It’s no surprise that the worst thing you can do in life is compare yourself to others. It makes you think you’re missing out or makes you think you’re not doing enough, creating self-doubt and lowering your self-confidence… However, in the small business world, comparisons should be what drive you to success. See what your competitors are doing and know with confidence that you can provide a better service/product at a better price.
Keep your passion and create an organized plan for how to make your small business succeed. Below are several techniques to ensure that your small businesses grows. By implementing these strategies, you are well on your way to success.
1. Get organized, but not too organized
Small businesses appreciate Eric Ries Lean Startup method which is heavily influenced by feedback. Don’t focus on scaling or growing. Business strategy will come later. Instead, focus on just one client and get their feedback. Find out why they pursued you. Was it cost? Customer care? Speed?
Organize the key selling points of your product so you know how to reach the customers that want your service. Organization of your business will come later. Focus on one.
2. Stick to your purpose
There’s a saying in the entrepreneur world that entrepreneurs jump off a cliff and build an airplane on the way down. In a startup, all too often will people say, “Yes, I can do that,” and then scramble to figure out what “that” thing is later.
While getting income is important, your time is how you make money. When you jump at the chance to please, two things will happen. One, you’ll scramble to figure it out, spending hours learning something new when you could be doing what you do best for a fraction of the time. The second plausible thing that will happen is the customer will be unsatisfied with your end result. In that case, you’ve injured your client relationship, hurt your new business’ reputation and wasted a lot of time.
Avoid widening too much the scope of your work, and making non-essential commitments. Just because someone comes to you with a great idea does not mean that you should help move their idea forward. Stick to what motivated you to launch your company. Grow your expertise around your initial focus. Build that up first. If, people continue to ask for a different service, then consider looking into it in your own time or partnering with someone who can help.
3. Maintain your budget
If office rent is $1,000 a month, then factor ensure it stays that way. A budget is the economic blueprint to launch your business. By diverging from your budget, you fail to have backup funds. You also do not have a definitive financial picture for potential investors to reference. Your accountant will appreciate you sticking to your budget too!
4. Market your services
To get any small business up and running, a detailed and executed marketing plan must be in place. Have a communications plan that calendars out the when, where, what, why and how. Strive for messaging consistency: font, colors schemes, buzz words, etc. Also, be sure that you are making the most of all technologies, and know how those platform work.
Marketing doesn’t just happen from emails, social media, print, TV, radio and online marketing. Word of mouth is often considered the most effective marketing tool. Calendar in plenty of networking opportunities and in person meetings to grow your company.
5. Follow through with follow-ups
Be sure to follow up with everyone you meet that shares an interest in your small business. Even if a meeting with someone doesn’t turn out how you hoped it would, a kind follow up is still a must. Stewardship and kindness go a long way. Even if someone does not take the action(s) or bring deliverable benefits that you thought they would, they can still put in a good word to people about you and your business. You never know where your leads will come from.
By putting those five tips into practice, you are taking actions that can help your business now. These strategies will can also set you up for future success.
Don’t overthink it. Keep it all as simple as possible.