Just because you’re running a small business doesn’t mean you can’t have big dreams. Here are 10 exciting ways you can make those lofty goals come true:
1. Build an Online Presence. There are many things you could be (and hopefully already are) doing to build your brand online: creating a user-friendly website, tracking and improving your click-through rates, engaging customers on social media sites, adding a shopping cart to your Facebook page, and much more.
2. Use Invoices and Point of Sale. One problem with sending invoices to customers is that it takes time to receive payment from them. However, if you give customers the option to pay you immediately through a point of sale system, you can get money flowing into your system immediately, not just down the line.
3. Implement Inventory Management Software. If you’re going to sell products both online and in physical locations, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your inventory levels. You can do that and increase your overall efficiency with inventory management software.
4. Build to Order. Try introducing more flexibility and customization into your product line. Let your customers decide exactly what they want in your product, and then build a product that matches their needs. Of course, you’ll need an extremely fast manufacturing line to make this work, and you’ll want to limit the things your customers can customize to a reasonable number.
5. Work with Multiple Vendors. Don’t rely on just one supplier for essential parts and products. Cultivate relationships with multiple vendors, so if you ever run into problems with one you always have another option to fall back on.
6. Stay with QuickBooks. This might seem counterintuitive, but as your business grows you should seriously consider sticking with QuickBooks as your accounting solution. You can do this by picking inventory software that integrates with QuickBooks, filling the gaps in its feature set.
7. Plan Ahead. It might seem obvious that you should plan ahead, but you might be surprised by how many businesses struggle just to keep up with daily challenges and put off planning far into the future. You need to automate business processes through software like inventory management software so you can give yourself time to start thinking strategically.
8. Move Up to Enterprise Resource Planning. Are you outgrowing your old inventory management and accounting solutions? Maybe it’s time to move up to an ERP. In the past, small and midsize businesses have been unable to afford these advanced solutions, but new, affordable ERPs have come to the market recently.
9. Outsource Server Hosting. Instead of worrying about always keeping up with the latest server technology and security protocols, you may want to outsource server hosting for your company. This could save money that you would otherwise have spent on IT personnel and expensive upgrades year after year.
10. Go Mobile. I mean this in more than one way. There are many mobile apps you can start using to run your business more efficiently. For example, you can find customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to keep track of leads and customers. In addition, you can use barcode scanners and other mobile devices to quickly receive products into your warehouse instead of being stuck at a computer terminal or having to write information by hand.