Every great success starts from a small beginning. Everyone who runs a small business should remember that. Are you starting a small business right at your home? Be inspired because some of the largest companies in the world, such as Apple, Amazon, Google and Hewlett-Packard, have started their business in a garage. Are you an entrepreneur who is about to give up? Don’t surrender yet. Have the courage to go on because Bill Gates has even failed his earlier company Traf-O-Data before he finally hit big success in Microsoft. Business owners and entrepreneurs, whether they manage a big business or a small company, should all be committed to success. There are no exceptions to avoiding failure, especially for small business owners who can take full control on their companies than corporate business owners. To guide you in achieving your business goals, here are 15 tips to make your small business successful.
1. Have a great mission and purpose
Having a small business doesn’t mean you should also have a small and short-term purpose. Your business mission, vision and purpose should be permanent. You will carry it until the end of time. That is why you should think of a great purpose. Most successful businesses who start from being small to being one of the biggest in the world have achieved such success because they’ve built their business out from a great cause. Thus, don’t just aim for making money, but aim to change the world.
2. Execute relentless business and marketing campaigns
Small businesses may not have big assets and resources as big corporations have. They might not also unleash massive marketing campaigns like big companies do. However, this doesn’t mean they are already in a great disadvantage. Small business owners can still emerge victorious in the market competition by releasing small, silent and relentless marketing movements that can overcome their bigger competitors. These series of small campaigns become a big surprise when accumulated. The key here is to be strategic and persistent.
3. Leverage the power of social media
Do you have a small marketing budget to advertise and promote your business? That’s not a big problem. The social media is now considered as one of the best places in the existence to promote your products and brand – and it’s not that expensive. Learn how to get massive exposure online though blogging and building a network in Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, FourSquare, Google+ and other top social networking sites on the Internet. The secret to social media success lies in building great human relationships.
4. Rise with courage and prudence
Since you’re having a small business, don’t conquer a big market yet if you don’t want to experience instant failure. It’s just a simple law of supply and demand. You will be in trouble providing a bigger demand with your limited resources. Thus, take success one step at a time. Conquer first a market size you can afford to succeed. After that, set yourself to expansion. Remember that business success is not all about taking risks, but it is about taking calculated risks.
5. Be the best friend of the public
As small business owners, we are closer to the public. We can easily reach common people like us. Of course, this can be different if you are already a billionaire. But now that you’re still considered not too rich and too famous, take the opportunity to reach and build relationship with the masses. Get their trust, confidence and sense of belongingness.
6. Grow your people starting with yourself
People are the best assets of a business. Hence, you should concentrate on their personal and professional development. Start from developing yourself professionally, personally and spiritually. Grow your skills, talents, knowledge, values and virtues. Then do that also to your team. Teach, coach and train them well. Remember to always invest wisely on human resources.
7. Be the best solution
Even if you will set the price of your product to become more affordable; even if you’ll move your store to be more accessible to customers; or even if you’ll promote your products on the market more extensively, if you will not have quality, your business will not succeed in the long run. To have a successful business, you should provide an answer or a solution to people’s questions and problems. Therefore, ask yourself… is your business solving your customers’ problem? And if it’s solving their problems, is it the best solution available?
8. Unite your thoughts, words and actions
Be parallel on what you think, what you say, and what you do. Don’t promise if you can’t deliver. If you do that, you’re putting your business and yourself in danger. Learn how to say “no” if you don’t want to do it. Likewise, learn how to stand up if you want to get it. Don’t run after the profit, but run after your service and accomplishment. Don’t say yes to your customers’ order just because you will profit, but say yes to them because you’re sure you can deliver their order on the right quality and on the right time. You already knew the consequence of committing on something you can’t finish.
9. Be kind and generous
Have a heart on your business. Be generous in sharing your money, time and energy to your customers. Share your money by spending it on producing quality products. Share your time and energy by providing services with dedication. Share your love by giving customer care. Share your instant profit by allocating your focus on customers’ satisfaction. By doing this, you will share your instant profit, but you will claim your long-term profit.
10. Begin with something you won’t quit
Consistency is vital to every business success. It will save you money, time and effort. Hence, don’t start a business that you think you will only abandon in the future, but begin with a business that you can stand and fight for till the end of days. Failures can teach us many lessons of success, but never do anything intended for failure. Remember that a single act can be a habit. That is why make success your habit.
11. Have a healthy mind and body
Being busy in your work is not an excuse to ignore good health. Whether you’re a small or a multinational company owner, you should invest on your fitness. Take regular breaks and relaxations if you don’t want illness to send you to a long vacation by force and disrupt your business significantly. Your mind controls your body, and your body supports your mind. These two run your business. Thus, make sure that they are always sound and healthy.
12. Work hard after you plan hard
Diligence is one of the most important elements to success. Ask successful persons what is their secret to success, and most of them will answer it’s “hard work.” But remember that not all who tried to be hardworking become really successful. The reason is that those who tried to be diligent but failed did not really become diligent in the planning phase. In other words, they work hard without coming up with the right plan. In order to succeed, we should be diligent not only in executing, but also in planning. Most businessmen are actually lazy when it comes to strategic planning. Don’t be one of them.
13. Add passion to your patience
Patience is a great virtue. Passion is one of the most important key to business success. If you can have both of them, your way to a successful business and entrepreneurship can become brighter. Explore within yourself, practice reflection, and find your ultimate passion. If you’ll find your passion you will be more energetic and enthusiastic to what you’re doing. However, it doesn’t mean your business will be easier. But it will only become less difficult. That is why although you are passionate, you still need to be patient. To combine your passion and patience, make your sacrifices more enthusiastic and rewarding. Understand and realize that the production of our patience will lead us to a greater and more lasting profit.
14. Pay money, time and attention
Most of us know that we need to spend money to enjoy returns on our business investments. However, money is not the only thing that we should spend or invest to achieve success in business. We should also infuse our precious time and pay more attention to it. Just like our family, our employees don’t only need cash, but they also need their manager’s time and attention to provide their nonmonetary needs, such as recognition, welfare and professional development. Likewise, customers do not only need cash savings or discounts, but importantly, they need your care and attention to effectively provide them with the right solution and guaranteed satisfaction.
15. Distract your distractions – refocus
Learn how to fight and overcome your distractions. To successfully do that, you should know how to recognize them. Some of our distractions are obviously negative that is why we can easily get rid of them. However, other distractions may disguise as enticing opportunities that can lure as into grabbing them and leaving our original plans. This kind of distractions is actually the most difficult to overcome since most of us can mistakenly consider them as opportunities rather than distractions. Hence, be watchful and always maintain your focus. Our concentration is normally disturbed and you will usually see yourself out of focus. That is why you should learn not only to focus, but also to refocus.
Getting success is a continuous process. We are actually tasked to get success everyday and every time. We need to become successful from the beginning till the never ending. That is why if you want to become a successful business person, you should already achieve success from the time you conceptualize your business – the time you are planning for it. Then that success should continue to the time you execute it till you multiply and share it to others. As we discussed earlier, make success your habit. Finally, place success not only in yourself, but also put it in the lives of other people, which include your workers, customers, family and your community.