Forbes cites some pretty dismal statistics for the growth and longevity of small businesses, with only half of them still operating five years from opening and a third closing their doors after ten. Still, these small businesses have generated 65% of new jobs and employment revenue since 1995.
So, how can the little guy (and gal) remain profitable, continue to grow and stay in business long-term? Are there any services available to assist them?
Although there are no sure bets when it comes to staying afloat in the world of small business, according to a nationwide Gallup poll, most company owners feel satisfied and fewer of them feel successful. They went on to ask what they felt was the most rewarding part of starting and running a business and most replied they enjoy being their own boss and felt a sense of accomplishment.
More importantly, another study asked 100 people who have remained in business from three to five years, what factors they contributed to their ongoing success. Some of the top questions they ask themselves daily are:
- Do I have a clear business model that reflects the goals of the company?
- Do I have an effective marketing strategy?
- Do I know my business’s financial condition?
- Do I have strong advisers and/or a team of committed employees?
- Does my company present a consistent level of quality to customers?
- More Actionary
Taking steps to address these thoughts from other successful small business leaders can be done in a variety of ways. Take the last question for example, some companies are surveying consumers to ensure they are providing them with the best possible customer service and satisfaction. Others are taking matters into their own hands by:
- Cutting costs and sticking to basic necessities
- Strengthening client relationships
- Refining their business strategies
- Actively seeking new customers
Think Outside the Box
Many successful businesses are still thriving because they already offer a unique product or service and others may have got important startup capital. If your business needs to expand, you have a great idea for a new product or looking for some backing on a new venture, consider crowdfunding. These platforms provided over 5.1 billion dollars of support in 2013 and that is up from 2.7 billion in 2012. If you need help, ask for it.
If you are not already on social media, the question becomes, why not? There are dozens of reasons that today’s business must be utilizing these platforms. First of all, that is where most consumers actually expect to find you and your company.
Building your brand, managing your reputation, remaining in touch with consumers, keeping an eye on the competition and competing with big business. All these reasons and many more are essential for success.
It’s often easy to see things that are available if you know where to look and it can be more difficult to find things that are missing. Don’t let your small business be another sorry statistic.
About the Author: Hilary Smith hails from Austin, TX, but now works her magic in Chicago, IL. She is a technology enthusiast who loves social media. Connect with her on Twitter @HilaryS33