10 Practices to Small Business Success

February 23, 2017

The easiest part of starting or operating a small business or SME is just the idea. After that, the real work begins. Some businesses are highly successful while others fail miserably even though each owner works just hard. Success, however, is not based on hours worked or stress endured. Success is based on working smarter. Successful small business owners practice the following techniques:

1. Believe in their mission – Successful business owners believe in what they are doing 100% of the time with all their heart and soul. Whatever their particular mission is, they have a cause and believe in its outcome. They are not deterred by obstacles, but rather figure out how to overcome them. Stopping is never an option.

2. Take risks – Taking a few risks is normal for the successful small business owner. If there were never any risks, all employees would be in business for themselves. Along with risks comes rewards and that is what successful business owners seek.

3. Experiment – Change is constant in business. What worked last year or yesterday might not work today or tomorrow. Successful business owners understand this concept and are always experimenting to find what works better, what sells better, what marketing campaign is better, etc. Experimenting and then measuring success is an ingredient in the recipe for growth for successful owners.

4. Diversify products and services – One main product or service might be the major income producing item for a business, but successful owners know that diversifying offerings to customers ensures protection and growth. Protection comes from spreading the risk among the products and services offered should one area start to decline. Growth comes from the expansion of products and services.

5. Increase brand awareness – Successful small business owners use brand awareness just as large multi-national companies do to increase their business. They find just one thing that sets their business apart from the competition and then brand it. Rather than meeting the competition, they seek to beat the competition with their uniqueness.

6. Use technology – A multitude of technology is available today and well suited for uses in a small business. Data collection, data analysis, social media, marketing, e-commerce, accounting, or business reviews are just a few uses of technology that all boil down to operating a small business more efficiently. Successful owners make the most of available software and hardware.

7. Hire quality employees – Unless a business is a "one man shop," successful business owners understand that long-term success depends on quality employees. They are diligent in hiring, training, and compensating. They know it takes a quality team working toward the same goal to achieve optimum success.

8. Have a plan – Travelers need a roadmap (or now an app), builders need blueprints, and successful business owners need a plan. Rather than operating day-by-day hoping for the best, successful business owners plan for the future. They have a strategy and milestones and constantly work toward those objectives. When the objectives are met, they go to the next item on the plan list. If a particular objective is not met, then they figure out why and make new plans to meet the original or revised objective.

9. Look for opportunities – Successful business owners are always on the lookout for a new opportunity to expand their businesses. They are never complacent with the status quo. Although business is good, they believe it can always be better through new opportunities. They never know what fortunes might be under the next unturned stone.

10. Not afraid to fail – Failure is always a possibility for small business owners. Rather than being afraid of failure that would prohibit them from venturing out on their own or trying something new, they view potential failure as a natural consequence of success. Every failure enables their successes to be that much greater. Whether they win or lose at a venture, they come out stronger because of their experiences, but they are not afraid to fail. Success belongs to those small business owners who endure.