We’re sure that every entrepreneur wants to have a Successful Small Business in Jamaica and the Rest of the World. You may be the neatest dressmaker, most talent hairstylist or even the most proficient hair and skin care product creator, without the right practices and business knowledge your small business may be among those that suffer.
So you have already visited the companies office to be registered, you created a business card and logo and even went as far as to sign up for an online marketplace like My Small Biz Ja, but what’s next?
Keeping a successful business up and running is extremely hard work but it is not impossible work. According to stats published in 2019 by the Small Business Administration (SBA), about 20% of startups fail in the first year, while half go under within five years. Its a sad statistic for such a hard working group of people but I hope these 5 Extremely Important Small Business Practices that we are about to share will help you to have a Successful Small Business in Jamaica and by extension the World.
1. Have a Great Website
Many small business owners disregard the importance of having, using and maintaining a great website. And by great it doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive or extraordinary it just needs to function.
Your website is the seat of your operations — it’s how new leads discover your products, and, unless you run a physical store, the sole method for people to buy from you. A website also gives the advantage and convince of allowing persons to view and order at any time and on any day. It also provides the user with images, reviews, prices and other important information that a potential customers needs to make a purchasing decision. As such it is your duty to ensure that your website is also “great”.
Use high-quality images (stock images don’t build trust) and you don’t have to hire a professional to take photos of all your products you can use a high quality smartphone camera. Also, write thorough product descriptions — focus on product benefits, highlight key features and, where possible, tell a story. Many persons make the mistake of just rewriting the product name as the product description. This is a very bad practice and won’t help your business to thrive overtime in Jamaica or the Rest of the World.
Getting a website and making your website great is the first steps to a thriving business in Jamaica and the Rest of the World. Many Services such as our own provide marketplace and also custom websites at an affordable cost. Therefore having a small business and no website is not an option in this day and age.
2. Constant Promotion
Another huge mistake a lot of small businesses make is to not market or promote their business enough.
Many small business owner think that because they have a website or a Facebook or Instagram Page and they add their products there then they will automatically get sales. Thinking like this is a huge mistake.
Your business won’t grow if nobody knows about it, so you’ll need to run at least a few campaigns to get the word out. Staying up-to-date with the latest marketing trends will help you create promotions that actively engage your target audience.
I always use the example of Jamaica’s most popular fast food restaurant chain; If you take notice, they are always promoting, always advertising and you may think why?
Why do they do this much ads when everyone knows about them and already loves the Zingers and the BBQ Big Deals?
Well it’s simple, you need to always be marketing and promoting your business. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you already told all your friends, family and neighbours that you sell skin care products then that means you just relax and watch them come and make purchases.
You Need to Market, Advertise and Promote on a Very Regular Basis.
Utilise social media and their ad capabilities, influencers, local radio and print media and even global marketing channels such as Google Ads to get as much persons talking about your products or services as possible.
3. Be Unique
Add Value. We find that a lot of Small Businesses in Jamaica lack value and many of the owners have no idea what this means.
Your Product or Service needs to be Unique, it needs to add value so that it attracts the customers. We often see where a lot of small business owners just resell products from large suppliers and rebrand them and you have 5 or 6 persons doing the same. So what’s your appeal? Why should I as a customer choose you over a similar business selling the exact same items? And don’t say price.
Study your competitors, they may know something you don’t and vice versa. Studying your competitors helps you define your competitive edge while finding your weaknesses relative to your rivals. Look at their tagline, value proposition and products or services.
If they are selling round soaps then find out why. Also take some time to speak with the customers, maybe they want a triangular soap with a specific scent or colour, use that info to add value to your business and to give you an edge over your competitor.
4. Be Consistent
Building a Thriving Small Business requires consistency.
Don’t be the small business owner that only has products sometimes, always running out or on back order. Don’t be the small business owner that responds to customers quickly some days and other days you take hours to respond. Don’t be the small business owner that posts everyday on social media for a month then goes missing for 6 months and returns like nothing happened. Stay focused, Stay Consistent.
Always be there for the customer, ready to put them first. The best customer service is personalized, prompt and friendly. Use templates or scripts to deal with commonplace customer queries so you can respond with ease and professionalism. Utilise the many tools available for automation. Automating repeatable tasks saves time and ensures small things don’t fall through the cracks.
Plan your social media campaigns in advance using social media scheduling software. Use email marketing automation to follow up with new leads.
5. Have Fun
They say if you love what you do, them you will never work a day in your life.
Running a business should be rewarding. It should be a chance to realise your passion, achieve financial independence and spend more time with your family if those things are important to you. Don’t forget why you started in the first place. For many small business owners they started to provide products or services they enjoy creating or offering.
It won’t seem like that in the beginning when you’re putting in 70-hour weeks to keep things afloat, but your hard work will pay off.
We wish you a Successful Small Business in Jamaica
Business success looks different for every small business owner depending on the type of business you run. Business owners should set regular goals that evolve as the business grows. Never Give Up, Keep Moving Forward.