In the current small business environment, we all need to make the most of what little resources we do have. Here is a list of the top small business tips to help your small business thrive.
Best Tips for Small Businesses
The list covers internet suggestions and best business practices. I hope these business tips make your business more successful.
Know your competition
If you don’t know what your competition is doing you will never beat them. You must know what others in your industry are doing. How well are they succeeding? What are they doing that works? What are they doing that doesn’t work? Study your competition. Look at their website and try to find out as much as possible about them.
Know what you do best
You should focus on what you do best. Look at how you do your business. What makes you unique? Is there something that you do better than anyone else in your industry? Look for the unusual. These are things that you can focus on to bring traffic to your door.
Don’t be afraid to be different
When you are able to think differently you may be able to create the next big thing. Google thought differently. That’s why they are who they are.
Get your company domain name now!
If your company name is less than 15 characters you must reserve yourcompanyname.com right now. Godaddy/Namecheap are the companies that allow you to search and register your domain. A dot com will cost about $10 per year.
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Organize all the documents you have that describe what your company does
These can be used to create web pages or for creating advertising materials.
If you don’t have a website start one. People don’t use the yellow pages anymore. They use their web-enabled cell phones to find businesses in their area. If you don’t have a website they can’t find you.
If you do have a website make sure you are tracking its effectiveness
Google Analytics is a great free resource to track where your visitors are coming from and how effective your online advertising campaigns are. If you are not using Google Analytics sign up now.
Decide on a budget for all aspects of your business
You are not the federal government. You can’t print money when you run out. Based upon what you earn decide what you can spend on advertising, marketing and creating or developing your internet presence.
If you haven’t hired a website developer, do it now
There are many good developers out there that can help you get off the ground and then provide only the help you need. The Web Host Advisor can provide as little or as much help as you need for your small business.
Start small but think BIG
You have to have someplace to start. Shoot for the stars in your business expectations. It’s important to focus on only a few things or even one thing at a time. When you are starting out and decide to do everything well you will fail at everything. Do one thing and do it well.
Learn from your failures and the failures of others
There have been many people who have gone before you. Learn from their mistakes. The internet is filled with people detailing their mistakes and how they overcame them. There is no reason to duplicate their mistakes. Also, you have made many mistakes. Learn from them too.
You can’t do everything at once. Decide what is most important and focus your efforts there first. This may sound simple, but most of us fail to prioritize and fail.
Make sure you are using the right compass
I can’t count the number of times I have been working hard and well only to find out that I was trying to solve the wrong problem. A compass is anything that can help you find out what direction you are heading. This can be your mission statement, your desired outcome or even principles you rely on to decide what to do.
You need to study your industry, your own business and business practices in general. We must never stop learning. When we do we should stop leading.
Create a business plan
In this plan you should describe – what opportunity your business has to profit; who your competition is; who you are, what you do; how you are going to make money and possible sources for income; who is your target customer? What challenges will face?
Make sure your website pages are designed for correct search engine optimization (SEO).
This means that your web pages should be designed in a way that makes it easy for your potential customers to find you in the popular search engines such as Google and Bing. There is more to this than you might imagine.
Decide who you need to hire to accomplish the plan you have created. Do you need a web designer? Web Developer? SEO professional? Internet marketer? Salespeople?
Develop a social media policy
How are you going to use social websites such as Twitter? Who will be responsible for maintaining and updating these sites? There are free online applications such as dlvr.it that will automatically add your posts to blogs to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and StatusNet accounts.
Start a blog if you haven’t already
A blog is short for weblog and is an area of your website that can contain news, thoughts or updates. The internet is full of them. This website is a good example of a blog.
Decide how you are going to use your blog to develop and improve your customer relationships. Are you going to use your blog for seeking out new customers? Will you use it for maintaining and improving your current relationships? Also, will you use it for creating an email list?
Develop an email marketing campaign
I don’t mean junk mail. I mean how you are going to use email to let your customers know about your new products and offers. How will you encourage your customers to share their email addresses with you?
Make sure you keep track of all the little expenses
You must have excellent accounting practices to thrive in today’s business climate. If you don’t know how much money you have, you don’t know how much you can spend.
Reduce unnecessary expenses
If you are not receiving any return on your investment there is a reason for it. The business climate is changing. What worked 10 years ago will not work today. We need to change our methods as our customers change.
When your business is failing and you no longer can remain afloat, quit. There is no dishonor in knowing when it’s time to quit. This is a smart business decision. You can always regroup and start again.
I hope all the above key points clear your doubts about “how to run a successful small business?”. If you feel we miss any other important business tips please share with us by commenting below. Also please don’t forget to follow us on social media for more small business tips and advice.