Small Business Tips

by Caleb James on 2 Jul, 2012

As a small fish in a big pond, life for a small business can be tricky. Succeeding as a small business is a question of finding the balance between innovation and security – reaching out to new customers while caring for existing ones. The need for business insurance is great, as is the need for a lively and forward-thinking workforce.

Larger businesses can have greater influence on markets, whereas smaller companies are generally held on a fairly short tether. Often, small businesses can do little more than carefully shadow their larger counterparts, but occasionally a well executed business strategy sees a small company develop into a larger, successful business.

Here, we look at a number of tips for ensuring that your business fits into this latter category.

Embrace social media

The social media revolution is now in full swing. Having captured the minds of people across the globe, it was only a matter of time before social media saw businesses arrive on the scene, fast recognising an inconceivably large and easily accessible audience.

Businesses of any size should be embracing social media as a great means of communication with its customers, as well as an unrivalled marketing space. Small businesses, however, stand to gain so much more from social media as they are given a level playing field with companies several times their size.

Despite the clear benefits of social media, small businesses should approach with caution. Even offering advice to clients over a seemingly harmless social networking forum can see your business fall liable. Professional indemnity insurance is one simple way of taking care of such eventualities.

Don’t underestimate the power of marketing

Any successful business will tell you the importance of marketing when it comes to making sales. While social media is a powerful and necessary marketing tool, considerations should go far beyond a basic online presence.

Search engine optimisation is crucial to directing potential customers to your company over your competitors. Small businesses should ensure that their own web pages are designed with thought to both their readers and the search engines themselves. Creating a balance here is essential. Make up for any lost SEO tactics on your own web page by creating content elsewhere on the web.

No matter how strong your product, the way to get ahead of competitors is by reaching out to the customer. Creating a strong brand image to complement your product is central to ensuring that your company gets ahead and stays there for time to come.

Make sure you have sufficient cover

Small businesses can be vulnerable. As careful as smaller companies often are when working with clients and producing goods or services, room for error should be covered by a suitable insurance policy.

While the law requires a certain level of insurance cover – Employers’ Liability Insurance, for example – it is always wise for businesses to look further than this when considering their own cover.

The cost of insuring your business will always pale in comparison to the potential repercussions your business could face if incidents such as these arise and you do not have sufficient cover.

About the Author

Caleb James

Caleb James is a financial advisor and journalist, who contributes regularly to financial blogs and industry publications.