Running a small business is a big deal. This venture requires every ounce of your heart, your time and your resources. To say it is anything less than everything takes away from all that you pour into it. Mot business owners would be thankful if someone handed them the keys to success. Unfortunately, such an effortless reward, while nice, would mean little in the long run. Yes, it holds true that blood, sweat, and tears add value to our accomplishments. While success is not guaranteed, there are a few tips for the most successful small businesses that help your work result in profit and achievement.
Gather Your Support
Even the Lone Ranger needed a comrade. Building a network of support proves crucial to business success and your mental health.
How to Get Support
Keeping your eyes open and getting involved in the larger community, and developing a working relationship with a personal business coach, offers assistance in problem-solving and working through decisions. Finding support may feel daunting. It may even invoke fear. Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn help bridge the awkward gap. And, keeping up-to-date on local happenings through business groups opens doors to these types of relationships as well.
Identify Specific Goals
What overriding, exciting things are you trying to accomplish in and through your business? Identifying two to three wildly important goals (as termed by Chris McChesney in “The 4 Disciplines of Execution”) and breaking them into smaller yearly, even monthly time frames keeps you moving in a positive direction with a focus. Having too many goals can decrease the odds of achieving any of them.
Find Your Niche
The idea of being a jack-of-all-trades appeals to small business owners because you reach a larger market, right? Plus, the excitement and ideas that spark your plan are often difficult to contain. However, this model proves to be counterintuitive to business success. The adage, “You can’t be all things to all people,” applies here. Discover the one thing you do well and do just that.
Being a one-man-show or Lone Ranger can cause you to run out of gas fast. Identifying others with the skills you lack and freeing them to do the work increases productivity and profit. Plus, this single action releases you from trying to accomplish it all. Stay fueled and focused on your strengths by delegating where possible.
Freedom and peace of mind come with low overhead costs. Dips in revenue are more easily weathered without large rent payments and their associated costs. And, with the ever-booming age of technology, cloud-based services and virtual office realities make cutting overhead costs easier than ever. Get familiar with technologies and alternate services to discover which ones make sense for your company.
Update SEO Efforts
Search engines represent an unseen part of our everyday lives. And, as a low-cost marketing tool, the Internet and the effective use of SEO efforts benefit your company. Keeping current on evolving SEO strategies and implementing them increases your rank and reach. For instance, blogging enhances your visibility to search engines with quality content. And, through fresh, new blog postings, you provide what they are hungry for and gain attention.
It is not a secret that the world has gone social. Getting on board as a business with the technologies of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and more offers tools to success. However, these platforms constantly change and increase their offerings. For instance, a recent Instagram feature update called “Stories” just might work for your small business. So, stay on top of the game.
Not only are we a social culture, we are a people on the move. Businesses with mobile capabilities reach us quicker and with greater effect. Developing a useful, well running mobile presence meets the consumer where he or she is at and increases your success. Consider user likes and frustrations to increase the strength of your company’s mobile reputation.
Stay Focused, Stick With It
Diversifying too soon brings disaster. And, distraction breeds defeat. The most profitable business owners recognize successful venture requires 100 percent attention, focus, and effort. Giving other ventures into the hands of capable managers saves you from the distraction. Also, learn to manage your time and efforts to accomplish the important tasks of the day, not just the urgent ones. Keeping your goals before you helps delineate the two. Planning, knowing yourself, and using time appropriately and accordingly enables you to juggle your many tasks well. Finally, develop your perseverance. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort.”
Your small business means everything to you. Focusing your efforts, developing relationships within the larger community and keeping current with technologies which enhance your efforts prove wise investments of your time and money. These principles may not be the direct keys to success, but following their lead certainly increases the odds of unlocking it.
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