Secrets to Small-Business Success

Secrets to Small-Business Success

Running a successful small business is no easy task.

Although small businesses form the backbone of the economy, being a small business owner can be difficult and overwhelming. To help your business succeed, you must rely on strategic thinking, technological support, and a strong community network. Here are 7 tips to help you propel your small business's success.

Identify Your Competitive Advantage

To make your small business succeed, you need to understand what sets you apart. What is it that only you can offer customers? How will your business stand out from your competitors? There are 3 main types of competitive advantage:

  • Price of product
  • Quality of product
  • Customer experience

Think about which area(s) you have a competitive advantage in. Do you, like Walmart, win over customers with low prices? Like Whole Foods, do you rely on high-quality products? Or do you distinguish yourself with a pleasant customer experience like Target? Figure out what makes you different, perfect it, and market it aggressively.

Consider Outsourcing

Outsourcing can help small businesses focus on what truly fuels their growth. Some tasks, when done in-house, can divert time away from business priorities. Consider outsourcing labor-intensive tasks such as:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Content marketing
  • Information technology (IT) services
  • Website maintenance
  • Legal advice
  • Social media management

By letting specialists handle these tasks, you free up time to focus on what really matters to your business.

Perfect Your Website

Having a fast, mobile-friendly website is increasingly important to businesses' success. Websites establish business credibility—something that is especially important for small businesses which haven't built their reputation. Websites can also help attract new customers who stumble upon your site or see your pages shared on social media.

Luckily, it's becoming easier and cheaper to build a website. You can compare tools like Squarespace, Weebly, and WordPress, find the platform you like best, and get your site up and running quickly.

Use Social Media

Social media is an easy way to connect with your customers on a deeper level. It can make your business seem personal and easy to reach, deepening customers' loyalty. You can respond to customers' questions and comments, and share content and promotions they might enjoy. You can also use tools like Buzzstream and NinjaOutreach to identify potential influencers who can then promote your content.

Leverage APIs

If your business is not already using APIs (application programming interfaces), you should implement them as quickly as possible. APIs streamline operations and cut administrative work. They do this by moving information between different programs automatically. For example, APIs allow you to move an event created on your webpage to a client's Google Calendar.

You can even use APIs to simplify processes such as shipping. Shipping APIs can automatically compare rates across different carriers and return the best options. Additionally, by leveraging and implementing shipping API integration your business can access features such as real-time tracking and address validation to provide a streamlined experience for your customers. Shipping API companies also offer lower negotiated rates with carriers, saving small businesses money across the board.

Use the Cloud

More and more businesses are migrating to the cloud. Using the cloud offers small businesses tremendous flexibility. It can help:

  • Lower IT costs—software is updated automatically
  • Make data entry less tedious
  • Improve teams' ability to collaborate
  • Reduce paper waste to promote environmental friendliness
  • Help busy entrepreneurs work on the go—you can work anywhere at any time

Using the cloud, your business can streamline operations and focus on its mission-critical tasks and priorities.

Find Mentors

Running a small business is difficult work. It can be both emotionally rewarding and draining. Identifying mentors and advisors are critical to help you and your business whether any storms. Mentors offer an invaluable external perspective on your strategies, enabling you to develop more sophisticated insights and answers to problems. They can also give you personal advice as a small business owner, letting you know if your ego is getting out of check. Mentors encourage you while also keeping you accountable. They push you to accomplish your highest goals and propel your business to success.

Small businesses are vital to our economy and our lives but require hard work and dedication. Identifying what sets you apart, outsourcing, perfecting your website, using social media, leveraging APIs, using the cloud, and relying on mentors can help your business succeed.

Explore ways in which you can improve your business. Identify avenues to cut administrative tasks and focus on your business growth. Improve your business so your business can improve the world.

Posted by Nick Rojas

Nick Rojas
Nick Rojas combines 20 years of experience working with and consulting for small to medium businesses and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, digital transformation, marketing, and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick is not sharing his expertise, he can be found spending time at the beach with his dog Presto.

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