Whether you’re starting a new business, or you’ve been at it for a while, you know how tough it can be.
It seems like businesses come and go all the time. That’s because they do. About half of all small businesses make it to that coveted 5th anniversary.
Would you like some small business advice to help your business stick around for 5 years and beyond? Keep reading to learn the top small business tips for entrepreneurs.
1. Do Your Research
You may have a great idea, but do you know if people are interested in what you have to offer?
Too many entrepreneurs don’t take the time to understand the marketplace before they go to market.
For example, let’s say you want to open a new boutique gym that caters to moms. You find a location, invest in equipment, and open your doors to great fanfare.
A couple of months later, you realize that there aren’t that many families in the immediate area and most of the families are on the other side of town.
They’d much rather pay less and they don’t want to drive too far. Plus, there are so many other gyms in the area, you’re just another gym to them.
If you did your research on the competition and the target market you would have learned all of this beforehand.
2. Learn Math and Finance
Many people aren’t a fan of math. As a business owner, you have a huge responsibility to learn math and finance. You just don’t have a choice.
One of the top reasons why businesses shut down is due to the lack of cash flow. You can enroll in a class at your community college or find a class online.
You want to make sure that you understand basic principles like income, sales projections, startup, and operating expenses.
3. Be Consistent
Business owners get sidetracked too often. You may be excited to start a new routine that will help your business grow. A couple of weeks later, something happens, and your new routine falls by the wayside.
In anything you do, especially marketing your business, consistency is the key to success. You simply can’t do a blog post every six months and think that will make your business a massive success.
The more consistent and reliable you are, the more people will trust you. The more trust you build with your customers, the more likely they are to buy from you.
4. Be Patient
Don’t give up! That’s something you’ll hear often and it’s very common for business owners to try a new marketing strategy for two weeks and give up. They’ll say that it didn’t work.
It didn’t work because they didn’t give it enough time! Two weeks for a marketing strategy to take shape is nothing. If you’re going to try something new in your business, give it at least 90 days and measure your progress.
5. Always Sell on Value
Pricing is one of the most difficult things to determine in business. You have to balance profitability with what the market is willing to pay for your product or services.
Where most entrepreneurs get stuck is they look at what others are charging and set their prices accordingly. They don’t take into account the profit margins and they’re soon in the red.
They also sell their services based on price. If you compete on price, your profit margin will be razor thin and you’ll have to make up the difference in a lot of sales.
When you sell on value, you can create a higher profit margin, have fewer customers, and have the space and energy to serve them well.
6. Have a Very Strong Brand
Your brand is the core of your business. It is not your logo. Your brand is what you’re promising your customers. It’s what draws them in.
A brand often speaks to a person’s aspirations. Nike’s brand is that everyone is an athlete. Pepsi’s brand is about cool. Coke’s brand is happiness.
It goes beyond what the product is and conveys what a person will feel when they use that product or service.
7. Put Your Brand Message Everywhere
You’ll need to put your brand message everywhere once you have it down. Again, consistency is key, so you need to make sure that you have a consistent brand message and look.
That might require refreshing your website, brochures, and other marketing
8. Always Ask for Help
It’s lonely and isolating for entrepreneurs. You’re under pressure to look successful. Otherwise, people won’t do business with you.
Yet, there are challenges and tough times. It’s hard to get through those times by yourself. It’s often why entrepreneurs suffer from loneliness and depression.
The best thing to do is to have a team of support around you. You’ll need a tax expert, marketing expert, and the support of other entrepreneurs.
You also have to know that it’s OK to ask for help. Steve Jobs noted the importance of asking for help. That’s how you’ll grow and become successful. It’s not going to happen when you sit by yourself in an office all day.
The Best Small Business Advice to Help Your Business Grow
A lot of small business advice tends to focus on marketing strategies like social media and get rich quick schemes.
That gives you hope that this one piece of information will work. The truth is that there isn’t a magic bullet to make your business successful. It takes leadership, a desire to keep learning, consistency, and a little marketing knowledge.
Most of all, you have to deliver an outstanding experience to your customers. They’ll always come back for more.
Would you like some more small business tips? Head over to the Small Business Forum to connect with other entrepreneurs like you.