it. If the word isn’t in your content, the search engine spider will assume that you are not talking about that topic— so make sure to mention the words for which you want it to rank.
Pay attention to your social media profiles and accounts. This will help even offline businesses get more customers and become more well-known.
With these tips, you can avoid two of the biggest pitfalls that afflict new businesses and take steps to promote success. Give them a try and you may be surprised to find how much more profitably your operation runs.