If you are a small business owner, you are in luck. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that “71% of Americans view small business more favorably than any other institutions, including religious organizations.”
There’s something attractive about a locally owned and operated business that can provide for its community. It’s part of the American dream.
Here are a few tips to get your small business started on the road to success:
1. Create Your Brand
From the logo to your sales pitch, you must create a brand that stands out. Whether it’s the story of where you’ve been or the story of where you are going, a personable history can give your customers something to connect to emotionally. Design a logo and stick to it. Use this logo to identify your company everywhere you go. By starting out with an organized marketing plan, you’ll be able to quickly distribute and gain recognition for your brand.
2. Build a Support System
Reliable employees can be the lifeblood of your business. When you can’t be there, they will be the face of your company. Train them well and give them the tools to be happy, successful employees. Expand your support system to other local business owners and community members. Their endorsement will build up your customer base and strengthen your presence in the community.
3. Provide Excellent Service
Your customer service can quickly define your business. Make it your job to exceed all customers’ expectations. Be there when you say you are going to be there, and deliver on each and every promise made. Go the extra mile to provide a positive and individualized experience for each of your customers. Success here is the defining characteristic of small businesses. There are no 1-800 customer service lines, or impatient telemarketers to deal with, just real people who know their business.
4. Follow the Rules
From start-up to cutting a paycheck for you and your employees, make sure to do it right. Follow the proper licensing laws in your state. Pay the proper taxes. Don’t cut corners. Know the difference if you are starting out as a sole proprietorship or a corporate entity. When it comes to employment taxes, set aside money for them as you go. Then you won’t be shocked and dismayed at tax time.
5. Sell Something Remarkable
When it comes down to it, your product will do much more of the marketing itself. If your customers are pleased over and over again with your services, it will become something to remark about and they will share that information, which in turn generates new business. Their positive comments among the community and on social media platforms will draw in prospective clients. It’s your job to maintain a high standard for quality and retain those customers with excellent customer service and professional knowledge.
Small businesses have an opportunity to be truly successful if they design and follow a well-crafted business plan. From brainstorming to opening day, the many milestones and obstacles faced by entrepreneurs can be conquered with a little effort and the right tools.