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  • Writer's pictureStacey Ebert

5 Strategies for starting a successful small business

Whether it’s been in your mind forever or if it came to you a few years ago, your small business is an important piece of you. It is where you put heaps of your energy and is that passion project you’re determined will succeed. That success requires spunk, fortitude, courage, persistence, and knowing when to ask for extra help. Here are a few tips and references for inspiration in taking this big step.

1.Utilize your personal network

Whether it’s the people you met in high school, those who were a part of your university track team, someone you met at a networking event, or close friends and family - you have a personal network to tap. When building a business, every meeting is a networking opportunity, every interaction is a potential partnership, and each exchange could lead to new customers. Remain focused on your mission, be prepared to make sacrifices for that passion, and seek advice from seasoned professionals who've been there before you from somewhere in that extended network.

2. Plan to be different

A growing business takes a lot of work. That scrappy attitude and go get em’ tactics blended with impeccable organization and a consistent approach will prove helpful. Be creative yet competitive with pricing schemes, craft convincing and innovative pitches, and be inventive with free event offerings. Understand that both the risks and the rewards of building a business is crucial to your success. Think big, know your worth, and don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of creativity to stand out from the crowd with careful planning of resources.

3. Spend wisely

Sometimes we need to ask for assistance, sometimes we need to measure and refine our approach, and other times we need to employ the benefits of our investors or those cash resources to hire a small yet efficient team. Sure, we all want to practice minimalism and keep overhead down, but don’t be afraid to spend money when necessary. Marketing matters, advertising matters, and how you choose to spend your hard earned money matters. Pay your bills first, keep detailed records, and create a detailed business plan but as you invest in outsourcing remember that we can all learn from each other. Whether you’re checking out the competition, engaging with professional associations, joining a mastermind to learn how to create a high volume sales funnel, or spending money on those evergreen services like SEO, lead generation, newsletter creation, and content marketing - you’re learning, you’re growing, and your business is developing with you.

4. Get to know your customers

All businesses need customers. Once you define your target market and can offer a great product you’ll get to know those crucial clients and customers. Simultaneously focus on providing great customer service while encouraging relationships with existing clients, and be sure to remember to cultivate those new relationships. While building and marketing your brand to new and loyal customers, your brand will grow. Gain that marketing insight to up-level working and selling those relationships. Social media can share your story, connect with your followers, and learn more about what they’d like to see. A loyal customer base, the skills to broaden your horizons, and the ability to market to a new audience is vital to increasing awareness of your products and services.

5. Give the people what they want

When designing your business plan and building out your services, be sure to provide people with what they want. It’s easier to get your foot in the door and be a follower in existing markets than it is to build a new niche yourself. Differentiate your consumer offerings, develop short and interesting copy with heaps of images, and above all, provide top notch service. Along with those free workshops that could make more people aware of your ingenuity, be sure to remember to give back to your community. Use the power of the Internet, the reach of social media, and the development of an effective website to boost and positively influence your business. Whether that’s through creative offerings or using the idea of spreading the wealth to the local and digital communities that support you - be sure to recognize those who helped to get you where you are today. If those customers and that community feel valued, appreciated, heard, and recognized they’ll continue to be active ambassadors for your brand, your philosophy, and your services. When customers feel supported - they share their experience with their network and help to organically build new customers and that greater global audience.

In building your business your drive, energy, effort and ethics all matter. It’s possible to find the right mentor, set those goals, and reach for the proverbial stars. Start small to grow that empire, tap into all of those resources you didn’t even know you had, and remember to take care of yourself in the process. Will all of that effort, smarts and keen business sense, your business is bound to thrive.

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