The U.S. economy received a bit of good news recently. According to accounting software firm Intuit, small business employment increased 0.11% in January, led by the construction industry’s 0.3% rise in revenue. Small businesses owners hope this uptick is the beginning of a prosperous 2013.
As your small business grows, how you handle momentum can determine whether you’re headed for future franchises or foreclosure. Business success means you’ve found a product, service or cocktail of the two that consumers value, but that doesn’t mean you should quit taking risks. From rewards-generating credit cards to a productivity-boosting business culture, try these tips to promote continued success.
Reward Your Hard Work
Start-ups sometimes rely on credit cards to finance their dreams, but the real value of plastic payments comes with ample cash in hand. Credit card rewards offer lucrative incentives for businesses, including cash back, air miles and office supply discounts. Credit card companies have continually upped the ante on these rewards but they’re a small price to pay for the potential to collect more late payments and assign higher fees. Therein lies the opportunity for successful businesses. With ample cash in hand, thriving companies can take advantage of credit card rewards without worrying about outrageous fees. Make your payments on time, and no matter what American Express small business credit card you have, you’ll get all reward and no penalty.
Protect the Future
Recently successful owners looking for the next investment to improve their businesses (or the next flight to an exotic resort) skipped an important step: creating a safety net. Success breeds confidence, but you never know when you’ll lose your biggest client or get undercut by a cheaper competitor. As profit rolls in, set some aside for a rainy day. That way, your business won’t go belly up when a storm comes (and it will). You made it to the promised land. Don’t let it go to waste.
Invest in What’s Next
A period of success doesn’t mean you should stop doing what got you here. Small businesses hold an advantage over large companies in their ability to adapt and evolve. When success comes, it’s tempting to freeze any plans to change out of fear that you’ll lose the magic recipe, but that attitude won’t help your business in the long run. Overconfidence is one of Humetrics CEO Mel Kleiman’s five biggest business mistakes.
“If you’re not evolving, not changing, the world is going to pass you by,” Kleiman wrote on Tlnt.com. Don’t let success stunt further growth. As customers pour in, serve them by continuing to improve your products and services.
Create a Culture
If your business is like most that thrive, success was the result of multiple people working hard together. It’s that continued commitment to collaboration that will take your business to new heights. Invest money in creating a culture that breeds continuous success. If your business depends on creativity, provide comfortable surroundings that inspire. If your employees are tethered to desks all day, provide supportive chairs and a break room. By investing in your company culture, current and future employees will feel motivated and thankful to be a part of your team.