7 Things Every Small Business Should Know
Network without borders – Never let artificial barriers prevent you from connecting with people from different backgrounds and regions. You never know if the person next to you on a plane or in a supermarket or at an event could be the one to connect you to your next big project or get you your next big sale. Wherever you are, always have your “networking” cap on. Organise and attend events related to what you’re passionate about.
Be patient – The statement “slow and steady wins the race” is always applicable. We live in a culture that wants it now, right now! An immediate return on investment. But business requires you to be measured and thoughtful about where you are going and what it will take to get there. To the serious, action-oriented small business owner – interested in longevity, success and relevance – a healthy degree of patience is a necessity.
Listen, more than talking – We learn so much more about customers and their preferences if we listen. There is no glory in creating a business with great intentions and making assumptions about what customers want. That’s a recipe for disaster. Listening more means your small business gains insight, eventual respect, and something every successful business is built on: loyal customers.
Collaboration is good – There is nothing wrong with looking good individually. Look good, and do good! But whenever possible, partner with another business on an online campaign, a community event, or perhaps even an advertising venture. Partnering with other small business owners has been one of the biggest trends over the last decade, and that will continue well into the future. It gets people talking.
Know Your Customers and make customer service a way of life! Knowing who the people are who are most likely to want to buy your products or services is essential and will allow you to create strategic, targeted marketing campaigns which will be much more effective.
Plan for Rainy Days – For small business today it’s important to always have a Plan B, in part to ensure your survival and in part to spur innovative and creative thinking at your company. Some things you can’t plan for. There’s a good chance that at some point, you’ll incur an obstacle you couldn’t possibly have foreseen. You should save a contingency budget to ensure a minor upset doesn’t become a major financial crisis.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Fail your way to success! Learn more, make a difference, connect with the right people, and invest in your dreams.