If creating a successful small business were easy, everyone would do it. The fact is, according to a study by Intuit, 49% of small businesses have a chance of failing within five years. More than having a great product or an awesome idea, creating small business success requires a strategy and planning.
Here are 6 tips to help build a small business strategy that works:
1. Surround yourself with the right people.
The smaller your business, the more important it is to have the right type of talented and motivated people on your team. Hire employees and form business partnerships with people who have different skill sets and abilities and who share your vision, enthusiasm and dedication.
2. Define your audience.
While it would be great to say that your products and services are ideal for “everyone,” chances are … they’re not. Figure out who you anticipate will be your most likely customers. Are they male or female? How old are they? How much do they earn? What do they need? What do they want? What do they care about? What drives them to buy a product or service like yours? What needs do they have that your product or service meet? Tailor your marketing efforts — as well as your products and services — to this defined, target audience.
3. Keep an eye on your competition.
As nice as it might be to think that you are the only business out there, you aren’t. And you really can’t run your small business well without having a good sense of what your competitors are doing. Tune into your competition, and use the knowledge you learn to craft strategies for keeping your own existing customers — and possibly attracting some of theirs. If you’re not familiar with addictomatic.com, you might try typing your competitor’s name in there to see if it turns up any info and news you can use.
4. Remember that time is money … and money is time.
Time management can be one of the biggest challenges for small business owners. From driving sales and conducting business to paying invoices and payroll, there are just never enough hours in the day. Find ways to make the best use of your time and delegate what you don’t have time for to others.
5. Ask — and listen.
Want to know what’s more important than what you think? What your customers do! Their opinions matter. Whether it’s the information you glean from Facebook, a customer survey, or a face-to-face encounter, ask your customers for feedback and use what you learn to make your business better. Their input is priceless and can help you determine what works, what doesn’t and what else your company can do to succeed.
6. Stay positive.
Do you know the #1 reason why people start their own business? It’s passion, not profit. Rarely is starting your own business a “get rich quick” scheme. It requires time and patience — both to find your target audience and to generate the demand for your product or service. Perseverance is key.
Of course, there are many more strategies for crafting small business success. Perhaps you have one or two best practices of your own. Let us know in the comments below, tweet us @123Print or leave a message on the 123Print Facebook page.