Personal Development

10 Secrets to Small Business Success

small business success
Written by James Irvine

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Have you ever wondered what might separate a thriving business form one that is struggling? Could it be the business idea? Or the business plan? Or may be the execution of that business plan. It is not always a single variable that can take a small business from nothing and raise it up to become business success stories. Several factors can add up to make or break your business. According to various professionals, here’s are 10 things that you need to do for small business success.

1. Take pleasure in what you do

Starting up a new business requires a lot of hard work and late nights. There is much research on entrepreneurship that backs this fact that you will burn out more easily if you are doing something that does not excite you. Being passionate about what you do will help you from stressing out frequently. It will also keep you more focused towards your goals and you will always have a clear head to make important decisions. These decisions made at the early stage are very important for small business success. Taking pleasure in what you do prevents the business from becoming a burden or a responsibility.

Once this happens you will never get tired of exerting yourself and putting in extra effort. Working for something that does not please you will make you sad and depressed and your mental and physical heath will go down. Sadly, when that happens your small business follows as well. Try not to loose touch with your small business and take steps to keep your business as stress free as possible. This can be done by taking following simple steps:

  • Do not mix business and family
  • Hire strategically
  • Have a good relationship for the people working for you

2. Manage your time strategically by allocating your time according to your priorities

Things that have higher priority should be given more time than things that are urgent but are not important. Time management can help a young entrepreneur organise himself and his business and keep things in order. Time management is key to having a balanced work-family relationship. Allocating your hours to work means when it time for your business make sure that you are doing nothing else. Log your time and keep track of what you do everyday. This will help you visualise how you spend of time and you can see how you are spending your time. This will help you in keeping track of whether or not you are going according to plan. Anything that is not work related should be ignored completely. Time management for small business success can be done using following easy steps:

  • Set aside some time everyday to plan your day
  • Prioritise each and every task you have
  • Avoid wasting time on unnecessary items
  • Identify the things that are distracting and get rid of them

3. Help the community around you

Helping out the community around you will give you good PR and a healthy image. This will definitely bring success to your small business by earning you some loyal customers. These customers will stay with you for a long time and will stand by your side when times are tough. A small business can definitely boom if there are loyal people buying its product. Community services can is like good publicity which can do a lot for your business. Taking interest in local charity is a good PR for business. However try not to get carried away. It is never wise do donate large portions of your income in the very beginning. Learning to say no is as important as building good PR. Community service for your small business success can include:

  • Preferring to employee your own people
  • Making your workplace Eco-friendly
  • Make appropriate donations, nor too big neither too small

4. Focus on what is important

Prioritisation is the key to having a successful business – big or small. Your business can rise from ashes if you learn to prioritise the right things at right time. There is only one question that needs to beanswered when you are ordering tasks according to their priority. It is very important to keep asking yourself whether or not the task you are doing it important. According to Stephen Covey, tasks should be ranked across four metric: important, not important, urgent, not urgent. Tasks that are important and urgent come at the top of the priority list and the rest under that. Focus on things that bring success to business and make them your priority and leave everything else to later. Here are some more things that can bring your small business success:

  • Learn when to stop. An incomplete task should take priority over something that is not perfect
  • Prioritise the hard things. do them rst and move to the easier things next.
  • Prioritise attainable tasks
  • Set goals, it helps in setting priorities to the tasks

5. Consider the ripple effect

Money is of great importance in business world and especially when you are running a small business. People, when they are starting a small business, only consider the amount of money they initially have to spend to start a business. They do not consider other things that they might have to pay for along they way. They therefore are not prepared for it. This often causes trouble for them when they suddenly have to pay for an unexpected major expense. To prevent this, the professionals recommend a strategy called the “Ripple Effect’. According to this the person starting up a new business should overestimate the capital and the time required to finish up the task by 25 percent. This way, the owner will be prepared for any unexpected surprises.

However, it is important that the money kept aside is not spent on charity or other unimportant things. This is the safety money and should be kept aside for difficult situations. So for small business success, it is important that there is always some cushion money placed somewhere that can be used when needed. If you think that the money reserved is not enough, it is always a wise step smartly save some money from daily operations and keep it aside. This should only be done if the money taken out does not compromise the quality of the operations.

6. Growth should be managed properly

Unmanaged growth can cause your business to collapse and sometimes there is nothing you can do about it. That is why it is very important to manage it closely. The key element for the positive growth is the transitional management. This means that the business owner needs to share his knowledge and expertise with people he is working with. Failing to do so will put the entire venture at a risk of downfall. The purpose of sharing the knowledge is to help his employees or partners see the bigger picture and help him in solving the problems that might come later. Another that an entrepreneur should do is to adapt to his responsibilities. Hiring the right people at the right time is also very important to help the small business grow. You do not want to hire too many people and them pay them for just sitting there and doing nothing. On the other hand, it is also not a wise thing to hire very small number of people and over work them because this will compromise the quality of their work. Simple steps to your small business success could be:

  • Make sure that your employees log everything they do.

That way you can see if you have the right amount of man power.

  • Make sure that the people you hire have the right the right skill set

Don’t hire someone because you might need them sometime in future.

7. Sell your service and give away your product

The small business will excel only is the entrepreneur is good at selling what he does or create. For this it is important that you are honest are ready to go extra mile. Honesty means that you do not lie to your customers and this counts as good customer service. Being truthful about what you are selling and its drawbacks can be actually very beneficial to your business. This way your customer will know exactly what he is buying and well prevent lawsuits in future. Going and extra mile for customer is also very beneficial for your business. This can be done by analysing the culture and communities that surrounds the client. A happy and satisfied customer who trusts you can bring a significant amount of business.

8. Be careful about side ventures

As stated above, growing too fast can actually do more harm to your small business than good. Growth is not only connected to hiring more people and taking on more projects. It also means purchasing expensive equipment or starting a new side venture. When you are making steady money, these kind of things do become more appealing and you drawn towards them more than usual but you cannot just recklessly spend money at things just because business is steady.  Too much fun can sometimes means that your small business is heading towards disaster. This does not mean that you should stop having fun. All you have to so is focus on your business and ask yourself the same question every time you buy something expensive for yourself: Is this going to disrupt any of my business related operations?

9. Keep your employees happy

Managing your human resources is a very tricky thing. If done properly, it can take your small business to the top. For your small business success it is important that your employees are working hard and with dedication. This is only possible if they are happy and love you as their leader. To attain this it is very important that you take care of them, understand their needs and requirements and give them what they want. After all, they are exerting themselves to make your dreams come true. However, there should be a balance between giving them what they want and the business needs.  You should trust your employees but not to the extent they take advantage of you. Be kind to them but also be alert where you see that certain rules are being compromised. Be friendly with them but also keep it professional. Other ways to keep your employees happy is to :

  • Praise them publicly but if you need to correct them don’t do that in front of everybody
  • Don’t be parsimonious in when praising them
  • Allow them to come up with their own schedule and prioritise their own task
  • Never make them do something that they are not confident about unless there is no other way
  • Offer rewards for exceptional works

10. Networking is very important for businesses, especially for small ones

Staying connected to the other people with small business may help you in keeping an eye on the things that are happening in the industry. This can lead to very successful mergers and partnerships that might help the business. Networking with the community around you can be just important. Talking to people can most certainly help you in coming up with new ideas for your product. They can also help you solve the problems with your product that you previously overlooked. Make sure that you do following things to ensure your small business success:

  • Keep a team of trusty lawyers, analysts, accountants and other professional to help you come up with partnerships and mergers
  • Create a focus group that could talk to people and come up with ideas to improve the product or services
  • Represent your product/service on social media
  • Join social media to keep an eye on latest market trends

Other things such as keeping a positive attitude in hard times, effective insurance coverage are just are very important components as well. However if the above mentioned things are taken care of properly your small business can avoid all the pitfalls and grow successfully.