Every entrepreneur has a vision of where they see themselves 10 years from now. While it’s nice to dream big, it’s not possible (yet) to jump into the future and have a large corporation at your fingertips. Personally, I would like to be the CEO of an up-and-coming business that is built towards the future. For that to happen I have to continually remind myself to follow these suggestions.
Small business owners often believe that doing all the work themselves (marketing, sales, business development, accounting, legal, etc.) is the best and most cost effective way to manage a business. This might have been true in the past, but there is a reason that so many of these specialized positions are well paid. They do their jobs better then any entrepreneur can, and in the long run they will make your company stronger.
Let’s use online marketing as an example; while you could go around promoting your website to various blogs, newspapers, social media outlets and emails, marketing companies have the right tools and contacts to drive the most traffic to your website. They know the ins and outs of an industry that is growing everyday and can really boost sales with an effective online marketing campaign. While costs may seem high in the beginning, this is where I suggest you look at the bigger picture and how spending now will impact future sales.
This can be taken in many different ways; as times change, so must your business. We’ve seen this all too often with corporations that have relied on their brand recognition and their products to maintain sales year after year. For some of these company’s they will continue to shrink because they were not able to adopt as the market continued to shift. As much as you might want to resist change, it will come at your own demise.
Change can come in almost any part of a business, whether it is employee’s, location, marketing, or even customers, embracing change is an important part of development for any business. While change is not always good, it can create an opportunity to learn from these mistakes and hopefully build a stronger business.
Value Your Customers
It’s easy to forget about the customers you have when you are trying to find new ones to add. But it is just as important to maintain your current customers as it is to add new ones. It is important to build relationships with each and every customer so that they not only feel valued, but also feel like they are adequately taken care of. Don’t just worry about getting the sale, try and help your customer in other areas of their company so that you can build a higher level of trust. The more your customer trusts you, the harder it will be for them to leave, even if they can find a better price elsewhere.
While these suggestions can not guarantee that your business will be successful; these tips can help overcome the many hurdles involved with owning a small business. While there are more obvious tips to running a successful business, my objection was to focus on some of the areas we might take for granted. If you have any additional questions about running a business or would like to speak to me about some of your business problems, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.