Seven Tips for Building a Sustainable Business

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Seven Tips for Building a Sustainable Business

May 11, 2020

Building a business is a dream for many, but just because you have a passion and drive doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to be successful. You’re more likely to start a business and fail than to start a business and succeed. There’s a lot of competition out there, and running a business is hard!

If you’re ready to make your business dreams come true, you not only have to think about your day-to-day operations, you also have to think about how you’re going to boost the chances of experiencing long-term success.

Not sure where to get started? Seven tips for building a sustainable business include:
 - Make it a safe place to work
 - Identify and stick to the values of your business
 - Find ways to create more value for customers
 - Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable
 - Know your finances inside and out
 - Automate things when and where you can
 - Make marketing a priority

Make It a Safe Place to Work
Safety is important in the workplace. It can provide your employees with peace of mind while they’re at work, and that can help you retain top talent.

That means keeping your workplace physically safe, and if there is an accident, going above and beyond to make it right. That might mean providing your employee with more paid time off to recover, or helping them find a personal injury attorney to work with them to get more money from the insurance company.

Physical safety is important, but so is mental health in the workplace. Make sure there’s an easy way for employees to work through tension and disputes, and be the kind of boss you always wish you had.

Identify and Stick to the Values of Your Business
When you’re starting a business, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about the products and services you’re going to offer. However, in today’s world, consumers want more than just a great product—they want to know they’re spending their money with a company they believe in.

That means you need to spend time crafting your company’s core values.

Once you know what those values are, make sure they inform everything you do. For example, if supporting growth is important, you’ll look hypocritical if you don’t look for ways to support your employees when they want to continue their education.

It’s even more important when it comes to your customers. If being environmentally conscious is important to you, for example, customers won’t appreciate a new product that contains too much plastic packaging.


Find Ways to Create More Value for Customers
Just because you have one great idea doesn’t mean it can ensure your company lasts. You have to constantly be thinking about ways to create more value for customers.

A few tips for creating lasting value include:
 - Create new value with a new product or service
 - Create more value by offering a free gift with every purchase
 - Create better value by updating a product or service without raising the price

Get Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable
Long gone are the days when you could go to work and perform the same tasks day-in and day-out for decades. Today’s world changes so fast, and you have to be ready for those changes. That means getting comfortable being uncomfortable.

For example, the payment methods you have been offering may be working for your business, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try out new payment methods to make it even easier for customers to pay. You may have to try new software every few years when you’ve just started to get the hang of the old software, and you may have to think about creating videos online to connect with customers more effectively. The more you stretch outside your comfort zone, the more likely it is that your business will keep up with current trends.

Know Your Finances Inside and Out
Opening a business isn’t cheap. Keeping it running isn’t cheap either, and the more money that comes in and goes out, the more it can fall through the cracks.

It’s important to know your finances inside and out. That means knowing your bottom line, being extra careful during tax time, and monitoring your books in real-time so you can catch any problems right away.

Don’t be afraid to hire a financial planner or a small team to keep on top of the company finances. Just make sure you meet with them regularly to get a clear picture of how things are going.

Automate Things Where and When You Can
It has been said that the devil is in the details. That’s definitely true when it comes to business. It isn’t uncommon for entrepreneurs to find that they’re spending nearly all their time on tasks, that although important, take a lot of time with very little payoff.

You should be able to spend more time on big ideas and less time checking your email! Automation can help you do that.

From automating employee schedules to Facebook messenger bots, there are tons of ways you can automate areas of your business so you can focus on other things.

Make Marketing a Priority
It’s easy to fall into a rhythm after you have established a strong customer base. It’s true that existing customers can provide you with a large portion of your income, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore ways to find new customers. Without marketing techniques that enable you to connect with existing customers on a personal level, they might not stick around either!

It is extremely important for your business to make marketing a priority. Finding new ways to connect with existing and new customers can build your company's reputation, it can help you keep your business relevant, and it can increase your bottom line.

Whether you’re ready to take the leap and start your own business or you already have one, but you’re worried about its future, it’s time to start thinking about sustainability. With these tips, you can find ways to strengthen your company so it’s around for many years to come.

Meet The Author:

Susan Melony

Susan Melony

Susan is an avid writer, traveler, and overall enthusiast.


The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

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