11 Small Business Tips for 2017
Here are eleven tips from iconic company owners to inspire your small business.
#1. Don’t be afraid to make big mistakes
Barbara Corcoran, the “Shark Tank” star, has an abundance of advice for small business owners. In a Forbes article, Corcoran explains that the best things happened for her business on the heels of failure, so “don’t be afraid to make big mistakes.”
“Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s proof that you are meant to be a successful entrepreneur. The only difference between people who are hugely successful and those who aren’t is the time it takes them to get back up after getting knocked down.” —Barbara Corcoran
#2. Let people know you’re doing the right thing
If you’re not out there promoting yourself, you’ll never make an impact. Did a themed event go spectacularly well? Post pictures on Facebook and Instagram and the tweet the heck out of it.
“Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.” —John D. Rockefeller
#3. Take full advantage of social media—it’s free.
This one’s a no-brainer. Before you go out and blow money on advertising, capitalize on the free online access that leads you directly to your customers. Take full advantage of social media—it’s free.
“Blog, Tweet with humor, and make as many friends as you can on Facebook. You can quickly build a huge following of customers willing to try your new product without spending a dollar on advertising.” —Barbara Corcoran
#4. Repair the roof while the sun is still shining
Is your wedding business booming? Then it’s the time to invest in up-sell opportunities. Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, advises small business owners to “repair the roof while the sun is still shining.”
“When the company is good, change the company. When the company is in trouble, be careful, don’t move. If the storm comes, you don’t go up and repair the roof – you’ll be destroyed.” —Jack Ma
#5. Invest in accounting software
Greg Ponder, former owner of S&P Capital, explains that proper accounting is critical. Because of the importance of proper accounting, Ponder encourages small business owners to invest in accounting software.
“As a business owner, you’ll want to keep good records of financials on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Invest in software to help you get organized. Plus, having good financials will help you command a higher premium for your business when you decide to sell.” —Greg Ponder
#6. Make a marketplace report
The best way to get some attention for your brand is to publish an industry report cholk-full of statistics. Small business resources are tight, but it’s worth having a meticulous and trusted employee research and write an industry report. If you don’t feel like you have the right employee, explore investing in professional content and research resources to make a marketplace report.
“You’ll be surprised how much you know about your industry once you start putting some numbers down on paper. If you put your report in a short, easy-to-read format and name it after your company, you’ll soon become the expert reporters call when they need a quote. The easiest way to steal market share from your competitors is to steal the limelight, and nothing does that faster than being quoted in the press.” —Barbara Corcoran
#7. Determine a legal structure
What’s the difference between an S Corp or LLC? Jim Hood, founder of Hood Business Law, argues that small business owners need to quickly determine a legal structure for their business.
“Deciphering between an ‘S Corp’ or an ‘LLC’ can be tricky but the structure of your business depends on your needs. If operational ease and flexibility are important to you, an LLC is a good choice. If you are looking to save on employment tax and your situation warrants it, an S corporation could work for you.” —Jim Hood
#8. Plan something smarter and more creative
The big guy may have the corner on money, but the little guy usually has the corner on creativity because small companies can implement changes faster than their well established rivals. Your small business needs to capitalize on your dexterity; utilize your smarts and creativity to metaphorically “one-up” your competitor.
“Take some time to sit down and figure out how your big rival is promoting their brand and plan something smarter and more creative for yours.” —Barbara Corcoran
#9. Hire really good people
Your employees will determine 80-percent of your success, so hire really good people. Don’t settle for mediocre candidates. Hiring is a time consuming and expensive process—especially for SMBs—but don’t give into the pressure of hiring a mediocre candidate. Be patient. Keep searching for that perfect candidate. Good employees are worth the wait.
“The best people are honest and have lots of enthusiasm. Don’t worry too much about their level of experience when you’re interviewing, as the right attitude always delivers much more than just experience.” —Barbara Corcoran
#10. There are only two kinds of people in business—know the difference
There are expanders and containers, and that learning to separate them quickly into the right category will save you a lot of time. There are only two kinds of people in business—know the difference.
“Expanders like to push the envelope, take risks, make new friends, and test how far they can go. They also like to spend your money. Containers like to keep things in order and stay on top of the details. They keep you from losing your money. If you match the right person to the right position that takes advantage of their natural talents, you’ll build a powerful team of workers with all the strength needed to build a huge business.” —Barbara Corcoran
#11. Focus on what’s already working for you
When you look for ways to expand your business, the real pot of gold is usually the same stuff that’s already proven successful. Focus on what’s already working for you and do more of it.
“Before you move on to the next exciting project or a new strategy, s-l-o-w down. Do a lot more of what’s already working and then do the new stuff.” —Barbara Corcoran
This article is by Stu Kearns from djtimes.com.