Jeff Shuford: 5 unique ways small business owners can increase their odds of long-term success
If you want to increase your odds of long-term success as a small business owner, it's time to get strategic with your approach to growth. Aspiring to build a thriving small business is admirable, but is much harder than some entrepreneurs imagine. "Build it, and they will come" does not apply to small business startups. If you need help learning how to increase your odds of long-term success as a small business owner, pay attention to the following five tips for entrepreneurs:
· One of the best ways to increase your odds of success as a small business owner is to be deliberate with how you spend your time. If you focus on activities that don't grow your company, your chances of building a viable small business are lessened. Analyze how you're currently investing your time when working on your small business and ask yourself which activities are producing measurable results. Once you start developing an energy-expenditure strategy, you'll be impressed at how quickly your company's growth rate starts to improve.
· Invest time in marketing opportunities with proven return on investment (ROI). Marketing your business on social media in a random fashion won't do much to grow your company. Developing a detailed social media marketing strategy powered by audience analytics will increase your growth rate. If you can't prove the ROI of a business marketing initiative, ask yourself whether the outreach initiative is worth pursuing. Analytics in business = focused growth.
· Goal setting is critical for small business success. If you want to ensure your company survives and thrives, make sure you're setting measurable goals for your small business. Daily/weekly/monthly/yearly goals are essential. Document your goals, measure your success rate, and analyze what more you could have done to achieve your goal at a faster pace.
· Start building a network around your small business from the moment you launch your company. Growing a community around your brand will help your small business succeed even during economic downturns. The sooner you start building a network around your small business and doing whatever is necessary to support those in your network, the sooner you'll begin to see your small business begin to flourish.
· Look for inspiration globally if you want to build a successful small business. Pay attention to what is occurring in overseas markets. Review shopping trends on international e-commerce sites like Alibaba and Flipkart. Pay attention to which trends are popular with your target audience and use that information to increase opportunities for your small business. Once you start integrating international trend influences into your small business' growth strategy, you'll see sales begin to rise, and competitors begin to worry about your growth rate.
Integrate these strategies into your small business' growth strategy, and you can significantly increase your odds of long-term success. Building a profitable small business isn't an easy endeavor, but if you're strategic in your approach, your odds of business success increase exponentially.
-- Jeff Shuford is president of Tech From Vets, an award winning veteran-owned technology company. Tech From Vets merges NFL veterans and military veterans in the tech industry and develops innovative websites and mobile applications for their clients nationwide.