TIPS FOR SMALL-BUSINESS SUCCESS
Becoming an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. Running and growing a business can be challenging — that’s why about 90 percent of all new companies fail.
Whether you have a business or looking to start a one, it’s important to listen to your peers and mentors. Some lessons you will have to learn on your own but some small business tips you can learn from others. Sometimes the most valuable advice comes from your fellow entrepreneurs, not the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Here are a few of my favorite tips directly from the Small Business Council.
1) Be passionate about what you do.
You do not need to love whatever your business is about (and likely should not), however, you really do have to be fired up about it.
You are going to devote a lot of energy and time to starting a company and building it into a successful business, so it’s really important that you truly deeply enjoy what you do, if it be running fishing charters, producing pottery or supplying financial advice
2) Study the pros.
You can read all of the books on which you have to do to grow a successful business but what will push the needle is to study what the pros do. Find individuals inside and outside of the business which you admire and dig into what they are doing with their companies.
3) Don’t do it alone.
You need a support system as you’re starting a business. A family member or friend which you could bounce off ideas and that will listen sympathetically to your plans and struggles.
Even better, locate a mentor or, if you qualify, apply for a business startup program like those provided by the local SBA. When you’re starting a business experienced guidance is the best support system of all.
4) Pick your niche.
Take stock of your skills, interests, and employment history to pick the company best suited to you. Deciding on a market which you can be passionate about can help improve your chances of success. Remember: Many small-business owners succeed in companies which are hardly innovative or unique.
5) Don’t put yourself in the box.
Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do or what people expect you to do. Don’t ever feel you want to fit into a box. Set your weirdness in your job” which weirdness sets you apart.
Additionally, stop thinking all the good ideas are all taken. It is going to just paralyze your creativity. Your thought probably has already been completed. There are very few “fresh” thoughts on the market but who cares! Anything you set out to perform makes it your own — give it a different spin.
6) Build Community Around What You Do.
An effective brand is one which is trusted and respected by clients — building a solid community online and off might help you attain this.
You do not have to spend a lot of cash to get this done. In fact, many successful brands focus almost exclusively on offline and online community building instead of traditional advertising. Facebook and Twitter are excellent outlets for it, as is the site. Offline participation in community activities such as local events, fundraisers, charities, in addition to hosting your own events such as workshops or loyal client events, can all help you build community and expand the trust you’ve earned for your brand.
7) Be Consistency.
More often than not the people who succeed are the ones left after everybody else quit. The key is consistency in a company. Even if you’re not in the mood or not feeling motivated, do one thing to push the needle forward.
Consistency is a necessity for success. When beginning a new project there’s always that initial excitement that will keep you going but it can wear off. At times it is hard to keep this up. There are great tools out there you can use to keep you inspired.
8) Pay attention to your customers.
In the end, you have to observe your customers. No matter how busy you are, particularly in the early years of your organization, make sure to spend at least 25 to 30 percent of your time with customers. You can’t make the right business decisions without knowing the customer’s viewpoint.
9) Be Reliable.
Letting your clients down by failing to fulfill your own guarantees and brand standards can be especially harmful to smaller businesses that depend heavily on referrals. The foundation of brand loyalty lies in great service — a happy customer is a loyal customer. So be certain you aren’t making claims that you can’t keep — whether you operate a pizza business and pledge to deliver within half an hour, or are a painting contractor that promises to start work on a Monday at 9:00 AM sharp. Stand by your promises.
10) Thank people is crucial.
This is an easy one but may easily get lost in the craziness of running a small business. Show appreciation to all of your supporters; you never understand what kind of relationships could form. Clients are the lifeblood of your business. Showing them appreciation tends to cause them to feel valued that is so significant.