10 business tips and advice for small business owners success
Starting a Small Business as a entrepreneur? Looking to expand on your already successfully established brand with some good advice or tricks? Here are 10 business tips for small business owners that will make or break your long term success.
Small business tips | 10 business tips and advice for small business owners success
Tip 1 : Social Media, Be where your customers are online and offline.
We have many different online social media platforms, and as a online marketing tool is is extremely powerful. As users, customers and other businesses spend so much time on social media its a key place for your start up to be present.
The key to this is advertising where you clients are, for example brides love images on pintrest when deciding on wedding accessories, a wedding decor small business this would be a great place to reach potential clients.
Its important to note that in social media brands get better results by providing information rather than pushing for sales and leads, so you will need to develop a strong content marketing strategy. Its a great way to communicate with leads and establish a brand presence in your niche.
Now I know we live in a world of social networking, internet and email marketing but dont underestimate the power of going out there with some print media and a good product and service.
Go where your customers are...
small business marketing trends
Customer retention and referrals
Tip 2 : Create a referral asking process
Its strange how so many small businesses ( my business included ) skip this business tip. Create a process within your business model that encourages customers to refer your services.
Your business could offer a referral fee, now you may think that is going to cost us right? Here's the truth of that, it costs 3 to 5 times more to acquire a new client as compared to selling to a existing customer, , and this referral is essentially a half way sold customer.
The big key to this however is to provide a service or product that is above expectations, good advice and strong industry experience, that encourages customer retention.
Tip 3: Research Business news and understand your market.
Market research is something we have been taught about since basic economics classes in school. Do your remember those S.W.A.T analysis business plans they taught us?
So you know its important, but I dont think it is emphasised enough how deep your market research should be. Know your target market, tailor a email marketing strategy, a content marketing strategy to them. Know what their problems are and offer a solution. Know what they do in their spare time.
Find common interests that don't directly relate to your business as a way of reaching out on another front without looking like your pitching for a sale.
For example, I create web designs, branding and graphic design. I could write about responsive design and the latest programming languages all I want however... I know most of my prospects are either startup businesses or small business owners looking to go online or re brand.
That set of people are likely also searching the topics of business such as... you guessed it how to grow your small business or small business marketing trends ( see where I am going with this ).
Tip 4 : Use your competition
Competition in business is healthy for consumers, it lowers prices of products and services across the board. You probably hate them for various reasons.
I love my competition, why ?
They show me what works in terms of business strategy and what doesn't, saving me lots of testing time. They are part of my time management strategy. They cant do the same to me because corporate or medium sized businesses aren't agile and have a ton of red tape to run through to stop a process that isnt working.
Researching your competition is one of the fastest ways of knowing what to do and what not to do in your business but don't stop there.
Whatever you decide to adopt from them, spin it and do it better.
If I could get all the clients in my local market, even with outsourcing. I would have to say no to some customers, which is a brand killer. Tailor your business strategy so they get the clients you don't want.
Tip : 5 Start small and use your agility
Everyone wants their small business to be successful, with multiple locations and loads of revenue, but you have to learn to walk before you can run. Don't spread yourself too thin or take on too many expenses at the beginning, especially if your income might take a while to catch up to your ambitions.
By starting small, like local marketing, you ensure that you can survive the inevitable hiccups associated with running a small business. Being small allows you to turn and change failing policies much faster than a larger company who have to go through a bunch of corporate red tape before they can control the damage. It allows you to create and approve business proposals before your franchise cousins.
Those entrepreneurs who begin with modest direct capital can recover and learn from their mistakes without taking on a lot of debt.
Tip 6 : Establish a passive cash flow.
Business for the most part will always have its ups and downs. Markets skyrocket and dive business trends come and go, its inevitable.
A crucial piece of advice most business owner ignore, " It is imperative for your business strategy to include establishing a passive income."
Establishing a passive income, one that is consistent and doesn't have to be a massive revenue will go a long way in ensuring you dont have to close your doors when you have a few slow months.
tip 7 Expand on your established market.
Acquiring new clients is at the forefront of most entrepreneurs minds. Expensive advertising, long hours devising new online strategies and valuable time going into reaching out via email marketing campaigns and website search engine optimisation.
While getting new clients is important for any business you need to find a balance between that and expanding on clients who already use your service or product.
Think about it, if you have provided them with a successful product or device in the past, when they require some other product your brand in most cases would be the first choice. Provided you kept contact and you offer that product or service and it was above expectation.
Looking after your existing client base is inexpensive, you already know them well enough, is their anything else you can try to sell them? Their conversion rate is much higher than new clients. They are the heart of your business while new clients are the growth.
content marketing strategy
Tip 8 : Make a process for everything.
I not talking about a 10 page manifest on how to deal with selling a product b to client a, but there should be a process established for most tasks through business software or even written down in some kind of manual. This should span across all areas from bookkeeping, marketing tools, target market information and interests right down to the lifetime value of your clients.
This not only reduces costs of production, through better time management, but also increases your potential product or service output.
You have heard many a time the time is a valuable commodity, and its true, cutting down service or production time in a business allows you to focus on a greater number of projects, business strategies or other initiatives that could grow your small business.
Tip 9 : The right way to Client testimonials
They call it the peer review, and when asked in online surveys 80% of prospects converted to a service or product because of a testimonial.
As with referrals be proactive in asking for testimonials, it offers a unsurpassed credibility when done right. You should tailor your testimonials to your prospective target. If you're dealing with a mid-sized company, for example, you should use testimonials from other mid-sized companies you've done business with, rather than from your largest customer.
Don't use all the testimonials you gather but the sincere ones, customers can quickly see through testimonials that are fake, or just written to please the request.
Tip 10 : Run your business like a business.
Far too many business owners run their business like an extension of their personal finances.
One thing that successful business owners know very well is that you need to spend money to make money they keep up to date with marketing trends.
A key factor in this working is what successful business owners do so well. They know their numbers staggeringly well. They know if i spend 50 rand I will make 70 rand. So lets say after subtracting the advertising costs and other peripherals I am are left with 10 rand clean profit.
Now take 5 rand be re invest the other 5 into the business to yield a bigger profit in the next cycle.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. We realise that each of these tips could constitute a article on its own.
Please feel free to share your thoughts or own tips in the comment section below. As long as your mind is open one could always learn new things.