• Ellard Thomas, MBA

Pathway to Greatness: 7 Tips to Building a Successful Small Business in 2020

As a small business owner, you want your company to be a success. You want your organization to thrive both for the short term and long term. As you will learn, building a successful small business isn't hard, as long as you follow these practical steps.

1. Devise, implement and execute your business plan: Your business is more than your passion; it's a representation of your thoughts, dreams and desires. Yet, to ensure it reaches its full potential, you must have a plan.

Despite what other consultants say, it doesn't matter how long your or detailed your plan is, as long as it covers several essential points. These points to cover are a break-even analysis, a profit-loss forecast, and a cash-flow analysis.

A business plan is critical because it allows you to test your company's strategy on paper, before you fully commit to it.

2. Determine how you'll make a profit: Let me ask you a question. Are you in business to give away your products or service for free, or are you looking to profit from your hard work and excellent services or products.

A common mistake shared among many startup small businesses is a failure to identify a pathway to profitability. You must examine your business expenses' expenses, and then figure out how much you will need to sell to cover those costs and generate profit. This is known as a break-even analysis.

Once you've completed your break-even analysis, then you should consider how you're going to sell your products or services. A simpler way to say this is, consider your sales and marketing strategy. Many successful small business owners leverage a customer incentive program as a way to get leads without spending a fortune on advertising.

3. Identify your investment capital: Many small business owners cover their start-up costs, or initial operating expenses, entirely through loans. When starting a new small business, it could take months before reaching profitability.

To avoid defaults, or to limit your business debt, you should invest as much of your own money as possible. By doing this, you don't owe more than you can pay back.

4. Get protected: The majority of small businesses today are sole proprietorship's or partnerships. While these type of businesses are nice and simple to form, they also expose their owners to liability for business debts and judgments.

Although small business insurance can reduce owner liability, it's worth forming a corporation or limited liability corporation (LLC). These business structures will shield owners from personal liability, yet they also have more rules and requirements.

5. Think big, but start small: As I stated earlier, you want a successful small business. You want everyone to know your brand and desire to be a household name. But it's better to start small and build than to go for the gusto and risk losing everything.

The suggestion to start small isn't about being pessimistic. Actually, it's to help you. By smarting small, you ensure that you can survive the inevitable challenges associated with running a successful small business. The majority of successful small business owners who began with modest strides learned to recover and learn from unforeseeable circumstances. From these steps, they built multi-million dollar enterprises.

Starting off small doesn't mean you minimize the vision you have for your company, but rather ensure you achieve all you desire for it. Some small decisions are finding ways to maximize your sales and marketing budget as well as getting lean in your operations.

6. Strive to dominate: Being a small business owner doesn't mean you have to succumb to the tactics of bigger companies. Actually, your operating a small business makes you more agile and responsive to market needs.

One of the worst mistakes you could ever make is to 'compete' with other company's. This is what average business owners do. You, on the other hand, have the ability to do what others can't--deliver superior service as there's no one like you.

One of the best ways to dominate your market is to build strategic partnerships, maximize the 'right' social medium platforms, commit to service excellence and incentivize your prospects for being customers or clients.

By focusing on dominating your market, you centralize your energy on building your empire; not by comparing it to someone else's.

7. Be relentless: Do you remember why you started your small business? This may seem like an odd question, but it's one you should ponder. Your 'why' gives you the momentum to being unstoppable.

The key to building a thriving and successful small business is to be relentless. Business owners who posses this trait have the ability to bounce back during marketplace challenges. Through this trait, your business has no choice but to succeed.

Your business deserves to be successful. That being said, you should do everything you can within operational reason to ensure its success. That may require you to reach out to a trustworthy consulting company for assistance.

We at the K|E Marketing Group help small business owners with achieving their organizational and business growth goals. If you'd like help with devising a plan to secure your revenue goals, you may contact me directly.

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