Starting your own business is an exciting time, and most entrepreneurs have high expectations and goals in the early stages of building their company. Unfortunately, while many small businesses are incredibly successful and play a major role in our economy, the reality is that growth is often a slow process that requires long hours and tireless dedication. Not to mention, it’s very difficult finding and securing funding for your small business.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires a wide range of skills, and there are no shortcuts when you’re running a business. That said, these simple tips will help you do more with each workday and learn to be a more effective small business owner.
Many new businesses start with a well-defined idea, but changes and trends in the market can significantly alter circumstances for your company. Savvy entrepreneurs are always ready to make changes when necessary to keep up with the latest developments in their field.
With that in mind, it’s crucial to remain open to different ideas and approaches. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new strategies and go beyond what your competition is doing—failures are often the best way to learn in a business environment.
ACQUIRE THE BEST TALENT
Each individual hire has the potential to make or break a small business, as each of your employees has much more of an effect on your bottom line than the employees at a larger company with more established sources of revenue.
Attracting and retaining the top talent in your field is a great way to establish a competitive advantage, but you’ll also need to find people who are ready to buy in to what your business is doing. Working for a small company can be much less predictable compared to working for a major corporation, and you should be confident that your employees care just as much as you do about the business.
LEVERAGE EXISTING CUSTOMERS
Growing a business obviously requires you to reach out to new customers, but your existing client list is even more valuable. Providing an exceptional customer experience will lead to free word of mouth and social media marketing, and referrals often make up a large percentage of new clients. Be sure to take the time to focus on your customer relationships and listen to their ideas—client feedback is extremely valuable and can help shape your future decisions.
Many small businesses use customer loyalty or referral programs to further incentivize engagement with their brands. Offering exclusive discounts or other deals to clients that refer new customers benefits everyone involved, and it’s much less expensive than trying to market to those leads yourself.
Managing a small business can be stressful and overwhelming, but working smart is typically much more effective than working hard. These tips will help you find ways to differentiate your brand from the competition and generate organic, sustainable growth.
About the Author
Rae Steinbach is a freelance editor for Funding Circle.