Small businesses are on the rise everywhere. Muslim women are not left behind, almost every one of us desire to have a business of their own these days. However as a Muslimah who is just staring out her business or your business is still in the small-scale. There are certain mistakes these businesses makes that usually affects their growth at the long run. Below are some of those mistakes and how to combat them:
- THINKING THEY ARE SMALL
No matter how small your business is, never think you are too small to take on challenges that seem bigger than you. The popular maxim is “Think big, start small”. This is not to say small businesses should take on projects they cannot achieve. However, do not limit yourself to the status your business is currently in. Don’t think you are too small to have things such as a brand influencer or a marketing team. The more you see your business as the big thing, the more you would work towards making it a big one. Dear Muslimah/CEO stop being in that trap space thinking your business is too small to be the next big thing. Aspire, and grow bigger!
- NOT BEING PROFESSIONAL WITH CUSTOMERS
This is often common with lots of small businesses. Don’t act too informally or nonchalantly with customers. Imagine you ordered for a beautiful and top-notch Abaya online and by the time they deliver it to you, it is wrapped in a black cellophane bag, so small the nylon is bearly holding the cloth in. How unprofessional is that?! OR you order for a food online and the attendant goes like “We don’t do delivery jare!”
Treat your customers like eggs and they will spread the news of how professional and courteous your business is. If you are always professional and courteous with your customers even when things are wrong, they will still have a second thought for you.
Say, “thank you” and “please.” Be clear and very audible when speaking to a customer and don’t shout or sound like you care less. Remember, you are doing your customers a service, not a favour.
- NO OR LITTLE ADVERTISEMENT
Small businesses often think advertisement is for big businesses, because of certain amount involved. However they often forget that no matter how low your budget still is. As a small business, there is still a place for your advertisement out there. It all depends on how well you can pitch your business. Small businesses need the advertisement more than the big businesses.
For every month or 2 months, have a budget just for advertisement and publicizing your business from the money your business earns and look for people of like minds who are ready to help you publisize your business. It doesn’t have to be on TV. Social media are the best platform. Use your promotion button on your Instagram business page. Collaborate with influencers if you can, ask for a discount when you can’t pay as much both ensure both sides benefit and tell friends and family to help advertise on their account for free if they can. It’s all a matter of you asking and putting in effort.
- NOT HAVING PROPER DISCOUNT DOCUMENTATION
This is so common amongst small business owners, small businesses often think they don’t have the crowd or the status yet to start documenting properly like business. Dear Muslimahpreneur, do you have a compact list of your workers or team without having to list with your fingers when asked. As a business owner have a list and certain info about your workers and team members’ information like address and position held are important and even required by the law.
It is very important that you keep track of all your expenses and incomes by keeping up-to-date financial statements. This allows one to keep tracks of the expenditure and returns from the business and let you do an analysis to ascertain whether you are losing or gaining more money on the long run.
- NOT HAVING SHORT-TERM OR INTERMEDIATE GOALS
Small business owners often think a lot about the far future dreams rather than pay attention on the day-to-day running of the business. As a good business owner, it is good to think about where your business will be in the next five years but it is also essential to think about the next three months and plan towards achieving an improvement during this period. In fact, I’d recommend that if you have a goal of having a thousand customers by the turn of the years, you should make a short-term goal of making about 5 to 10 new customers per day, and an intermediate goal of how to maintain the growth.
Honestly, consistency cannot be overstressed especially for a growing business. Consistency builds a brand, and also determines the level of trustworthiness your client will give your business. A small business must be consistent in the quality of their products and service, and must always be available within the hours they display as being opened for business. Nothing kills the clientele of business faster than inconsistency. Stay in stock and stay available, if you would be unavoidably unavailable, let your customers know in time, and do not make it a habit of being unavailable, it makes people feel that you are not serious, unreliable and undependable.
I hope you have been able to gather some tips on how to keep you’re A game as a small business. Stay tuned
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