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8 steps to building a sustainable small business

Many entrepreneurs start a business to leave a legacy for those who will follow them, but is your company built to be sustainable? Sustainability is a journey for your business and needs to be reviewed as your business grows. By looking at different resources, you can take eight steps to building a sustainable business.

STEP 1: Hire quality employees who share your core business values

When looking for employees, you need to ensure they share your core values. By having employees who believe in the values as much as you do, makes it easier for these values to become synonymous with your brand. You should hire employees that are the best fit for your company as they become the image of your business when your customers interact with them.

STEP 2: Create different revenue streams

By having different revenue models in your business, you can ensure that you will receive financial resources during different times, and you could be getting revenue in one stream when others may have dried up. One way to have different revenue streams is to offer one core product for a once-off price but then offer add-ons through a subscription model.

STEP 3: Delegate tasks

When we start a small business, we may have been a jack-of-all-trades but as our company grows, we need to delegate tasks to other providers or employees so that we can work on our business rather than in our business. If we choose to work in our business, then our business growth will be limited. But if we chose to delegate and automate routine tasks then we have the chance to focus on our business and work on strategies to build our business into an empire.

STEP 4:  Re-invest your money

When our businesses are doing well and we are making profits, many entrepreneurs like to take the profits and upscale their lifestyles. This is a dangerous game because there may come a time when your business will go into a slump, and you will then need to downscale your lifestyle. It is advised to rather re-invest a major part of your profit back into your business for those lean times and use a smaller portion of your profit to build your lifestyle. By growing slowly, you will have a more sustainable business and lifestyle.

STEP 5: Grow slowly

There may come opportunities along your way, which will be a quick win but could be harmful to your long-term business goal. Try to analyse a quick win before participating in it to make sure that it will help you to move towards your long-term goal. If it doesn’t then you should move past it and continue to focus on your long-term goals. 

STEP 6: Stay focused on your “Why?”

When times are tough remind yourself “why you started your business?” and when times are good remind yourself “why you started your business?”. It is important to remain focused on your why so that you can lead your business to the success you want. You should clearly define why you are in business, so when challenging questions come your way you will be able to answer them well.

STEP 7: Build well-defined processes

In your business, there are processes on how everything is done. But is the process the same no matter who does it? It is important to have well-defined processes throughout your business so that every customer will have the same customer experience when they deal with your company. Write down your processes and check if there are any places for improvement. If you can automate sections of your process and still offer a premium product or service, then do it. By having well-defined processes, you can ensure your business continues to produce excellent goods and gives great service.

STEP 8: Prioritise your customer

Many people may not like the term “customer is king” but without customers, your business won’t exist. You must treat your customer well and ensure that if they have a complaint it is dealt with quickly and efficiently. Look at your customer journey and try to make it the most enjoyable time they will have with you. It will not only leave you with a happy customer but an ecstatic customer who will share their experiences with their friends and family. So always aim to give your customers the best experience ever.

By following these eight steps, you can create a sustainable business that may become an empire you will be proud to pass on.

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