For many entrepreneurs, being their own boss is the epitome of the American Dream. Building a successful business takes grit, determination, and perseverance. Follow these four tips on your journey as you establish and grow your own small business.
1. Stay Lean Financially
Keep that belt tight. Start-up businesses often fail due to an inability to execute on a profitable business model. Keeping expenses down, especially before your revenue stream is firmly in place, is a good way to keep afloat as you get established.
One of the best ways to stay lean while growing as a company is to focus on the key components: the items that your business needs to deliver on promises to your clients and the promises you’ve made in your marketing strategy.
Frills aren’t necessary as you start out. Recognize that some things like a fancy office space and expensive furniture are not business necessities required to grow your business. These perks can wait until your business has earned a strong profit.
2. Networking Is Essential
Networking is a must when running your own business. The people you meet while networking may help you with all aspects of your business—as employees, clients, or contacts within your industry. Treat networking as part of the job requirement and allocate time in your work schedule to make connections. Scheduling it into your work day can ensure that you make time for it, just as you would allocate time for a client meeting.
Use the old-fashioned shoe leather approach. This means put your feet to the pavement and get out there. Social networking and social media certainly have their place in small business, but so does face-to-face contact. Allow your contacts to put a face to a name, and remember that, if you’re a sole proprietor or a small partnership, your name and your face are your brand. Have fun and share your enthusiasm about growing your business with those you meet.
3. Marketing Is Telling Your Story
Marketing is simply figuring out what your company’s story is and sharing it with potential customers. Create a narrative that explains how your business was conceived, how your brand developed, and the future aspirations you have for your business. Be sure everyone that works for you is familiar with and understands the story of your company and is able to share that narrative with others.
Business doesn’t have to be all serious, all the time. Keep it light! Make the process of working with your company friendly and easy for your customers. You want your clients to be so happy with their experience that they are going to go out and tell their friends about it—creating a casual word-of-mouth marketing team made up of satisfied clients.
4. Never Give Up
One of the biggest keys to success in business is to never give up. When you feel like you’re up against the wall, find a way to stick with it. That’s why it’s important to stay as lean as possible financially so you have staying power. Keeping expenses down ensures that your start-up can weather the inevitable bumps in the road as you grow.
Starting your own small business might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. A savvy entrepreneur uses networking, creative marketing, and perseverance to grow their brand. If you work hard and stick with it, someday you may exceed even your own expectations.
What are the key things that smart entrepreneurs know? Stay lean financially, build and use your network, and creative marketing. Add in the element of grit during tough times, and you have the secrets to building a titanium-strength company.
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