Tips for Growing a Successful Business | Explained by Small Business Owners.

In the wider business world, the key option for Kelly was to remain networked. That means meeting for an hour every four weeks with her personal business coach. The coach helped her find solutions to challenges and work with her organization by making difficult decisions. From the comfort of her own house, she also networks on Facebook and Linkedin.

Tips for Growing a Successful Business | Explained by Small Business Owners.

Tips for growing a successful business

"Many long-standing small business owners would agree with the line by the band Faces from the 1970s song: "I wish I knew what I now know.

Over the years of running a small company, owners eventually learn a lot about how to expand and operate a business more efficiently. Fortunately, all of these owners are more than delighted to share their expertise.

Here are seven business tips worth paying attention to from many successful small business owners:

1. Build a Support Network

Being a business owner can be an isolating experience at times for Laura Kelly. "You can lose touch with other business owners, especially if you're a solo business owner," says Kelly, who started The Handwork Studio 15 years ago, a Narberth, Pennsylvania-based company that operates needlework camps and children's classes in 10 States along the East Coast.

In the wider business world, the key option for Kelly was to remain networked. That means meeting for an hour every four weeks with her personal business coach. The coach helped her find solutions to challenges and work with her organization by making difficult decisions. From the comfort of her own house, she also networks on Facebook and Linkedin.

"She walked me through some exercises in visualization," remembers Kelly. Just the pure exercise of getting me out of the organization and looking down on it really helped me to see the issues that troubled me. I walked away with clarity and an action plan to move forward in an hour's time.

And then there is the community of masterminds that Kelly belongs to. Over a conference line, she and her fellow women service business owners meet together.

It's hard to find time to network as a busy business owner, but being better at networking and making contact would pay dividends in the future.

"Tips for growing a successful business"

2. Be Very Specific With Your Goals

Over the years, Kelly has learned another lesson: splitting large targets into smaller ones. "I have goals for 10 years, I have goals for 3 years and goals for 1 year, and I have quarterly goals for my company," she says. I'll break them down into smaller numbers when it comes to revenue because they're easier to receive. In the first quarter, if I know that I need to make a few hundred thousand in income, I say, 'What does that mean in terms of camp sales? How many campers am I going to get? ’To achieve the revenue target, if I realize I need 800 campers, then it's easier to find out how to achieve it. Your decisions can be motivated by these types of very clear objectives.

At The Handwork Studio, every employee has a dashboard with their goals on it that displays their progress towards those goals. It helps keep everyone focused, Kelly adds: "I can tell you at any precise moment how much revenue we have, our website traffic, and how many likes we have on Facebook."

For yourself and your colleagues, creating a performance-driven culture all begins with being really clear about goals. They would be able to offer the best possible results and customer support when an employee is satisfied.

"Tips for growing a successful business"

3. Delegate Whenever Possible

It was just Gene Marks and his dad when the Marks Company, a technology consultancy, began in 1994. Marks remembers, "He was doing sales and I was doing service." His dad died then. I took over when he passed away and found that I couldn't do it all and recruited some new workers. I have found that when you have other people doing things for you, you will make a lot of money.


It dawned on Marks that he had been doing work that he was pretty bad at doing when he recruited more staff. When he took in new employees, the company's sales increased because he employed people who were better at those positions than him. "I just kind of learned the hard way: concentrate on what you do best and delegate the remainder."

4. Keep Your Overhead Low

It dawned on Marks eight years ago that he was only sitting in an office costing about $30,000 a year in rent, while his workers were out meeting with customers. So Marks got rid of the Philadelphia Suburban office and made his staff interactive. He replaced the landline with an Internet-based phone along the way, which cost around $10 a month, and also abandoned computer servers for the cloud.

Over the Great Recession, reducing the overhead gave Marks some peace of mind. "You don't have to panic when things turn bad, because you can take a cut in revenue," Marks says. We never lost revenue, even during the brunt of the recession. Overhead cutting really gives you that peace of mind. If your overhead is minimal, you would be able to make pricing choices that you would not otherwise be able to make.

5. Find Your Best Niche—and Stick With It

Trying too fast to do too much? Do you feel like all products have to be for all customers? Perhaps diversifying isn't always the right choice. Often, if you have anything that works very well it is nice to recreate the magic. That's been Ace Apparel's effective strategy, says Marc Mathios, who is the third generation to run the 78-year-old family company along with his two brothers.

"One of the silos in the industry we are really good at is parking garage operators," says Mathios. The reason parking garage operators want to work with us is that we develop our own line of jackets appropriate for parking garage businesses. ... With 30 different parking garage operators across North America, we have duplicated that performance.

A road to success is discovering your niche and constantly innovating around that niche.

"Tips for growing a successful business"

6. Keep Your Day Job Just a Little Longer

It is a common trap: A person gets excited by a small business idea, quits his or her day job—and then runs out of money and fails.

Spanx founder Sara Blakely credits her success to the fact that she actually kept her day job as an office equipment salesperson for two years, learning to work with minimal sleep as she got her form-fitting shapewear company off the ground.

Blakely didn't want to resign from her day job until, according to Forbes, she was completely confident her small business idea would succeed.

By the time Blakely resigned in 2000 from what was then office equipment supplier Danka, she had already spent countless nights and weekends researching pantyhose design and current patents. She would travel to North Carolina from her home in Atlanta, where she searched out hosiery mills willing to manufacture the commodity.

There were days when I would be in Danka all day long and the semi-trucks would drop Spanx boxes outside my apartment. ... On October 14, 2000, I resigned. I left Danka and I was on the Oprah Winfrey Show two and a half weeks later,' Blakely says.

7. Avoid Distractions at All Costs

A few years ago, Audience Bloom, a Seattle-based content marketing company, was running so swimmingly that Jayson DeMers, its founder and CEO, felt he could get away with concentrating on a second startup he was impressed with. DeMers would have come to regret the choice.

"Running a business 'just fine' isn't what the job of an entrepreneur is," DeMers says. For their business, successful entrepreneurs do not do the minimum; they work continuously to grow it, improve it and plan it for the future. Since I divided my team between the two companies, my first company's development slowed, and I didn't have enough time to devote myself to the new startup to make it effective.

The second venture eventually failed. As soon as DeMers was able to focus his full attention on it, AudienceBloom was able to grow again. I learned that 100 per cent attention, concentration, and commitment is needed for a successful venture. Secondary projects need a full-time manager, or if you are not careful, they will only distract you and derail your current efforts.

Avoiding distractions refers to controlling yourself so that you also get things done on a regular basis. Marks says, "I know when I am smart and when I'm dumb." "When I'm smartest, I save the big tasks for the morning, and do the monotonous ones when I'm dumb at the end of the day." Keeping yourself organized and on-task is the real secret to success in small business.

"Tips for growing a successful business"

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