The Klarna Small Business Accelerator Programme brought together experts to our small and medium-size business partners with clear, actionable advice on ways to improve their businesses and attract new customers.
For budding entrepreneurs, getting their fledgling business off the ground is often the hardest part of the journey. Supporting small business as they navigate start-up, scale-up and even eventual exit, Enterprise Nation‘s founder Emma Jones CBE has some sage advice to help you on your way.
As you embark on your enterprise journey:
1. Do what you love.
The surest way to succeed is to build your business on something that you enjoy. Your passion will mean it will never feel like hard work and makes it much easier to put in the hours and effort required, especially in the early stages.
2. Focus on sales
The only way to grow is to sell, so always be hussling for your next customer. Know who your audience is and what they want. When talking to them, make sure you say “you” more than “we”. This helps keep your sales messages aligned with customer needs and boosts the effectiveness of your content and marketing materials.
3. Manage money (and costs)
Cashflow is make or break for any young business. You don’t have to be an accountant to put together a basic cashflow forecast. Simply chart your projected annual sales for 12-15 months, then deduct anticipated costs (space, stock, promotion, people) to calculate your projected profit. Use this as the foundation for a business plan – adding in your idea, market, operations, and support. Doing a business plan may seem like a lot of effort but it gives you a clear route map for success and is essential if you need to secure financing or additional investment.
4. Build your brand
Ask yourself how you want to your business to be seen and what makes you special. If you don’t know your story, how can you share it with others. To target media and channels, think about your customers and where they’d like to find you. Send press releases – stats, surveys and images work well. Be prepared to try things, measure results and, if they work, do more.
5. Find a supportive tribe
Building a business can be lonely, so it’s important to build your support network. First off, find a mentor. Either someone that’s been on a similar journey and who can give you advice, tips and shortcuts. Or a really good listener, that you can talk to easily and use as a sounding board to help you find your own answers. Always focus on what you do best and outsource the rest. As sales grow, your budget to bring in more support will increase too. Partners like Klarna and Enterprise Nation have lots of online resources and content to encourage small businesses and help them grow.
Want to find out more? Watch our accelerator programme session with founder of Enterprise Nation, Emma Jones CBE here.