(816) 468-4989

SBA Award Winning Certified Development Corporation

Three Keys To A Successful Small Business

Growing a small business isn’t easy. If it were, the success rate would be much less daunting: Roughly a third of new businesses close within their first two years.

How can you beat these odds? There is a lot of advice, much of it good. We suggest you consider some of the best:

• Use social media. This probably won’t be your most significant effort and it’s important not to spend too much of your limited time on it. But when you’re starting out, these powerful and essentially free services are definitely worth your attention.

There are some things to keep in mind with social media. Don’t be discouraged if you get some negative reviews or comments. How you respond can be a great way to boost your credibility, even if some complainers are never happy. Don’t be afraid of a lighter touch, either. Social media is at least intended to be a “friendly” conversation. Some humor or useful information “just for the heck of it” can help attract people who may turn into good customers. Never post anything you might regret, but if you make your posts worth sharing, that’s basically free advertising.

• Get involved in networking activities. Like social media, networking is a low cost or free way to promote your business. As with other suggestions, remember they are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. You may need to be fairly ruthless in abandoning groups that are more social than business, although it’s also wise to keep in mind that networking often pays off in both the long and short term.

You may also want to host your own events. Whether you call them networking or not, that will be one major benefit. This also is an area where you can attract attention that might otherwise be unavailable: Think “chamber ribbon cutting” although that’s only the start. You may also honor a customer for a significant accomplishment, especially something that involves the community. Regardless of the event, invite some of your best customers and encourage them to bring friends.

• Don’t forget your customers, ever! This seems obvious, but it’s easy to overlook in surprising ways, including the role your employees may play dealing with customers. Set aside time to analyze what your customers want – what they really want, not what you think they should want. If you don’t have something on their list, consider adding it to your products or services. And remember to add a personal touch, including time to talk with them. You might learn something! Most of all value your customers and let them know that you do. It’s much easier to grow business with existing customers than to find new ones. Your plans should reflect that.

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Midwest Small Busness Finance | 7001 N Locust St. | Gladstone, MO 64118 | Phone: 816-468-4989