The period after a launch is always a bit of a whirlwind for small business owners. It can feel like you are emerging from a very long tunnel, finally blinking in the sunlight after months or even longer in the darkness. Suddenly all those different pressures and the endless items on your to-do list are gone, and your big idea is now up and running as a company. It is important to take some time to celebrate that moment because it is an absolutely massive achievement.
However, every business owner knows that there is no slowing down once the launch has taken place. Now, there are going to be whole new pressures and responsibilities that you will need to be aware of. The things that you assumed might happen when you were still dealing with hypotheticals may be very different now that you are dealing with realities. And it is important to note that things are not exactly quiet and peaceful in the wider marketplace. There are so many different challenges that you need to be aware of, and you cannot afford to rest on your laurels. If you want to keep your new small business growing and flourishing in 2023, here are some of the most important areas to focus on.
Keep Fine-Tuning Your Website
Building the perfect website for your small business is one of your most important jobs when you are preparing to launch. You know how crucial it is that your homepage stands out, that it is easy to navigate, and that it entices customers and clients to spend their hard-earned money with you. But a good website should never be a static placeholder. It is one of the best ways to continue driving orders and business if it is working properly, so think about how you can continue to fine-tune it.
Remember that Google updates come thick and fast, and there is always going to be more and more emphasis on user experience. An expertly written blog post is a great way to give your traffic a boost, and you can make sure that it is loaded with keywords. Remember to avoid spam, however, as these kinds of posts are becoming increasingly targeted by Google’s filters.
Invest In Learning About Information Technology
The digital landscape changes so quickly that it can be hard to keep track of everything that you need to know about when you are running your own business. The important thing to remember is that new technology is not just something that you need to keep up with in order to stay relevant. It also makes life much easier for you in so many different areas. For example, having a working knowledge of new business software can help you to utilize AI programs that can comb through huge quantities of data to optimize your digital marketing campaigns.
IT short courses can also give you the information that you need to ensure that you are using up-to-date security measures to protect your data and your finances. It can also teach you more about which social media platforms to use (more information on that in just a moment). Regardless of what area your small business operates in, taking IT short courses can give you the invaluable grounding to keep your business growing and flourishing. Information technology courses are available at the University of Cape Town, where you can learn practical skills and earn a certificate of completion.
Keep Building Your Social Media Presence
Social media channels are a necessary element of any successful business these days, regardless of the size of the company. They give you such a direct connection with your target audience, allowing you to genuinely engage with people and to communicate what it is about your brand that makes you so unique. What’s more, people are always going to want to know where they can find you on their platform of choice.
However, if you are not sure where you should be focusing your efforts, social media channels can end up being something of a time-sink. You need to ensure that you do your customer research to find out exactly where your core customer base spends most of its time. Once you have this information, you can start creating content specifically for those platforms such as reels. You should make sure to keep checking these channels regularly to avoid missing any messages from customers, which brings us to our next point.
Keep Looking For Ways To Prioritize Customer Service
Customer service is a crucial part of any small business’ success, and it is even more important when people have less money to throw around than they may normally do. If your business has only recently launched, you need to look for ways that you can show your new customers how valued they are and turn them into your loyal returning customers.
Offering reward schemes is always a good idea, but you need to avoid anything that may leave you losing more money than you bargained for. Replying to any questions or complaints promptly and politely but be aware of when someone may be looking for ways to catch you out. Do not be afraid to ask your customers what they would like to see more of either in your store or on your social media channels.
Embrace Going Green
One of the main concerns for everyone right now is the climate crisis, and with every new extreme weather event, people are looking for ways they can be more environmentally responsible. As a small business owner, you can look for ways you can reduce your carbon footprint to show your customers that they are making the right choice by spending their money with you.
For example, packaging can lead to a huge amount of waste, so consider using recycled or recyclable materials for yours. If your business sends a lot of deliveries, look for courier services that offer a green service. Talk to your suppliers and business partners about what they are doing to ensure that they are keeping their environmental impact as small as possible. You could even think about partnering with other small businesses in your area for local environmental work.
Take Care Of Your Health
A lot of small businesses are, if not quite a one-person band, then something very close to it. As a result, you are always going to feel a huge amount of pressure to get everything done yourself. But if you don’t look after your own physical and mental health, then you are not going to be able to run your business properly. Try to keep to a set work schedule and avoid checking your work emails or messages when you are off the clock.
Eating a healthy balanced diet is very important, so try not to rely too much on energy drinks or sugary snacks. You should also remember that exercise is good for both physical and mental health, so incorporate a brisk walk or a jog into your daily routine. If you do find that you are struggling, there is no shame in asking for help. Things are tough for everyone right now and we all need to watch out for each other as well as ourselves.