Starting a small business is exciting. That excitement can quickly be tempered the first time someone quits unexpectedly, the copier breaks or the budget shrinks. Luckily, there are some easy measures to put in place to guard against the unexpected and help your business thrive in the early years.
Make smart IT decisionsInvesting a little in infrastructure up front can save you later. Don’t buy brand new MacBook Pros if you have more than a few employees, but you could buy them refurbished. You can also chat with a cloud hosting provider to determine the best solution for your needs instead of buying servers. The best thing about the cloud is that it can grow with you, or shrink, if you need it to. You may even want to look into a virtual private server that will let you maintain control of your server without actually housing it. Businesses are constantly in flux, and the fluidity of the cloud makes it a perfect companion. Buying servers for your website and operations is expensive. Buying enough to ensure you never crash your servers (thus taking down your website) is even more expensive. Go with the cloud to ensure your site is always up and your employees are always able to work.
Hire passionate people
Don’t just hire the first person to come along with the right talent set. Small business owners often make the mistake of choosing employees with all credentials and no heart. A person with the perfect résumé is likely to move on from your company the first time they get a better offer. Choosing an employee who has passion (and who you’ve taken a slight risk on) is more likely to want to grow with your business and may save you big on not having to re-hire constantly. Don’t set your business up to be a stop on employees’ career paths. Set yourself up to be a leader in the field with people who have grown with your company.
It may seem obvious, but customers like green businesses. Whether you’re setting up a new restaurant or a new design firm, one of the fastest shortcuts to achieving a hip young vibe is to look out for Mother Earth. If you’re a restaurant, consider investing in energy efficient appliances and eco-safe cleaning products. One of the most important parts of going green for businesses, though, is making sure your customers know that you’re doing it so they can help, too. Use paper straws instead of plastic and fill bathroom soap dispensers with green powder soap instead of chemical-filled traditional hand soaps.
Whatever choices you make along the road of entrepreneurship, remember to ask yourself if it will help your bottom line or put you in a better place for the future. As a business owner, you have to consider the best moves for your reputation while continuing to bring in profits. Balance the two by making smart decisions early on to ensure your continued success.