Top tips for starting – and growing – a small business
Here at Brydge Capital, we work with small businesses to help them foster and achieve long-term growth. Every challenge faced by companies is a little different, but in the competitive SME market, there are a few truisms that hold firm no matter the industry you’re in. So, without further ado, here are our top tips for starting – and growing – a small firm.
Keep overheads down
Overheads can be the bane of any starter company. Expensive offices, stationery, computer equipment, and miscellaneous fees quickly add up, especially when you’re trying to create a space that impresses potential clients.
A better option? If you can, work remotely until you absolutely need an office. Even then, it’s often easiest to hire a spot in a co-working space for the day or take up permanent residence there. Co-working spots are often beautifully appointed, with great office spaces to entertain clients in, and you’ll have everything you need in one neat package.
Hire people smarter than you
Good staff is the bedrock of any company. The problem, of course, is that good people are also expensive. To offset this, look to work with freelancers who are specialists in their craft. A myriad freelancing portals exist online, from which you can screen – and hire – great people.
Build with mobile in mind
The Pew Research Center reports that 96% of Americans own a cellphone, with 81% internet-enabled devices. With screen time increasing every year, and more and more people buying and browsing on their phones, it’s never been more vital to create a website with mobile optimization in mind. By that, focus on a site that displays beautifully on a smaller screen and scales to fit the phone in question.
Leverage social media
Social media makes all the sense in the world. It’s a potent marketing tool and one you can get results from with relatively little effort. Both Facebook and Instagram offer advertising portals that let you track who’s looking at your wares and clicking on your brand. Tailor your ads to individual towns or entire cities and promote yourself the smart way.
Stay lean as long as possible
Bloat is the enemy of good businesses. With size comes complexity and complexity breeds indecision. By remembering that your smaller size is an advantage, you’ll walk before you can run, and offer clients something that bigger firms cannot: agility.
Steer clear of expensive law firms and the like
Drawing up simple business documents? There are lots of guides online to help you do it properly, or many family legal firms that will charge you a fair rate. What you shouldn’t do is partner with an expensive law firm in the big smoke; a firm with the sort of office space that would financially cripple a business like your own. Leave these behemoths. It won’t get you any extra credibility, and it’ll simply drain your most important commodity: cash flow.
Cash flow is king
Most of all? Look after your cash flow. Especially early on, this can be a tricky balancing act, one that’ll see you spending money to secure the clients/customers you need to survive. Stay within your means, and look for alternative lending options when cash is tight.