In the U.S. alone, there are nearly 33 million small businesses. Each is run by someone just like you, looking to build a successful business from the ground up.
Starting from scratch as an entrepreneur and business owner can be overwhelming, and mistakes and failure are inevitable. But knowing the right tips and strategies can help you pick yourself up and dust yourself off before you hit the ground running again.
Follow these 10 small business tips to help you stay afloat in the early days of growing your company.
1. Identify Your Customers’ Pain Points
Before you can promote a solution, you need to know what problem you’re actually solving.
Many small businesses fail because they don’t solve a common pain point. When people choose how to spend their money, they’re more likely to spend it on a product or service they need, not one that’s just nice to have.
Whether your customers’ primary pain point is a lack of time, not having access to an essential tool, or not having money to afford the options currently on the market, you should understand exactly what they need and how you’ll provide it.
2. Know Your Competitors
When establishing a new business, it helps to understand your place in the market and how you compare to your competitors.
Being familiar with your competitors can give you valuable insight on what appeals to your audience.
Watching your competitors can also help you learn how to differentiate yourself. While you don’t need to completely reinvent the wheel with your business, it’s better to set yourself apart from your competitors when developing your product and marketing strategies.
3. Budget Wisely
Running a small business can be extremely costly, and there may be some unexpected expenses along the way.
Make sure to track your spending and create a thorough budget with plenty of wiggle room. Be aware of any fees required to conduct business where you’re located. For example, in the UK businesses must pay GDPR fees for small business data, depending on the size of the company. Read about company size affected by GDPR and what fees are required.
4. Craft Your Elevator Pitch
Though you may already be familiar with advertisements and social media marketing, some of the most valuable marketing you’ll ever do is on a one-on-one basis. Sometimes, promoting your business to the right individual can open the door to exciting opportunities.
When networking and talking to people in your circle, it’s key to have a solid elevator pitch. The concept of an elevator pitch is that it concisely sells your business, requiring no more than about 20 seconds.
Make sure to have a well-thought-out elevator pitch for times when you run into someone who could influence the future of your small business.
5. Follow Local Laws
To avoid having your business scrapped before it ever had a chance to take off, you must follow any laws and regulations in your area.
There are several laws depending on the type of business you have, what product you offer, and where you’re located. At a minimum, be sure to make your business a legally-recognized entity. You must register your business as a corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship, depending on your business structure.
Then, research any other local laws pertaining to your business to make sure it’s compliant.
6. Do What Only You Can Do
If you’re an entrepreneur running a small business, you likely have a lot on your plate. To save you time while growing your business, only do the things that only you can do. In other words, anything that could be easily done by someone else should be.
No startup company can run for long with the power of just one person. Outsource and hire help for tasks that can be easily delegated. With a strong team behind you, you’ll likely find your business becoming more productive and successful than ever.
7. Welcome Feedback
Some people believe that the point of having their own business is to have the freedom to do things the way they want to. But a business will fail if it doesn’t take others’ needs and opinions into account.
Encourage employees and partners to give their feedback and constructive criticism to help strengthen your operations. Then, ask for feedback from customers to perfect your product or service.
You can even offer free samples or deeply-discounted services to new customers in order to get their honest feedback and testimonials. This can help you make any needed adjustments to keep future customers happy.
8. Learn How to Get Funded
If you’re struggling with a lack of cashflow, explore your options for funding.
Many governments offer funding to small businesses, as do private investors.
And don’t discount the help of a business loan. With a low interest rate, a business loan can relieve some of the financial burden in the early days of your small business.
9. Strive for Done, Not Perfect
Many business owners are natural perfectionists, not settling for anything less than flawless. But if this sounds like you, it might be time to change your approach.
Many businesses will fail to take off if every small detail is dissected and perfected. Work to get things done first, even if they’re not perfect. You can always learn from your errors later.
10. Watch Out for Burnout
Everyone dreams of the overnight success story, but the reality is that most businesses require a slow-and-steady approach.
It can take years to find small business success, so remember to remain patient along the way. While you may need to work long hours and forego some sleep here and there, overdoing it will only lead to more stress and burnout.
Take regular breaks and days off, and don’t forget to tend to your personal life outside of work. That way, you can continue growing your business without needing to step away due to severe burnout and exhaustion.
Small Business Tips for Entrepreneurs
Even with millions of small businesses around the country, starting your own small business as an entrepreneur isn’t easy. But with these 10 small business tips, you can navigate challenges with confidence and avoid common mistakes.
For more small business advice, check out our latest blog posts!