Small Business Game, Big Business Win

My neighbors are entrepreneurs at heart. They are part of the 860,000 new small business enterprises that opened doors this year. At the rate they are going they could also be part of the churned small enterprises that will close their doors over the next year if they don’t proactively take preventive measures.

My neighbors represent the vast majority of small business owners entering the market daily. In the beginning they are brimming with bright optimism and bright ideas. By the end they wonder how they could have made it all work as they close doors on yet another opportunity.

What are my neighbors, and small business owners (SBOs) like them doing wrong?

Do small businesses need excess cash flow to make it in this market?

Do marketing mix, core competencies and/or niche marketing spell small business accomplishment?

Well…yes and no.

I don’t think ample cash reserves tell the entire story for how to be a small business success. Cash helps, but it’s one piece to the overall puzzle. I also don’t think complex stats and formal business jargon determine small business success either. It helps to talk-the-talk. It helps even more to walk-the-walk, but again complexity doesn’t help unravel the tangled web of linear progression.

Bottom line, a devotion to realizing and then seizing business opportunities can course an SBO onto the path of growth.

A business with cash that does not do this will falter. Just as a business with a small budget can do this and succeed.

Small companies can play in this business game to garner big business wins.

o Size Matters

Small businesses have the advantage in just that: their size!

Unlike larger corporations, small businesses are postured to agilely and quickly remedy non cost-effective processes, products, and/or services. Also, small businesses can advantageously leverage their span of control as it is more cross functional and less hierarchical than larger competitors. Hence, revisions can be implemented and evident to the consumer before problems become systemically ingrained.

Utilize your business size and its mobility to deliver effective results for your consumers and your employees.

o Dedicate your Wits

While cash flow is a routine focus for business sustenance and growth, do not neglect the need for creative brainpower. As tiring as constant innovation and inventiveness can be when intermingled with ever changing products, services and finances, understand thriving enterprises analyze the market for the best opportunities to meet consumer demand.

Your business is static until you make it dynamic.

o Know Yourself to Know Your Business

Competition is rampant and it can affect sales. Yet, there are enough resources to support the SBO. If you look around at the varying small organizations in a city district, you should be encouraged! For the most part, these businesses offer similar products and/or services as larger companies, yet they still thrive.

Know what you offer and tout your uniqueness. A small business is an external expression of its owner. So just doing what you do is differentiation! Recognize it, and champion it as a unique resource available only through your gateway.

o Listen to the Beat

You don’t have to have expensive customer feedback mechanisms to know what your customers are saying. Feedback comes your way all the time in hushed compliments and verbose criticisms.

Be a pulse chaser! In other words, seek what’s hot. Pulse chasing companies experience business progression and growth beyond the box in which they initially started. Don’t just ask customers if they satisfied. Strive to exceed their expectations. There certainly exist tangent markets of available market share if you’re willing to listen to what that market says.

o Do It Already!

Knowing what to do and not doing it is insanity. The point of business ownership lies in the freedom to mold your ideas into a value-added good or service. Yet, execution is the lacking factor capable of diversifying your product into a money-making entity versus a money-sucking unit.

Implementing other processes and streamlining existing ones are not necessarily easy steps, but such analyses are relevant and can result in longstanding progressive actions. Lean and agile corporations anticipate customer demand, but the battle is won in how they back up their hunch with consistently salable products or services.

o Burn the Midnight Oil

Business is rhythmic.

Hang in there long enough to learn your business’ battle rhythm. Decisions can then be made proactively versus reactively, which gives the SBO an offensive positioning.

The only way you’ll know any of this data, however, is through defining new processes, assessing their relevance and reassessing the overall process for positive repositioning.

And that takes time…so hang in there!