All business owners are charged with running a company, but not every business is helmed the same way. The difference between a successful business and one that struggles to stay relevant often comes down to how savvy the individual leading the company is.
Whether you’re new to running a company as the head of a startup or are just looking for ways to improve the outlook of your business, it’s never a bad idea to brush up on how you operate. Here are five things that smart business owners do to keep their companies at the head of the pack.
Conduct market research before launching new products or services.
Market research is pivotal if you want to find success during the launch of a new product, and yet many people just stick to the fact that something seems like a good idea rather than making an informed decision. Although many CEOs likely learned about the importance of market research when they were getting their MBAs, not everyone thinks that they have the time, money, or energy to thoroughly conduct this sort of work. Smart business owners don’t take no for an answer though, and may even hire a market research firm in order to get the job done right. A market research firm can offer primary research and a variety of other consulting services that make it easier for you to run your launches using data.
Protect their interests with back-up plans.
Smart business owners who operate out of a physical location always make sure that they have a back-up plan. If you run a company that frequently faces the threat of natural disasters, it may be worth purchasing backup generators in case you lose power. Especially if you rely on electricity to perform essential business functions, having a standby generator as a back up can keep you running if times get tough.
Listen to all their employees.
A smart business owner will always listen to their employees, regardless of what their role is. This is because a wise CEO understands that great ideas can come from anywhere, and many times those farthest below you on the totem pole have insights you could never dream up. Particularly in the service industry and retail, some of the most brilliant ideas for innovation have come from cashiers and other employees who regularly interface with your customers. Make sure to listen up or you might miss out on the next big thing.
If you’re doing everything in-house, you might be working too hard. Even worse, there may be some functions of your business that would be better handled by a team of third-party experts. One example of this is outsourcing your customer support solution to a team with better resources and training. It may also make sense to outsource most of an entire department, such as marketing or graphic design, in order to increase the quality and amount of content you create. Whatever decisions you make regarding outsourcing, be sure that think about it intentionally so that you don’t sacrifice a strong brand for the sake of convenience.
Invest in social media.
Sure, you might have a Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook profile, but how often are you putting content on those platforms? More importantly, how often are you advertising those posts to your customer base in order to build positive word of mouth and branding for your business? Social media offers an incredible ROI, so if you aren’t making an effort to use it you’re really missing out. Even boosting a few posts a week for $50 based on your geographic region is going to help you get the word out about your products or service.