Top 5 Things Small Businesses Should Focus On For Success
Crawl before you walk. We’ve heard it all our lives. Yet, when we were young, we probably didn’t understand the meaning of this saying. In fact, most of us probably ignored it because we were so anxious to walk; to get there faster. Small business owners must learn to consistently produce results in more important areas of business if they want to learn how to become successful.
Most small business owners experience the analogy of trying to walk or run before they crawl. They don’t respect the process. Many are impatient, excited, in a rush, irresponsible, fragile, or just ignorant about many important strategies that save them heartache. There are 5 important areas of business that small business owners should consistently focus on for success:
Skipping research is the best recipe for failure. (Tweet that) Most small business owners miss the mark with this vital step. Research before development is a crucial part of success. It saves time and money. It prevents challenges of having to start over. From my experience, this is one repetitive mistake many small business owners make before taking a huge leap into new territory. Therefore, it’s my #1 tip for success.
Before a company invests in areas of business, it needs to determine whether or not that investment will have a good return. It also needs to have contingency plans in place just in case things don’t go as planned; they won’t all the time.
Processes & systems
Organization will make or break a company. With that being said, it’s needed in all areas of business like daily operations, accounting, marketing, and customer service. It’s not enough to have boatloads of revenue coming in. What’s needed is a good cash flow and revenue that converts into profit. That means all expenses are paid and what’s left is profit. That profit can go back into the business. Small businesses can’t identify strengths and weaknesses without proper processes and systems in place.
Anything that’s repetitive should be documented as an official process. Winging it won’t cut it. It’s important to create business templates, auto responders, and other paperwork to create a highly structured environment internally and externally.
Scaling its income
Anyone starting a business should have a business or brand plan in place describing business basics: the type of entity, the who, the what, the why and the how. Additionally, it should know how it will make money, where the money will come from, at what price points will the business make money and from what streams. Small businesses must scale their income to help them earn on a consistent basis. Creating incomes streams on different platforms for various products and services will help a business create a scale to earn at different levels.
Small businesses must think about their business structure and have a clear business model as it evolves. Business models will change as the market changes. It must be prepared to keep a healthy cash flow at all times.
Distribution of tasks
Distribution of tasks can fall under any category in business like branding, marketing, public relations, sponsoring, email marketing, or social media marketing. It’s up to the small business owner to determine when and if tasks and projects should be done in-house or outsourced.
I have a rule of thumb for small businesses tasks and projects:
If you have more time than you do money, learn to DIY (do-it-yourself).
If you have more money than time, delegate your weaknesses and tasks that will allow you to focus on other important areas of business.
Learning when to delegate and build a team is a huge part of success for all businesses. Outsourcing tasks and projects will allow small businesses to focus on nurturing relationships with clients and other business owners. Many solopreneurs start out with no choice of delegating because they have to do everything themselves. However, most have a hard time letting go of tasks when they’ve outgrown their normalities. Refusing to outsource when needed can hurt a business. Therefore, this is a crucial focal point for success.
A lot of mediocre businesses win because they are consistent. On the same token, those that fail, fail most likely because they are inconsistent in one area or more. This is an oldie but goodie. It still and will always hold truth.
Consistency is everything!
Small business must be consistent in the following areas:
Consistent with research
Trends, target audience interests, and markets change. Small businesses should know what their competition does well and what they don’t do well. They should also know their financial health at all times. Researching on a consistent basis will also help small businesses understand the demands of their ideal clients as well.
Consistent with engagement
Wherever businesses market, on or offline, is where they should consistently show up. It’s not enough to show up when there are nationally celebrated holidays or marketing campaign deadlines. People don’t want to be sold to. They want and need to have an emotional bond or connection with companies in order to become loyalists. It’s up to the companies to maintain those connections.
Consistent with updated processes & systems
What worked 5 years ago will not work today. What worked with a smaller audience will not work with a larger audience. Small businesses must keep their processes and systems updated for the sake of the customer experience and the company’s internal health.
All small businesses face triumphs and challenges during its journey to success. I chose these 5 areas of business because any sub-topic or area can fit under these categories. These 5 categories are also the most challenging ones that small business owners struggle with. If you’re starting or growing a business, take your time to strategically place your business in a position for success. Focus on these 5 areas after you’ve established your business or brand plan. What are other areas in business that you suggest small business owners focus on?