Flowers are blooming and the sun is out again. We’re about halfway through 2021 and spring is a wonderful time to start something new. If you’re mustering up the courage to launch a new business, make a detailed plan and believe in yourself! Read the insight below for some helpful guidance from a number of experts across industries. Make sure to check out the follow-up articles in this series for more success tips.
Whether you run a business from home or you are working from home because of the pandemic, it is paramount to maintain the internal culture of your organization. Facilitating constant communication between employees will result is a more motivated, educated, and ultimately productive business. At minimum, a short weekly group call where everyone has a forum to share thoughts, action items, fun stories, musings, etc. will go a long way towards creating a successful workplace and business. We have created an all day google meets room that we can all stay in and act like we are together.
– Jared Verteramo, President of Lasso Compression Gear
Hiring Inside the Industry
The Disc Golf Pro Tour has found success in identifying key individuals within our sport who would immediately bring value to our team due to their industry knowledge. Hiring people with knowledge of the sport decreases the time spent onboarding and allows us to continue our company’s growth without sacrificing needed time to bring new hires up to speed.
– Jeff Spring, CEO of Disc Golf Pro Tour
Thinking outside of the box and trying to be unorthodox in your marketing efforts will create curiosity in the customer or end consumers mind. Develop a theme of building a culture around your brand and don’t always push the product on your buyers. This will get them ingrained into your brand’s lifestyle and once they commit, they are a customer for life!
– Chad Belding. CEO and Founder of TFL Productions and Banded Brands
Be creative with financing options. We launched an equity crowdfunding campaign through StartEngine in February 2020 in order to leverage all of our own media as well as the press attention associated with our full 2020 Spring football season. So when we were forced to postpone, we instead extended the campaign and have continued to update it regularly throughout the year. So now not only have we been able to raise funds during the pandemic, these efforts will now extend through our 2021 season.
– David Issacs, Chairman of Advisory Board for A7FL
Adapt, Adapt, Adapt
For us at the ACL, our biggest success stories are centered around instances where we changed course. Being creative is obviously paramount, but what many people fail to tell you is that sometimes your ideas won’t work. Those that can adapt to changing environments, cultures, and situations, and can swallow their pride when an idea doesn’t work, are going to be the ones that not only survive, but grow.
– Trey Ryder, Chief Marketing Officer of American Cornhole League
Refreshing Marketing and Promotion
As the MD of a company, I believe the best way small businesses and entrepreneurs can grow their businesses in 2021 is by refreshing marketing and promotion. Promoting your business and having an occupation in the market is essential. You can’t exist, let alone thrive without marketing and promotion. Improving marketing spending or even revising a current campaign can benefit business growth. Adding social media marketing to conventional methods, radio, like direct mail, and TV, can also improve the message and pave the way for improvement. Marketing doesn’t always have to be an expense. Thanks to social media there are lots of means to create word of mouth promotion and spread your information fast and cost-effectively.
– Jake Smith, Managing Director of Absolute Reg
Increase Sales for Free
One of the greatest things I’ve discovered while being quarantined was this fun social media app called TikTok. I’m pretty sure you’ve discovered it around the same time as I did. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re missing out on a lot of funny, great content. I think one of the greatest marketing trends for 2021 is utilizing social media platforms that will get your business the most exposure. In this case, I will have to say TikTok is the new billboard. I’ve seen the power it has to grow a business from one sale to thousands in a week. Aside from the silly dogs riding skateboards, it’s a great platform where we like to come together to learn and help each other. In one minute, you can pitch your business and reach a greater audience beyond a Craigslist ad.
– Manny Vetti, President of Back Taxes Help
Refining E-commerce Strategies
With brick-and-mortar retail stores closed because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce is going to become even more attractive to small businesses in 2021. Entrepreneurs can grow their businesses this year by refining their e-commerce strategies away from third-party sites like Amazon in favor of in-house e-commerce.
By taking control of their online shopping platforms, small businesses will be able to send customers to their brand’s own website, which will allow them to keep tabs on their customers’ information more efficiently. This will help small businesses and startups grow by creating a more sophisticated overview of their repeat customers, and they can use that profile to craft targeted email blasts for product launches relevant to each of their core demographics. Hosting your own e-commerce site will also facilitate easier communication with your development team, which means minor issues can be resolved faster.
– Ashwinn Krishnaswamy, Co-Founder of Oklahoma Smokes
Agility Is Your Asset
In my opinion, right now is one of the best times to be a small business. The world needs a rapid response to all the challenges it’s facing and small businesses are the answer. One of the number one advantages small businesses have is agility. You can adapt to customers’ changing wants and needs much more easily than larger organizations. The current environment is full of flux and you need to leverage your ability to respond. Pay attention to what’s going on, keep your finger on the pulse of what the marketplace is looking for, and then respond with your goods or services before your larger competitors even know what’s going on. There were plenty of success stories from 2020 like small manufactures that went into the mask-making business or distilleries that filled the need for hand-sanitizer. Whenever there’s change there’s an opportunity if you can see it and find a way to leverage it.
– Hosea Chang, Chief Operating Officer of Hayden Girls
The “Rat Race” of Business Sales
There are tons of sales tactics and strategies that are used every day by millions of businesses. If you’re looking to really get by them and increase your sales, don’t be like them. You are not going to get sales if you are continuously doing what everyone else is doing. You need to find what really grabs their attention and what makes them buy a product. You can easily do this by looking at your company’s statistics and data. 9/10, it’s all in the data. Find out what leads your business to ideal sales and use that strategy. If you can’t seem to find any correlation in what is getting your sales, you probably don’t know your audience. Knowing your audience will not only help you get sales but it will help you gain more buyers and a larger platform. With your audience, you need to understand what really gets people to make decisions and tempt them into purchasing from you.
– Chris Prasad Director of Marketing at Jooksms
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to embrace remote work, it’s going to be vitally important in 2021 to focus on team building. Dedicated team collaboration is the key to building something that lasts, and that collaboration is founded on mutual trust, respect, and great communication.
To connect with your team during remote work, be sure to schedule regular video check-ins and virtual company events. This will allow your employees to feel connected to the company as a whole, even from home, and it will give them the opportunity to grow their professional friendships face-to-face.
This team-building will also encourage your teammates to give constructive feedback. Working smart and hard, along with courting advice from trusted stakeholders and managers will prevent you from getting tunnel vision and losing sight of your end goal. Don’t be afraid to course-correct when it’s necessary.
– Vincent Bradley, CEO & Co-Founder of Proper Wild
My greatest tip for success when it comes to your business is to always stay motivated to change. Sometimes, we all get a little stuck in our ways and this is not the right thing if you want your company to succeed. The world is always changing, and with the world of social media and trends, you have to be willing to run beside them and keep up. Your business is more than it’s products or service now, it is an entire brand identity that needs to keep up with trends and appeal to people. Engaging with your audience on social media will mean a lot to people, especially in a pandemic where human connection is not always possible. Embody change and your company will be able to survive anything.
– Thomas Fultz, CEO and Founder of Coffeeble
Pay Taxes on Time
Small businesses need to remember that the IRS is their silent business partner, and must make sure that that partner gets paid on time. Once you own a business, taxes come due on a different schedule than for individuals. Payroll taxes are paid by both the employer and the employee at a rate of 7.65%. This rate is divided between a 6.2% for Social Security and a 1.45% for Medicare/FICA. Additionally, owners may be responsible for quarterly tax payments based on their situation. In all, owners need to work with their tax team to make sure that their silent partner, the IRS, gets paid on time.
– John Strohmeyer, Proprietor of Strohmeyer Law PLLC
Changing the Business Model Helps
You may have a good idea to undertake, but is it viable in the region where you will operate? Your business must be compatible, or it will be doomed to failure. A feasibility study that considers the specifics of the location where it will be installed is key. For those who start from scratch or need to reformulate their proposal, defining or changing the business model helps. Before you start making calculations and thinking about structure and machinery, evaluate the applicability of your idea. After the business starts, it becomes more difficult to overcome the difficulties caused by the higher cost of logistics, for example, because it is far from the capital.
– Peter Schoeman, Founder/CEO of The Dog Adventure
More Extensive Business Plan
Being a founder of a company, I believe you have a good proposal to undertake, you have found that it can become viable, but it depends on a process of hierarchizing ideas to get it off the ground. If you already know the main variables involved, you need a business plan that more extensive, will serve as a roadmap to follow. And it is necessary to take care of the details, for example, about the industry in which it will operate, customers and suppliers, competition, marketing strategies, financial analysis, strengths and aspects to improve. An online document with a step by step to put together a business plan.
– Julien Raby, CEO of Thermogears
Time to Make Changes
Here are a few ideas on how small businesses can grow their business in 2021. Firstly, small businesses will need to focus more on automating administrative tasks, consolidating software systems, renegotiating vendor contracts, or outsourcing tedious services to be able to grow. I would suggest that they concentrate on delivering a product or a service that will generate the most revenue rather than taking on something that will be more profitable late down the line. This will help reduce costs and keep cash flow steady. Secondly, small businesses will need to accelerate their digitization. Online is no longer a “good idea”; it’s now an essential way to do business. Customers expect businesses to have a greater online presence in 2021. They will also expect a seamless digital experience, so offer more virtual services and, to make transactions smoother and safer, be sure to offer mobile ordering and contactless delivery to give your customers a safe way to shop and expand your in-person payment options to include digital wallets like ApplePay etc. By following these simple guidelines you will be sure to increase your business growth as well as become a business that will work well in the future.
– Ethan Taub, CEO of Goalry
Guarantee Digital Growth
One tip to ensure business success is to guarantee your digital growth. Utilizing all digital platforms enhances the brand’s identity and boosts popularity. Reaching a wide variety of target markets, from kiddies to oldies, from south to north, east to west, men or women and the LGBTQ+, can be effortlessly and effectively done. Increasing business engagement in the digital world is creating another venture for sales.
– Jason Hughes, CEO and Head Coach of Vegan Liftz
Record All Income and Expenses
Being a founder of a company, I think if you don’t see your company grow financially can you tell where the business money is going and where it comes from? You see: cash flow is not a luxury for those in the big city. It is your organization that guarantees the survival of the business. But how to do that? Record all income and expenses, no matter the size. You can start with a spreadsheet, which is the basic model of financial control. By making this diagnosis, you can identify billing problems, a very high cost with a particular supplier, and even that loan you took out last month was unnecessary — and the worst: interest will compromise part of the billing for some time yet.
– Collin Matthews, Founder of Cookwared
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