Being a small-business owner poses a ton of challenges. Sometimes it’s trying to get a clear perspective on how to approach a particular issue your business is facing, while other times it’s establishing which niche or goals you want to pursue.
So what should entrepreneurs, especially newer ones, know as they help their business grow? To find out, we consulted 13 members of the Young Entrepreneur Council and asked what game-changing tips they could share to help business owners. Which of these would work for you?
1. Get clear on your life goals.
As small-business owners, it’s not uncommon to prioritize your business over all else. But, you’ve got to put yourself first if you want your business to succeed long term. Otherwise, you may burn out or wake up one day and realize you’ve built a company that is incompatible with the life you want. Get super clear on your one, five and 10-year life goals, then fit your business to those goals.
Listen to the Hustle From Home podcast for more on organizing your priorities: Episode 103: Productivity in Your Season of Hustle
2. Niche down first.
Before you try to target multiple products and various audiences, become an expert in one single offering. At the start of building a business, niche down to create the best product offering with the greatest value possible. From here, you can expand over time. This builds trust behind your brand and enables you more growth in the future.
3. Build your vision.
Every product, employee hire and marketing campaign needs to be rooted in the vision of your business. Build a deep sense of what this is and make sure to check that each decision you make is in alignment. It’s tempting to say “yes” to certain opportunities, but if they are not aligned with your long-term vision, you will lose valuable time and resources along the way.
4. Be patient with yourself.
When I first started my business, I focused so much on growth that I neglected to focus on improvement. Details were overlooked, systems and processes were not a priority, and I wondered why I plateaued. Focus on the foundation, with steady improvement and dedication to your systems, and small businesses can improve.
5. Know when to delegate.
Understand your weakness. Self-assessing allows you to see where you need support the fastest in your entrepreneurial endeavor. Thinking you can do everything better than everyone will get you into hot water. Understand how you can scale by making the right additions to your team and point them toward growth.
6. Trust your teams.
There should be no room for ego in the way you manage. You hired people to help you do more and achieve more. Let them. Nothing is worse than a small-business owner who refuses to be proved wrong. Without embracing the fact that you’re not an expert in everything (even your own business!), you won’t achieve and get better. Trust your teams and the unique expertise they bring.
7. Invest in content marketing.
There’s no substitute for having a great content marketing strategy in place. It’s essential to understand how to do SEO and use content marketing to rank well for a search term. This means multiple benefits such as free traffic, continuous growth and compounding return on the posts you create. You’ll establish authority and will spend less on other marketing activities.
8. Improve your social media marketing.
Always look for ways to improve your social media marketing. There’s always a new website or app popping up, and you never know which one will benefit your business the most. And the implementation of social media marketing is constantly evolving, as well. Be sure to keep up with industry trends so you’re always on the cutting edge.
9. Repurpose your marketing assets.
Increase the ROI of your marketing assets by repurposing them. Transform each one into at least two or three different assets to save time and effort that you can devote to other things. A blog post can become several social media messages and vice versa. A brochure can turn into a blog post and infographic. Look for multiple ways you can use each asset and reach customers differently.
10. Ask for feedback.
When you first start a business, asking for feedback can be terrifying. Instead of worrying about what people might say, just ask. Talk to employees, friends and even connections on social media. Gathering feedback on your business early can help you make adjustments that change the course of your company.
11. Don’t neglect the locals.
If your business has a market for local revenue, you should hone in on that. The locals in your community are more likely to invest in your business and become returning customers if they know you’re right around the corner and provide stunning service. Establishing yourself on Google My Business and local search guarantees more traffic to your business.
If you have a side hustle or passion project and you’ve ever wanted to take that hustle full time, watch this: How to Go From Side Hustle to Self-Made Entrepreneur
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
Photo by @Elisall/Twenty20.com