What does it take to survive in the rough-and-tumble small business ecosystem these days? Money? Brains? Both? In reality, all you need are the right tools and the desire to succeed. But what are the right tools, how can you find them, and how much do they cost? The answers to all those questions are surprisingly encouraging. It’s all about being organized, first and foremost. After that, the main tasks for entrepreneurs included setting up a competent accounting system, having an e-commerce solution in place, using email marketing effectively, working with a transcription service, and bringing excellent people on board. Sure, it’s lot to deal with, but no single piece of the success puzzle is insurmountable. Here are more details about the five survival secrets that every business owner should know.

Accounting

If you don’t have an in-house expert, get the best accounting software you can afford and spend time learning how to use it. Most vendors include lengthy training with the higher-end packages. You won’t need to learn accounting systems and intricacies, but will need to spend several hours per week in training mode for the first several months after installing the software. After that, things like payroll, taxation, profit projection, inventory management, and other essential tasks will become streamlined and hassle-free.

E-Commerce

Figure out what kind of e-commerce solution you need by looking at other companies’ websites. Find an entity that’s similar to yours in size, age, and product/service type. You’ll gain a lot of insight by going through this exercise, and it doesn’t cost a thing. Afterwards, it’ll be simple to select the most suitable e-commerce software package for your business. Consider hiring a freelance techie to install it and show you how to get the most out of its functionality.

Transcription

If you want to stay a few steps ahead of the competition, use a transcription service to convert audio files into text in a matter of seconds. And it doesn’t matter whether your source data is m4a or anything else. Not only can you create excellent marketing content this way, but you’ll save time, reduce expenses, streamline the workflow, and become more productive. What’s more, transcription allows you to put your content into any of 119 languages, export all your work, and correct any of the text before posting it in blogs, ads, or on websites.

Email Marketing

The backbone of entrepreneurial marketing, especially for young companies, is email marketing. There are low-cost and free solutions out there that can suit your needs. However, keep in mind the importance of building an email list from day-one. As your list grows, so with the power of your marketing tools. Some professionals buy small, targeted lists to get the ball rolling. Just be careful not to pay too much. Compare prices and check sellers’ reputations before purchasing a list.

Hiring

Some of the HR software on the market these days is at least ten times as powerful as what was available just a few years ago. Resume-scanners, candidate evaluators, question-generators for live interviews, and other clever features can turn your employee search into a multi-tiered process that brings the best talent right to your door. Not only will you be able to target specific demographics, like engineers with five years of experience, but you’ll gain insights into recruiting techniques that work. For startups and younger companies, an HR software package might be one of the last things you need. So, if you are a one-person shop, or aren’t looking to expand for a year or more, HR solutions can be put on hold for a while.

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