Sunday, January 20, 2013

10 Tips to Help You Succeed in Your Small Business!

Business Mistakes do not have to derail you.  
If you look at them correctly, they can be a great way to re-focus your business and find greater success than ever before!

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

We have all been there. We think we are firmly on the right path. We have done what we need to do and are ready to start or expand our own business. We are slowly building up our client base, providing a quality product or service, and generally on our way to success. Then it happens...................

As small business owners we all know that problems can seem to come out of nowhere.  
We also know that even if we are not at fault, these problems need to be resolved in order to keep our clients happy and our company on the right track.

Here we will share with you 10 lessons we have learned over the course of running our own small business.

10 Things You Need to Know about Small Business!  "Tweet This"

What We have Learned about Business:
  • You Need to Be Specific about the Scope of Your Business
The more you are able to find that “niche” in the market, the easier your road to success will be. By being specific, you are immediately able to set yourself apart.
  • You Need to Write a Business Plan
Putting your plan in writing gives it an immediate feeling of “reality”. It does not have to be a long, tedious document full of “legalese”. It does, however, have to be a map of your company. It should outline your purpose, structure, and operating procedures. Remember, this is not set in stone. Most likely it will always be adaptable ~ and this is a good thing!
  • You Need to Spend Your Time on “Smart” Marketing
First and foremost, you need to know where your customers are and Go There! Marketing is all about repetition. Make sure your name is seen frequently no matter what methods you choose.

  • You Need to Value Your Worth
One of the hardest things for many new businesses to realize is that “time is money”. When you are figuring out the prices for your products or services, it is important to factor in your time.

Each moment you spend has value. The lesson we needed to learn early on was to not short change ourselves. You may have to study your competition to get a feel for this, but it is worth it ~ and it will save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
  • You Need to Be Willing to Outsource
We are not all experts in everything. It is much more cost effective to outsource those things that we cannot or simply do not want to do. For example, we have outsourced our taxes from day one. We know that they are done right by our accountant and that he is more likely to keep updated on all tax regulations more than we ever would!
  • You Need to Stay Motivated
It is easy to be “gung ho” in the beginning. Sustaining that enthusiasm for the long haul is something else. That is why it is critical to do whatever it takes to keep things fresh and interesting.

At API, that means re-evaluating at the end of each year and re-inventing ourselves with what we have learned. Check out our end of the year blog article on this here. When we able to shake things up a bit, it keeps us both interested and committed.
  • You Need to Find What Works For You
It is important to realize that what works for someone else may not work for you. Copying someone else’s path to success will most likely result in your failure. Why? Because you need to think of yourself as unique!

It is important to focus on why you are different from your competitors, not how you are the same. As stated previously, find your unique “niche” and run with it.
  • You Need to Realize the Need to Separate “Professional” from “Personal”
One mistake many new business owners make is not realizing the importance of “taking a break”. It is not productive, or healthy, to spend all your waking hours on your business.

We have found that it is essential to “unplug” and recharge. We can then return to work refreshed and able to focus on the tasks at hand.

You can find out more about the need for downtime in "Stop ~ 
Why it is time for You to Unplug from Your Job!"

  • You Need to Be Authentic to Build Trust
Building trust is key to creating a "brand" that others want to do business with. You need to have a good grasp of the values under which you want to conduct your business. You then need to align your actions with those values.

Many business owners are under the misguided impression that true “honesty” cannot be accomplished in business. This is a big mistake.

Being “fake” or not genuine will be found out. Those that promise the moon but deliver nothing may win the initial battle, but will surely falter in the long war!
  •  If You Can, You Need to Go It Alone
“My mistake was putting my product in small shops and letting someone else sell it for me. I will never do that again. I lost sales and money.” -Veronica Nourse, The Cupertino Soap Company

No one knows your business like you do!  

These words cannot be said often enough. You know the direction you want to go, and you know the steps you are willing to take to get there. Face it, only you know your product or service inside and out.

Having the freedom to take your business in the direction you alone choose is exhilarating!

Just remember, making mistakes and learning along the way can be a good thing. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison
The bottom line is, despite mistakes and misdirections, you can succeed. By its very nature, running your own business is at times filled with uncertainty and fear. It is your ability to look past those mistakes and fears that will define you as a business owner and as a person.  

Please Share this and Leave a Comment. We would love to hear from You!

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API can Help You Succeed inYour Business!

Discover more About Us and our Hiring, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting Services too!

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