How to Succeed As a Small Business

We have a dirty secret. We really don’t like the “C” word. And even worse than the “C” word is when we feel like the “C” word. Oh, don’t make us say it…we despise feeling (gulp.) corporate.

As a small start up company, we struck out on our own to escape the corporate world that was (and is) so obsessed with the bottom line, padding the pockets of higher ups, and literally creating products that are designed to fail just after the warranty ends—washer, dryer, all general kitchen appliances, we’re looking at you!

We wanted to do our own thing, to do things differently, but we’d be lying if we said we don’t do anything like the corporate world. We are, after all, a company. We’re concerned with driving sales, developing new ideas, generating new relationships, and growing year over year. So, how do we strike a balance as a small business with big business goals? We set goals, and we strive.

Defining Success

If you want success, you first have to define success. For some it may mean achieving a certain number of sales per month. For others success may be completing 2019 in the black. Or maybe you’re just starting your small business, and success is establishing your company logo and brand identity. Whatever it may be defining success is the first step to achieving success.

Setting Goals

Once you know what success means for your small business, it’s time to set goals. We’re not talking about generic, I-want-to-make-money-this-year type goals. We’re talking about real, measurable goals. Goals aren’t about setting an ideal that is easily achievable. A goal should be something you have to work for, to strive toward.

So, whether you want to make $1,000 in sales this year or $100,000, your goal should excite you, and achieving that goal should be an integral part of your business strategy this year. If you’re not sure what goals you want to set, check out this article by The Balance to get your juices flowing.

Getting To Work

So, you decided your goal was to grow your social media presence by 100%. Great! How are you going to do it? Setting a goal is a terrific first step for any small business owner, but if you actually want to achieve your goal, you better get to work.

Once you have your goal, follow the three R’s:

Research… Accomplishing any goal starts by arming yourself with knowledge. Do your research about the latest strategies, the latest approaches, the latest algorithms. Sometimes research can feel like a fruitless effort, but we promise familiarizing yourself with the most up-to-date tactics will make your goal that much more achievable and your efforts that much more fruitful.

Resources… Don’t neglect resources. Whether you partner with other local entrepreneurs through groups like One Million Cups, you hire out a consultant who can advise you on your small business’s specific needs, or you utilize your local library for the free resources it offers (hello, wifi and workspace!) don’t neglect the resources that are readily available to you. We know that as a small business entrepreneur striking out on your own, it can be difficult to bring others on board, but—as the saying goes—two heads are better than one.

Realize… Once you’ve done your research and you’ve made the most of the resources available to you, it’s time to realize your goal. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. But, Rome was built in time. Setting a goal can be a little scary, especially if your entire small business’s success is riding on your ability to achieve that goal. But we can guarantee you won’t achieve your goal if you never try. So, say goodbye to fear, and take the leap! If you’ve done the right preparation, you should be well equipped for success.

Embracing the Process

Congratulations! You’re pursuing your goal! Will you achieve it? Maybe. Maybe not.

As a small business owner, you should know success is never guaranteed. You should also know that being adaptable and embracing the learning curve are your life blood. So, how do you find success as a small business? Set goals, seek counsel, strive, and keep on striving because you’re a small business owner, and you had the gumption to pursue the thing others only dream of.