Small business ownership is complex at any time, let alone now. The pandemic and cost of living crisis may have caused the worst economic conditions for many owners. As a business owner who founded Tala 3.5 years ago, I can attest to its difficulty!
Now for something less gloomy! Despite the uncertainty, 33% of UK small business owners say their priority for the next few months is growth and balance. 37% of Gen Zs want to start a business to make more money to cover rising costs.
With all that ambition, here are my five top tips for small business success, whether you’re starting or looking to grow…
Satisfy your content.
Most people today want their media to feel like a conversation with a friend, not an ad. They respond similarly to well-made organic and paid content. Instead of buying ads, post your marketing content organically on Facebook or Instagram to see what resonates. You can then back the best-performing stuff with some paid ads and reallocate your paid spend in real-time to meet demand, like shutting off an ad when stock is low and promoting the following best product. That means you only spend your marketing budget on content you know will resonate with customers.
Innovate how, not why.
Every small business needs innovation to keep moving forward and finding better ways to serve customers. Remember why you started your company if you’re considering a new market, product, or method. People want to invest in your business. Whatever you do to grow, ensure everyone who visits your page knows your business’ mission. They keep customers coming back now more than ever.
Work smarter, not longer.
How often do you hear that small business owners must work 24/7/365? It’s sometimes true. This hustle culture is exhausting. Work more efficiently. Instead of long to-do lists without timings, divide your day into quick ticks (<5 mins), tasks (5-30 mins), projects (30+ mins), and three non-negotiables—block time for admin and hobbies. Doing so will help you focus on what matters for your business’s long-term success rather than getting bogged down in bagging quick and easy wins to announce on social media for extra kudos and help you fit in the things you love.
Raising funds requires preparation.
Small business financing is complex, especially for women. Only 1p of UK venture capital goes to all-female founder teams, compared to 89p for all-male ones. That’s shocking—investors and policymakers must act immediately. Raising capital isn’t easy for anyone. Instead, it would help if you had a deep understanding of your business, a clear goal, and the ability to model every dollar you spend. People invest in people, not ideas. If you get interest, consider the investor’s suitability. Trust your gut.
Use the help you can get.
In tough times like these, small business owners should seek help. Use government programs like the Recovery Loan Scheme or digital skills training. Join a local small business network to network and learn. Meta’s free digital skills training and winter office space at fb. Me/good ideas studios can cut your energy and operating costs in Birmingham, Manchester, or Edinburgh.