Networking is the most important tool used by any small business looking to grow. It is the “linking” together of individuals/community who through trust and building relationships promote each other. Networking in today’s competitive market can open new doors of opportunity through new connections and can educate us as we absorb knowledge from more experienced entrepreneurs we meet. It is more important than ever to know the "dos and don’ts" of networking effectively and to properly put them into action.
What makes you different from your competition is your “differentiator.” This is a characteristic that separates you from your competition and gives your market/target audience a perceived advantage. To do so, it should meet three important
- It must be something that is true.
- It must meet a need and be important to your potential market
- Your business must be able to demonstrate that it can do it.
As a small or large business the most important question is “What would I like to know about my customer?” Knowing your customers well is essential to long-term success. It puts any business in a great position to get attention. Understanding your customer demographics allows your business to establish relationships, creating an environment of trust which translates into sales. Outsourcing a business consultant is a great solution for businesses to help create value for your small business.
For any business follow-through is the key to building trust and is what gets things done. Follow-through is based on action and involves meeting deadlines and honoring guarantees. According to famous entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn:
“One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.”
Many entrepreneurs struggle with how to best use social media as a means to engage their audience and promote their business. According to statistics, 46 percent of online users count on social media when making purchase decisions. Social media advertising is forecast to grow to $11 billion in 2017. Savvy entrepreneurs are aware that it’s all about engaging the right audience through offering valuable content, seven out of 10 consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information available on a social media site (comScore Networks/TMP Directional Marketing).
Success comes through first-hand observation. The most successful entrepreneurs have worked in the industry in which they start their business or have personal experience and/or understand it firsthand. The top four things a small business/start-up must have in order to succeed are:
Did you know that 54 percent of all sales in the U.S. happen due to small business? According to a study by Constant Contact, 84 percent of small business owners would start up a business all over again if given the opportunity. The motivating factor is the ability to both pursue a passion and gain freedom.
What can a business coach do for my business that is different?
With 2017 just getting going, it’s important to focus on attainable goals and begin the New Year with new goals and habits in place by transforming our ideas into realities. Whether you're looking to grow your business or taking a leap with a new start-up, reflect on your business progress over the past year and research how comparable successful businesses have developed. Take into account your own strengths and weaknesses. The most successful businesses outsource business coaching. Business coaches are able to see what is missing and accurately identify blind spots.
Keeping track of what is new in technology can be near impossible for small businesses; but is a task that must not be overlooked. With advancements in technology, there is heightened customer expectation of accessibility 24/7. It's important to stay on top of things to meet customer expectations, but few people launching or running a business have the time or expertise to spare. This lack of technological knowledge by small business owners is often due to limited time /resources, fear of the unknown, and little to no experience with technology. It can lead to costly mistakes such as: