Starting a small business can be stressful for most individuals. According to the statistics from the Bureau of Labor Business, Employment Dynamics have found out that approximately 50% of business with employees will be able to survive their fifth year running. This number tends to drop by 30% by the 10th year.
Unfortunately, this does not bode small business success. However, does this mean you should give up on your dream of starting a small business? And the answer is NO! By following these small business tips for success, then your small business success rate will increase significantly.
Small business keys to success
By understanding the vital small business tips for success, you will be able to grow your business with the utmost ease. Great ventures start from small beginnings and this includes small businesses
“A big business starts small.”Richard Branson – Virgin
Here are the essential small business keys to success you should always consider when starting a business
1. Creating a personality for your brand
Unlike the enterprise business level, in small business, you do not have the essential resources to create a face for your business. Fortunately, you have something way better, and that is YOU.
Some individuals might be wondering how they can compete with well-known and charismatic personalities out there; all you need to do is be yourself. This is what customers are looking for in a business person. Furthermore, most small business success stories revolve around creating a personality for their brands.
“You are not your resume; you are your work’’Seth Godin – Author
Customers always love individuals who are real such that they can connect and engage together. Your heart, authenticity, vision, and value are the aspects that separate you from other small business persons. These aspects can be the most significant resources you possess.
Consider building the personality of your brand by engaging yourself more in the business. The most effective way of doing this is by being yourself whenever you post or write a blog, speak at any industrial event or filming and instructional video.
During this moment, consider sharing your vision as well as values in the “About Page’’ or write an editorial that will explain in detail the reason for starting your business.
‘’People don’t ask for facts in making up their minds. They would rather have one good, soul-satisfying emotion than a dozen facts’’Robert Keith Leavitt – Author
2. Developing a strategic business plan, operational support system, and organizational structure
Small business succession planning is vital for future success. When compared to building a brand, this is not that exciting. However, these procedures are responsible for the success of your business or breaking up of the business;
- Robert A. Norman once explained on Business Know-How, having a strategic business plan is your business blueprint that fully describes your business, philosophy, concept as well as mission.
- On the other hand, an organizational structure is the procedures as well as a policy that is a well-lubricated machine; this includes job discipline as well as responsibilities.
- When it comes to the operational support system, it relieves management on a day to day routine activity such as tracking cash flow or scheduling meetings. This will aid you in focusing on tasks that will make your small business grow.
The three factors described above are essential when it comes to offering a clear understanding of your business’ progress and ensuring that you have the right and most effective system in place.
“85% of the reasons you will fail to meet customer’s expectation is due to deficiencies in the system as well as the process rather than your employees.Dr. W. Edwards Deming – Author
3. Avoid common mistakes
Avoiding common mistakes is among the key aspects of how to run a successful small business. You should always remember that by avoiding common mistakes, you will be able to increase the chances of success for your small business.
” Failure is not to be feared. It is from failure that most growth comes.”Dee Hock – Visa
Some these common mistakes include;
- Overestimating product demand or service.
- Entering a highly competitive market. Demand might be high; however, the market is over-saturated with product or service. The only way in which you will work your way through this is by having a distinct competitive edge.
- Failure to take into account overlooks costs. Expenses such as salary as well as purchasing equipment and an office should be considered. However, there are as well several other overlooked costs as you start a small business. By not factoring these expenses, you will not be able to utilize your resource, or you might end up throwing the budget out-of-whack by purchasing unnecessary equipment.
- Failure to plan for profitability. If you are looking for success, knowing your profit model should be your top priority. This means that you should be aware of gross margin in a sale as well as net margin and the amount you require in order to break even. These numbers are highly essential since they will let you know how your small business if performing.
4. Becoming connected to your community
As a business person, you should know that customers love supporting their local businesses, and this is among the keys to a successful business. By supporting the local small business, they will be able to benefit in various ways, such as improving their local economy. Additionally, supporting the local small business aids in keeping the community unique as well.
“You don’t build a business, you build people, then people build the business.”Zig Ziglar – Author
As an owner of a small business, you should consider looking for opportunities to give back to your community through; hosting fundraising drive, volunteerism, and even supporting non-profitable organizations. Moreover, you should consider attending local events and engaging the community through highlighting your esteemed customers or soliciting feedback. This means that you should always involve yourself in community activities; hence your small business will thrive significantly.
5. Your employees should be put first
One of the most practical small business tips and tricks is putting your employees first. You should always remember that your employees are essential; this is because it is their skills that aids in moving your small business. By putting your employees’ well-being and happiness first before everything, you will be able to boost the status of your small business significantly. You should build a committed team and continue motivating them.
Most successful business persons always build their relationship with their employees, and they as well encouraged a work-life balance.
“If we don’t challenge our people to live those values, then we become just another consulting firm.”Marty Osborn – Advoco
You might as well consider congratulating your employees on job well-executed, building trust, and showing them that there is an excellent reason for the job that they are contributing towards.
6. Retain your customers do not just acquire them
As a business individual, you should know that your customers are your business lifeblood. You will, therefore, need to acquire and retain them by doing the following;
- Advertise your services or products to the target audience through local TV or radio stations, a local newspaper, direct mail, ads, trade publications, internet listing, directory ads, charity events as we ll as co-op ads with suppliers.
- Premium and promotions of free trials, discount coupons, or promotional swag.
- Offering a top-notch customer service
- Coming up with a brand your local customers would like to support
7. Be well organized
By becoming well-organized, you will be more likely to complete your tasks and stay top of everything that has to be done. You might consider starting this by coming up with a daily to-do-list. Ensure that this is your top priority tasks and you cross them off once you have completed taking care of it. This method is not only simple but also highly effective when it comes to staying focus and ensuring that you have not forgotten any essential task.
8. Carving out a niche
Are you looking to get ahead of the competition? You should then consider becoming an expert on a specific topic and target a before establishing an industry. In order to achieve this you can do the following;
- Define your knowledge base or industry
- Consider breaking the board marker into a specific niche
- Become an advocate as well as an educator on your niche throughout the content.
- Assess your specialty by putting it into the test. You might consider using the SPAN (Subtopic, Pain, Attainable, and Numbers) method to achieve this.
- Take your content to different new individuals, just like writing guest posts.
9. Always analyze your competitors
Analyzing your competitor is not considered as a shady business practice. In fact, it is used by several business persons when it comes to improving their small businesses. This is because; you will be able to see and figure out your competitor’s weaknesses and know things that they are doing better than you by studying them. When you have such knowledge, you will be able to focus more on your personal strengths or ways in which you can improve the industry or market.
10. Protecting the flow of your cash
According to “In Search of Solid Ground: Understanding the Financial Vulnerabilities of Microbusiness Owners,” findings small business owner’s discipline when it comes to managing their personal finances, as well as business cash flow, is the real-secret behind small business success. If you would like to ensure that the small business you are running has a positive cash flow you should consider taking the below measures;
- Adjusting personal expenses
- Accelerating all the receivable collections
- Extending the payable schedule
- Adjusting the inventory levels
- Try to obtain a bridge loan if you are looking for immediate cash flow.
You should try and generate a cash flow plan for approximately 6 to 8 weeks in order to address any cash flow problems before it develops into a more significant issue.
11. Obtaining credit availability as well as management
Taking out a line of credit is something you would not want in a perfect world. Nevertheless, there are times in which you will be forced to take the line of credit as a small business person. This is often common when you would like to bridge a short term gap that is between the receivables and payables due to seasonality, business growth, or inventory enlargement. At times emergencies such as when equipment breaks and you do not have cash on hand that you can use in replacing it.
Irrespective of the situation, it is imperative that you will be able to obtain credit as a small business person whenever you need it. Moreover, with good credit, you will be able to receive more favorable payment terms as well as offer a payable float and getting set up with new salespersons.
12. Getting street credibility
Usually, when your small business succeeds, it becomes a part of your community. After all, entering a new geographical area will be hard for you to win over the established local business within that locality. In addition to becoming an active member of the community; you should consider using tactics such as testimonials, certifications, word of recommendation as well as professional presentation in order for you to earn credibility.
13. Knowing what you stand for.
“When it becomes easier for an individual to understand what you stand for as well as who you are, the easier it becomes for that individual to spread words to their friends and families.”Blake Mycoskie – Entrepreneur
You should consider taking Blake Mycoskie as an example; his idea is relatively simple and highly effective. In his company, whenever you make a purchase, the company goes ahead to help individuals who are in need. By doing so, they will end up knowing who you are, what you stand for as well as what you do.
As you start your business, you should figure out what you stand for and begin telling your story for it to become more comfortable for your customers to recall and share. You should note that this goes all the way to building your brand.
If you want your small business to grow and thrive significantly, you should consider following the above small business tips and advice. The above-listed tips are not only effective but also relatively easy to implement. As a small business person, giving these tips, your top priority will be able to boost the status of your business significantly and watch yourself grow from rags to riches within a short period.
Furthermore, in order for you to become successful, you should always learn from those who have attained their goals. Understand all the struggles they underwent before making it to where they currently are. As a small business entrepreneur, you might consider having a mentor who aids in shaping you on your road to success. Despite it being highly essential, having a mentor is not mandatory. As we conclude you should remember that:
“To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.”Thomas J. Watson – Businessman