As small business owners we want to learn the best practices to achieve results; to emulate good business practices and make smart business choices to properly establish/run our businesses. With our technologically advanced world, this information is readily available at the tips of our fingers. Knowing what we need to do to successfully run a business is what separates the small business owner with less experience and resources from the Fortune 500 CEO. To begin, if we can answer these questions easily then we are already ahead of the game:
Small businesses are defined as businesses with 500 employees or less. They may not generate as much money as large corporations, yet they are as important to the local economy, bringing new employment opportunities. Larger corporations may also outsource these small businesses who can provide a more specialized service or product.
What drives business owners to do what they do on a daily basis?
Business owners have a different mind-set than your typical day worker. What sets them apart is that they refuse to accept the status quo. They look at all the available options and are always looking for something better, if they cannot find it, they create it, it’s ultimately about finding the solutions.
With advances in technology, an increasing number of small businesses are moving away from a culture where employees commute to the workplace and allowing employees to work from home at least part of the time. For this to happen, companies are working at making internal changes. These include going paperless, which helps businesses to reduce clutter as well as save time and money. Additionally, becoming more environmentally friendly sends a great PR message to clients.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."—George Bernard Shaw
“If you think you can, you can, if you think you can’t, you can’t.” Believing that we will fail will unconsciously sabotage opportunities for success. We are our own greatest enemy and are responsible for our success and failures in business and life. It’s never too late for developing a blueprint to embrace a positive mind frame for our businesses/ourselves. Becoming positive involves working on our skills and internalizing what it is that we want. We are able to draw a clear picture of how we can grow/start our businesses.
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.”