Everyone has heard the tried-and-true business tips. Things like “identify your target consumers,” “emphasize customer service” and “network, network, network.” But what about all of the other stuff that goes into running a successful small business? We’ve gathered a few lesser-known small business tips to help you grow.
#1. Think in Terms of Value, Not the Lowest Price
Value trumps price almost every time. So many small businesses get started with the idea that they need to be the cheapest. Sometimes, this is just not practical. Instead, think in terms of value. If your product costs more than the competition, the question is “why?” Do you offer 24/7 customer support? Does your product contain higher-end materials? Once you’ve identified the benefits of your small business, you can accurately estimate a reasonable cost (and you can use this list of pluses in your advertising efforts, too).
#2. Always Consider Your Community
No, I don’t mean you should investigate your market (you’ve probably already done that). As a small business owner, you should consider ways to engage the community around you. Often these people are able to be direct consumers of your product or, at least, champions of your business.
Some ways to engage them include:
- Partner with other local businesses. Not every nearby business is a competitor. Think of ways to get to know the other owners. This could be as simple as a monthly meeting to discuss events, partnerships or general community needs.
- Address needs in the area. This doesn’t have to be costly! It could be hosting a fundraiser for a local softball team or having a clothing drive for a nearby shelter.
- Host local events. Does your business have a store front? Invite local artists and host a gallery opening with a free wine and cheese night. This is a great way to meet citizens in your area.
When you become a known part of the community, you create a firm foundation for your business, becoming integral to the region. Plus, improving the community is always a good thing.
#3. Create a Business Plan—but Make It Flexible
This is one of the most widely ignored small business tips, and it can be the most detrimental. You cannot go into business without a plan (or, you shouldn’t). This plan should include things like the value of your business, your current business strategy and a list of future goals with a well-thought-out timeline.
Once your plan is established, make sure it’s flexible. There will be unforeseen twists and bumps in the road toward success. You’ll want to be able to deviate from the plan when needed, while maintaining the core elements that spurned the birth of your business in the first place.
#4. Address the Financials
Okay, here is the boring stuff (unless you’re us, of course). Along with your business plan, you will need a financial plan. There are many things to consider, including start-up costs, tax plans and measurements for profits and losses. A trusted accountant should play a big role in this step. For more on the payroll costs to consider, check out our latest blog.
#5. Take Ample Time for Hiring
As an owner of a small business, it’s easy to want to have a hand in everything. After all, this thing was built from your blood, sweat and tears (and savings account). However, feeling the need to micromanage everything will burn you out very quickly.
Consider these two tactics:
- Hire excellent individuals. Hiring the best doesn’t necessarily mean the most experienced (and most expensive). Instead, look for candidates who seem genuinely interested in your business and have proven themselves to need little oversight in producing excellent work. Candidates like these usually come with stellar references and great examples of past performance. Keep in mind, these examples may have stellar academics, community engagement or club participation—anything that will show they’ve been able to complete big tasks with little coercion.
- Outsource to industry professionals when needed. When you inevitably reach a point within your business that cannot be done by you or your employees, hire outside professionals. This may mean a specialist in your particular industry or a marketing firm. These professionals allow you to avoid reinventing the wheel, so you can focus on profitability and expansion.
Some of these small business tips we knew immediately, and some we have learned over time. Hopefully, they will all prove useful to you in the growth of your organization.
Want to see more tips from Direct Tax Relief? Check out a few of our latest posts.