Starting a business is a dream that many people have. The dream of doing what you want and working with what you love, is something that attracts many. Being an entrepreneur is often considered a counterreaction to the work culture that exists at big companies who employ many people and control most of the market.
The startup life is not for the faint of heart though, as making it through the first years and creating a company that brings in positive revenue is difficult. You need to have a good product, a good way of marketing and branding your product, a good way to sell your product and so much else.
As such, the few that do make it and manage to create a sustainable business, will most likely be very protective toward their company. They will want to ensure their success and the business’ place in the market. Some entrepreneurs do this by partnering with investors, some hire more employees and try to grow their brand even more, and some people do nothing.
What is most important is, that you know why you do what you do, when choosing how to keep your place in the market or growing your business. Read along when we list five different things that you should keep in mind when considering what to do with your business.
Where should you start?
When working with a small business, it is very important to spend the money where they are most needed. So the first thing you do with your first paycheck probably should not be moving to the biggest office in town, or getting the most expensive company car. As an entrepreneur, you will be the one that knows your business the best. As such, you should analyze your business’ needs and potential, and invest where you see it most fit.
If you have a lot of contact with your clients for example, you could consider automating some of this. Not as in having robots doing all your customer service, but some parts of it can definitely be automatized. The eTray solution from Nexcom can for example sort and organize all inquiries, from all different platforms that you use to communicate with your customers. An investment in the right tech for your needs can be made early in the development of the business and will quickly prove to be a worthy investment.
Stay in control
The biggest strength of the startup is that you are in control. You know the vision, the product, and the values of the company the most. As a startup, you are most likely to be able to offer a cheaper product or solution, as you still have no expenses for other employees. You can’t keep working 50, 60 or 70 hours every week, however. Hiring more competent people or investing in solutions that will help save you and your company time, can be very helpful to you in your venture.
The most important thing is that you don’t lose control of your business. Avoid delegating power of decision making to managers you do not trust yet.
Don’t expand without reason
When deciding on where you wish to invest in your business, it should be clear to you that it is the right decision for the right reasons. If you decide to bring on another employee, you should have a clear idea if you are looking for a salesperson, a receptionist, or a warehouse manager for example. What could help you the most, and what will help you move towards the next step for your business?
Don’t expand too fast
Once a business grows into a larger business with 10 or more employees, it will of course strengthen the business. More employees typically mean more income and more skills. This is also the point where things might go too fast. Some companies are known to have expanded too fast, meaning they hire too many people. Jobs are made up, especially administrative jobs. While it is important to have control of one’s finances, customer service and much more, many of these tasks can be helped or done completely by computer software.
To avoid bureaucracy and creating unnecessary administrative jobs at your company, you should consider investing in a workflow management system. These intelligent software solutions can help your company by sorting and organizing your company’s inbox. All businesses are dependent on having satisfied customers, and much of this satisfaction is made through their customer service department.
The eTray solution from Nexcom can distribute inquiries from your customers to the relevant employees. When the relevant agent is given the inquiry, the program will provide the agent with information for the agent to process the inquiry, saving your employees time, while making it easier to do their job as well.
It uses keyword recognition to send queries to the right recipient by recognizing phrases like ‘tracking number’, ‘order number’ and any other keywords that might be unique to your business.