Running a small business is demanding work. Despite the challenges of running our own business, we couldn’t be happier with our accomplishments – and the ability we have to work from anywhere other than an office cubicle. We’ve been building our business for several years, and amidst our own achievements and failures, we’ve identified five strategies for success that can be applied to any business owner in nearly any industry.
- Have a (Flexible) Plan
Plans are an absolute necessity for any business owner. Long-range plans – a vision for your business and its growth over a period of years – are certainly a part of that, but daily, weekly, and monthly plans are important, too. Plans help you maintain a course of action and stay true to your core business, which is especially important when facing challenges. However, plans should – and do – change, making flexibility a key component of your success. Your business is likely to grow in unexpected directions. Having a road map will help keep you grounded, and your willingness to take a new route will bring opportunity.
- Find Your Niche
It can be tempting to want to do it all, but being a jack-of-all-trades as a small business owner will not necessarily win you the favor of your clients. Focus on what you excel at doing, add additional services or products that clearly align with your core specialty, and be willing to outsource the tasks that cost you more time than you’ll recoup in ROI. Outsourcing may look expensive on paper, but it’s often an easy way to manage your costs while allowing you to focus on what you do well so that you can grow more quickly. Particularly when you are a service business, when you focus on where your talent lies, you have a better chance of establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
- Leverage Social Media
If you’re not on social media, you need to get on board and fast. Developing a social media presence is akin to having a sign on your storefront that people see when they walk or drive by, only it succeeds no matter where they live. Social media is more than a sales tool; it’s relationship-building, lead-generating magic. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter help you increase your visibility. Social media helps you connect with your consumers where they already spend time. There is enormous potential for social marketing, and it’s never been easier to engage with your audience.
- Stay Lighthearted
We can’t stress how important it is to find humor in your daily business life. You’re going to make mistakes, work with clients who demand your open-mindedness, and experience technical glitches that you can’t do anything about. The ability to laugh and diffuse stress is critical, and it will keep you waking up fresh each morning, ready to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead. You may be a business owner, but you’re still human. Don’t take everything so seriously, and try to keep a positive outlook.
- Remember Your End Goal
As a small business owner, there are going to be days when you wish you weren’t the one in charge, and you might wonder if you can handle it. You know what keeps us going sometimes? The thought of having to return to corporate life or color inside the lines. Just the thought of returning to cubicle life convinces us to stay the course and find the energy and discipline to make it through the tougher days. Celebrate the small successes along the way.
There are many different routes to success, but these 5 strategies have proven to be vital to the growth of our own business. If you’d like additional tips on how to improve your own business strategy, contact us for more information.