Growing a small business into something much bigger than you could have imagined is no easy feat. Doing so requires hard work, dedication, and plenty of ingenuity to overcome the many challenges that arise along the way. Luckily, though, some entrepreneurs have already established the groundwork you need to follow in order to make your dreams come true. These 10 proven strategies from successful small business owners will help you on your path to growing your business into something much bigger than it was when you started out!
1) Start small, then grow
While it may seem obvious, starting small is critical. Don’t try to tackle too much at once. Be realistic about how much you can handle while still performing well in your current position. Starting small not only allows you more flexibility and adaptability but also keeps risk low. If your new venture fails, you haven’t compromised your main job security—and if it succeeds, you have a foundation upon which to grow into new areas and markets. And don’t be afraid of starting slow! A slow start doesn’t necessarily mean a failed start—it might just mean that there is still growth potential within what you are currently doing.
2) Market like crazy
According to a recent study by Gartner, On average, small businesses will have 14-24 customers at any given time who are actively trying to solve their problem. And only 3-5% of them will buy your product. (Note: This statistic is dependent on industry.) It’s easy for owners of smaller companies to get caught up in what they’re doing and not focus on marketing. According to Inc., if you’re not spending at least 25 percent of your time marketing, then you’re just working for money and have no business at all. You can turn yourself into an advertising powerhouse with less than 10 hours per week of work.
3) Optimize your website for Google searches
An online presence is crucial for any small business. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned entrepreneur, you need to be visible and accessible. One way to increase traffic and sales is by optimizing your website for local search (Google, Bing, Yahoo!). It’s simple: if your business shows up when someone searches for Italian restaurants near me, you’ll have a leg up on all your competitors who don’t do any SEO at all. It’s important to make sure that potential customers can find what they’re looking for when they Google your name. First impressions mean everything—make sure yours isn’t one that drives people away!
4) Focus on customer service
Achieving success in small business often comes down to how well you treat your customers. When a customer feels that you genuinely care about them, they’re much more likely to come back, spend more money and recommend your business to others. According to Entrepreneur magazine, 72 percent of people say they are more likely to buy from a company that has earned their trust. Take time daily (or weekly) and really listen (and actually hear) what your customers have to say. Find out what they need and go above and beyond their expectations. It will put you on a path toward building trust with your customers and potentially lead them from a happy customer into an evangelist for your brand — which can be invaluable for long-term growth of your business.
5) Hire great people
No matter how good your product or service is, if you don’t have talented people leading and working on it, you aren’t going to succeed. Finding great people isn’t easy. In fact, many small businesses don’t find great people – they hire good enough people. What happens when things inevitably go wrong? They pay more than they should and ultimately lose money over time because of poor employee performance. The best way to avoid losing money is hiring great people in a timely manner; when companies start looking for candidates, they should already have an idea of what their culture is like. If so, finding talent that fits that culture will be much easier.
6) Keep trying new things
The key to small business success is a willingness to experiment. Take advantage of unexpected opportunities, try new tactics and strategies, and keep your eyes open for shifts in market conditions that you can capitalize on. Don’t be afraid of failure; if your idea doesn’t work out, you can learn from it and tweak your approach until you succeed. Your ultimate goal should be constant growth—by keeping your finger on the pulse of what works and what doesn’t with each new project or product launch, you’ll continue building awareness for your brand while also attracting more potential customers. Always keep an eye out for ways to make improvements across all aspects of your company: brainstorm ideas with employees and consider what resources are needed as things evolve.
7) Stick with it no matter what happens
The first year in business is always a challenge, especially for small businesses. The majority of startups don’t survive their first three years, which has led many observers to conclude that entrepreneurship is not for everyone. But just because most companies fail doesn’t mean you will too. Instead of dwelling on why your company may never take off, focus on what you can do in order to make it succeed. Be flexible and adaptable as needed; whether you’re running a startup or an established company, there will likely be times when you have no choice but to roll with punches. Your business is a reflection of your commitment—if you truly believe in its potential, then keep pushing forward no matter what life throws at you!
8) Stay positive
People can tell when you’re down in a negative funk, and they don’t want to be around that kind of negativity. If there are challenges in your business—and, let’s face it, there will be—work on focusing on solutions rather than problems. Don’t let your own self-doubt turn into an obstacle that prevents you from moving forward with a project or idea. A little positive self-talk goes a long way toward creating a successful business and positive mindset!
9) Keep it simple
One of my favorite pieces of advice for small business owners is to keep it simple. If you are struggling with how your business can grow, stop focusing on growth strategies and focus on serving your customers better instead. After all, growing a business isn’t just about getting bigger or acquiring more customers; it’s about providing better value and being a solution in your customer’s eyes. The best way to achieve that is by keeping things simple: take care of what you do best, stay focused, and keep innovating (even if only internally). Soon enough you will see results.
10) Stay in financial control
You don’t have to be a finance expert or learn everything about money management, but you do need to understand how business finances work. Here are three critical issues small-business owners should know: cash flow, profit margins, and debt. Keeping your spending in check and your company out of debt is a good way to prevent cash flow issues—one reason for failure that small businesses will be most familiar with. Always maintain financial control; if you fall behind on payments or run out of working capital, it can put your whole business at risk. The more financially literate you are, the more effectively you can prevent failures like these and build up assets instead.
How United Funding Group can help
By partnering with United Funding Group for MCA, you increase your financial control and get additional capital for your business. Working with a lending source as a partner gives you access to new opportunities, whether it’s inventory financing or construction loans. United Funding Group offers merchant cash advance solutions tailored specifically for entrepreneurs just like you. You won’t be disappointed.
When you need funding, but don’t have a long credit history or sufficient collateral, you can rely on United Funding Group. We give business owners access to capital without having to put up their homes as collateral or pay exorbitant interest rates. In addition, merchant cash advance loans are easy to apply for and we offer same-day approval at times so you won’t have long waits between application and approval.
Contact United Funding Group today!
The first step is always to contact a lender to see what your options are and what kind of financing you might qualify for. United Funding Group offers competitive rates, straightforward requirements, and has a track record of happy customers. Contact us today by phone at (954) 287-4539 or via our online form. We look forward to hearing from you!