It is our business to help small businesses succeed but what does success mean? There is no simple formula but there are simple ways of thinking strategically about how to achieve success for a small business.
Here are some tips:
1) Vision – What is your Vision for your business? Many researchers have stated that writing your vision in concrete terms helps you to organize and lean towards it.
2) Expertise – Become an Expert in your industry. Are you competent in what you do? Are you better than your competitor? What makes you stand out? State it.
3) Influence – Do you have a strong network? Are you well connected? Do you have klout online and offline? Do you have a following on Twitter , Linked In , YouTube, Facebook ABD , Facebook GPP, Foursquare, Google+?
4) Cash Flow – Do you have an ongoing stream of referrals and leads? Are these converting to orders? Are you customers happy – so happy, they are referring and even coming back for re-orders?
5) Marketing – Do you have a marketing plan? Are you consistently branding your business for maximum exposure? Are there ways to save time and money with marketing automation? Does your reputation help you in getting more clients?
6) Metrics – What measurements are you using to determine if you are achieving your goals?
7) Evaluation – Are you reaching your business goals within a give time frame? Are you disciplined with your own achievements?
8) Target Audience – Who is it? Are you reaching them? Are you creating lifelong fans that advocate for your brand?
Small businesses have the best of intentions but without these eight pieces, it is difficult to become a sustainable business. Often, it can be overwhelming as the “One” who has to think on so many levels but really “chunking” these categories and thinking clearly about how to approach and achieve each one helps. The last, most important piece that makes it all worth it is to continually explore your passion. This is what drives you to continue doing what you are doing. Would you do this work, even if you did not get paid for it? Do you LOVE what you do? Would you be willing to work on your small business, even when it is not normal business hours. BE TRUE WITH WHAT YOU DO.
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