Coming up with a great idea for a new business is one thing, but actually seeing that great idea through from concept to creation is entirely another. Running a business takes effort, attention to detail and adherence to certain deadlines and guidelines, and failing to follow these guidelines can land business owners in trouble. Additionally, the most successful businesses are those that are able to effectively market themselves and set themselves apart from their competitors, so learning to properly advertise a company is another key component of business operations. Here is what today’s business owners must know about conducting day-to-day business operations effectively and successfully.
Marketing and Advertising
With so many businesses spread across virtually all industries, it is next to impossible for today’s business owners to achieve widespread success unless they appropriately advertise their goods and/or services. The process involves far more than simply coming up with a clever catchphrase or commercial script. It requires defining target markets, determining how to reach those markets and then staying in communication frequently enough to remain at the forefront of a potential client or customer’s mind. Today’s companies advertise themselves in many different ways. Some rely on billboards or print ads in magazines, while others spend most of their ad budgets on TV or social media.
Another thing to keep in mind when determining how to market a business is that certain laws exist to ensure “truth in advertising.” These laws may stipulate who can endorse products or what types of effectiveness claims can be made. It is also worthy to note that different truth-in-advertising laws also may apply to different industries.
Internet and E-Commerce
Just as modern businesses must establish themselves and generate name recognition through advertising if they wish to succeed, they also are unlikely to get a leg up on the competition if they don’t have an e-commerce, or online, retail component. Selling goods and services online differs considerably from conducting business in a typical retail location, and there are certain rules and guidelines involved that are intended to protect consumer privacy and reduce data breaches. The Federal Trade Commission is the organization that offers recommendations as to how to keep consumer data as safe as possible, and it also dictates how and when businesses should dispose of sensitive customer and client information.
A strong website is generally the first matter of business for anyone looking to establish a successful e-commerce component. Choosing an appropriate domain name is also an important step in the process, as is determining how to process credit card payments and accept funds online from consumers.
Commercial Leases and Zoning
Another key component in getting a new business up and running is determining where the business will be located. Generally, owners have the option to lease or buy a space in addition to determining where geographically to locate, and the best decision really depends on the nature of the business. Retail locations, for example, probably will flourish most when they open up in high-traffic areas. A private therapist practice, however, may prove more successful in a quiet, out-of-the-way location. What type of property can operate or be built in a given area depends on how the area in question is zoned.
In the event that a lease is preferred over a purchased property, business owners should become familiar with the various forms of commercial business leases that are common. Among the more common types of business leases are flat, fixed, gross, step, net, net-net and cost-of-living leases.
Some owners prefer to purchase a property because they want to have more control over it. Owning a commercial property also may result in some tax benefits for the company owner or owners.
While day-to-day business operations vary broadly based on the type of company, this content offers an overview of some general business operations considerations that apply to most business owners.