If you run your own small business, you are probably always hunting for fresh ways to drive more success and growth for your company. Business success is very rarely something that will just happen overnight; it’s a culmination of making the right decisions and investments and using smart strategies over time, plus making sure that you are working with the right people to help. Even if you have had a lot of experience working in business in the past, every company is different and running your own business is often very different compared to working for somebody else’s company. Every business owner will face a stage where they need to figure out what’s working and what’s not. In some cases, it’s entirely possible that a strategy that worked perfectly every time for you as an employee in another company is a complete failure in your own business.
Thankfully, there are several strategies that you can use to not only improve your own skills as a business owner but improve your company’s pathway to growth and make sure that you are on the road to success. Whatever industry your business is in and no matter how big your company is or how long it has been running, the following strategies can help you achieve the success that you set out to get.
It goes without saying that the more knowledgeable and skilled you are as a business owner, the better chance of success your company will have. The first step in the process is to take a look at yourself and ask yourself if you are actually holding your business back in this moment. Perhaps it’s a lack of experience, skills, or simply because you can’t keep up with the ever-growing list of things that you need to know, and that’s okay – you won’t be the first business owner to experience this. The good news is that improving yourself as an entrepreneur is easier than ever thanks to online learning programs like this online MBA Boston offered by Suffolk University. Enrolling in an online degree program can be an ideal choice for business owners, since they are much more flexible and self-led compared to traditional campus-based degree programs, allowing you to study at times that suit you best and fit your education around continuing to run your business rather than risking having to give one or the other up.
Improve Your Professional Network
When it comes to business success, who you know can often go an even longer way than what you know. Other people are often the biggest asset that you can have access to as a business owner, and the bigger and stronger your professional network, the better. Many business owners who went to college to get an MBA found that not only was the learning and education itself highly valuable to them as the future, but what was really invaluable was the other professionals that they were able to meet with and connect with as a result. You simply never know who you are going to meet who might be able to help you out in some way, from simply offering advice to investing large amounts of money in your company.
Use Data-Driven Marketing
How you utilize the data that your business collects can be the difference between a wildly successful marketing strategy and a marketing strategy that flops quickly. The sooner you get things right with marketing, the easier it will be for your business to reach its overall goals. Avoid making common marketing mistakes like relying on trial and error, failing to work with marketing professionals and leaving marketing to employees who aren’t trained in this field, or basing your marketing decisions on your own opinions and bias.
A common mistake for many small business owners to make is to zone in on what they think they would want as a consumer when marketing their business. And while this can be helpful if you’d be a member of your own target audience, it can become problematic if you are not. In addition, only using marketing strategies that you can relate to yourself could mean that you’re simply not reaching hugely relevant demographics of people who might be interested in your brand if the marketing was relevant to them. Analyzing the data that your business gathers can help you learn a great deal about who your target audience are and what they respond to best, helping you make much better marketing decisions for the future.
A healthy dose of persistence is always essential for the success of any type of business. Successful businesses are very rarely built overnight; it’s almost always a result of a lot of sustained effort over time, while never losing sight of your goals or losing the passion and commitment to what you do. The most successful entrepreneurs know that they are likely going to face a lot of obstacles on the road to success, and they make sure that they are prepared for whatever might come up for them on the journey. Being ready with a plan to get through, over, or around any obstacles that come your way while learning from the process to ensure that you can deal with the next obstacle to come along is one of the best approaches to have. Good entrepreneurs are ready for the failures and setbacks and they don’t allow these to let them lose hope. Instead, they approach them as challenges that can be extremely useful as a learning curve when figuring out what could be done differently in the future to avoid a repeat of a situation.
Motivate Your Team
Any successful business will usually require a team of good people behind it. Even if you are a sole trader without any employees, chances are that you might work with independent contractors, freelancers, and other companies to help you get the results that you want. Eventually, as your business grows, you will probably find that it’s necessary to hire at least a couple of full-time employees to help out with your increasing workload. A successful entrepreneur is somebody who knows just how important the right people are when it comes to company growth and success, and is the type of leader who motivates their team and has a passion for what they do that is infectious. While no employee is likely ever going to be as committed to the business as the person who created it will be, they will follow your example. And, employees that know they are valued, noticed, appreciated and invested in at work will often naturally be more motivated to ensure that they are instrumental in helping the company succeed.
Look for New Opportunities
A successful business is often run by somebody who is always looking for new opportunities for growth and progression. Consistently spending the time to look out for new opportunities and leveraging any opportunities that you might get is one of the best ways to secure the success of your business in the future. Whether you have an opportunity to appear in the local news, spend time getting the advice of an influential key person in your niche, or working in partnership with another company that might help your brand gain more exposure and interest, take the opportunity and consider how you might be able to use it to create even more for your business. Creating even bigger successes out of one success is an essential skill that will help you set your business apart from the competition and stand out for the right reasons.
No business owner is an expert in every single aspect of their business. Delegating tasks and hiring the right professionals or expert companies to work with you wherever necessary is often key to business success. And, trying to do everything all by yourself is a sure way to end up burned out and exhausted, leading to a much higher risk of making simple yet catastrophic mistakes. Some examples of tasks that you can delegate to others include:
Accounting is often a very delicate part of running a business that involves keeping accurate financial records, preparing financial documents, and dealing with taxes. If it’s not your strong point or you have never had any experience in accounting, it’s advisable to hire a professional accountant to delegate this to. Along with freeing up the time that you’d normally be spending trying to get to grips with accounting, hiring a professional means that there’s a lower risk of mistakes occurring, and your business is less likely to inadvertently end up in financial or even legal trouble.
Every business needs a strong online presence to succeed today, and content is the backbone of this. Good content, whether you produce blog posts, videos, podcasts, social media posts or a little bit of everything, can help you connect with your target audience and position you as an expert in your industry. Your content could be the difference between a potential customer or client choosing you or a competitor, so it needs to be high-quality and consistent. However, this can be time-consuming and difficult to achieve on your own. The good news is that freelance content creators can easily be found online, ready for you to delegate this aspect of running your business to.
Don’t try to take care of the legal aspect of your business by yourself unless you happen to be a trained and qualified lawyer. A business lawyer is one of the most important professionals that you can work with, not only when you are just starting out, but on an ongoing basis. Not only will they be able to help you draft key legal documents that your business needs, but they can help with various further legal aspects of your company such as getting the right liability insurance for what you do. And, you will be glad of them if your company ever ends up at the wrong end of a lawsuit.
IT and cybersecurity are becoming increasingly more complex issues for small businesses. Today, it’s no longer enough to hire an employee who knows a little bit about computers and put them in charge of all your IT. With small businesses now the biggest targets for cybercriminals, having a highly qualified and experienced IT team behind you is essential. But having this in-house is often not feasible, which is why more and more small business owners are delegating this aspect of the company to professional managed IT services.
Did you know that you can outsource employee benefits? By working with a PEO, or professional employer organization, you can get access to the best benefits for your employees at a fraction of the cost. This is achieved because employee benefits providers will often charge less per employee when a company has a large number of employees to cover. A PEO will generally work with several different businesses that are then grouped in together when getting employee benefits, allowing you to access more for less. And, a PEO can help with employing local staff, banking, operations and more if you decide to expand your company overseas.
Finally, trying to manage customer service all by yourself can quickly become overwhelming, especially as your customer base begins to grow. The good news is that even if your company is not in a position to take on full-time customer service employees, you can outsource to virtual customer service agents and receptionists who can take on tasks such as answering calls and emails or helping customers with their questions via webchat.
To propel your business towards success, it’s important to have the right strategies in place and the best people on your team. No matter what kind of business you run or how long you have been operating, consider these strategies if you feel that growth has plateaued or if you feel that it’s necessary to shake things up and make some positive changes.