The economic conditions of recent years have undoubtedly impacted the way small business owners run their business. Despite encountering market, consumer and capital issues, visionary owners have looked for opportunities amidst all the uncertainty.
While it is difficult to generalize what they have in common, I do think there are several common qualities that successful small business owners share. In the video below, small business owner Royalyn Reid shares tips to navigate an uncertain economy, innovative ways to market and creative methods to reward staff.
Aside from the tips from Royalyn, here are a few more ways to position your company for success:
- A laser-like focus on the customer: Sure, we all know that it is our job to serve the market and take care of our customers, but successful small business owners prove that “great customer service” has to be more than words.
They live it. They breathe it. One thing is clear: success comes in large part by, not only understanding what your customers need, but by staying in touch with them, rewarding them for their loyalty and amending your business as necessary to provide the best service.
- The willingness to step out of the box: So often in business we get stuck in a rut. We stick with the comfortable, tried and true approach that has worked. While that may be a recipe for sustainability, it is not the recipe for growth. Small business success comes from doing what you do, and then doing something else.
That creativity and innovation leads to new product lines, new marketing ideas and new profit centers. Of course the downside is that not every new idea will
- The ability to adapt to change: The best small business owners are not afraid of change, but rather, they adopt and embrace it. While many of us (myself at the head of the pack) were slow to realize how significant social media was going to be, the owners who were early adopters got a jump on the rest of us. They didn’t whine about how much time it took, or complain that getting results was a slow process. Instead, they did what they had to do to stay ahead.
- Remembering old-fashioned values: It is so easy in this 24/7, always-connected, turbo-charged, e-world to forget that at the heart of business is people. If you take care of your people, they will take care of you. It may seem quaint, but offering something as basic (and yes, expensive) as a full benefits package helps foster employee loyalty and the end result of that is that your employees become, not just your employees, but your teammates for success and your loudest cheerleaders.
Taking care of your people doesn’t cost, it pays.
So, what creates small business success? Could it be as simple as asking what they want (they being customers, employees, spouses, the market and investors) and then giving that to them? Yes, it just may be that simple. What types of business tactics do you find works the best for your small business? Share your thoughts with the SBOC community below.
About Steve Strauss
Steve Strauss is one of the world’s leading small business experts. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. Steve is also the author of the Small Business Bible and his latest book is Get Your Business Funded: Creative Methods for Getting the Money You Need. A popular media guest, Steve is a regular contributor to ABC News Now and frequently appears on television and radio. His business, The Strauss Group, creates unique, actionable, entertaining, and informative multi-media small business content.