There are essential business tips that every MSME should know. These simple acts smooths business operations and keep the business owner, investors and customers happy. Some of them include:
MSMEs must be sure they are ready to employ. They must not be in a hurry to hire an employee. Even when your business is ready to have someone else come on board for you. You must be sure that the position the person if filling is where they ought to be filling up. Do not hire an employee for a menial position that you would probably do with ease. Some ways of compensating employee include but not limited to the following:
Leverage relationship: You can leverage the relationships of your family and friends. You can do this especially during the peak periods. You can get the support of your friends and family to help you out during your business peak periods. For instance, if you have a friend who’s a graphic designer, you can get him to do promotional materials for your business and pay less rather than hiring a regular designer and pay the actual charge.
Pay during peak periods: You can hire someone to help you out during your business peak periods (that is, the periods when you get more orders and requests.) These peak periods vary for every business, but it is always good for you to be able to identify these periods in your business and prepare towards them. While you leverage your family and friends, you need to pay as well but it will not be equal to the same amount you would have paid your employee. This way you will get the tasks done and save cost.
Pay for performance: Only pay people when you need their service. Do not hire them on a full-time basis when you only need their services once in a month. Pay per project rather than per month. This will help you minimize your expenses and get works done very fast.
Take Interns or Volunteers: As a registered business owner, you can hire a Corp member, intern or volunteers. This way you pay less for the work they do instead of paying hugely to an employee. These people would be learning while they work with you.
Make your work flexible: As startups, to reduce your salary payment, you can let your employee come to work only two or three times per week. This way, you will not be paying the employee if he/she would be coming to work everyday of the week. Using this method would also give the employee the opportunity to leverage on possible personal projects around him/her to increase his/her income.
Resource one can use in proper book-keeping include but are not limited to Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, software such as Sage and Quickbook.
As MSMEs, we always need investors to move our business forward. OPM is necessary to move your business from sole proprietorship to a business with systems. You must have started the business so that potential investors would be ready to invest in your business. Another important thing that moves your business forward is the passion you have towards your business. If you do not believe in your business, it will be hard for you to move or get investors that would also believe in your business. Having a strong desire towards your business is very key as well. You must enjoy doing your business. You need to show that you are an expert as well. A few requirements to attract investors includes:
Becoming Credit Worth: You must be credit worth. Do you owe network credit, or do you hold on to little debts and haven't paid yet? These little things count when an investor is ready to push you forward. There are investors everywhere. Many people have idle funds. Ensure you have an agreement with anyone who is lending from you or you are borrowing from. Do not undermine the amount. No matter the amount, ensure you develop an agreement.
Getting Loans: Getting loans from family and friends comes with very low interest rate rather than borrowing from banks. It is good to use cooperative societies and soft loan platforms. You can pay as low as 5% interest rate in a year. Although there are some requirements you must fulfill before you can be legible for loans, they are not unrealistic requirements. Using platforms like this to grow your business will help you get soft loans that can help boost your business needs faster than you think.
Getting and Keeping Customers
Use paid Ads for getting customers. Do not just stay on posting, commenting and other regular online strategies. Using paid Ads gives you wider audience and reach that will make potential customers know that you truly exist so that they can patronize from you.
You can also so micro influencers. Using these influencers help you reach their followers. You can leverage friends that get up to 500 views on their WhatsApp Story. Ensure you have good products or services as well. Bringing customers to come to experience your bad products or services will not help your business.
Customer Experience: Giving awesome customer service is also essential. Treating your customers well will get you more customers. People will unconsciously refer you to their network when you give them an awesome experience when they have an encounter with you. Don't forget that word of mouth is the best form of marketing.
Know your boundaries as a person and business owner. Family and friends may not want to ready to pay for your services, you should have a standard or discount rate for family and friends too but ensure they pay for your services. You can also collaborate instead of allowing them pay in full for that product or service. Ensure you are getting value while giving value as well.
Finally, while you are on this platform (ONE Community) ensure you make the best use of the information being shared. The information in usually very insightful. I learn a lot from our sessions on business, bookkeeping, etc.