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Tips for a small business.

August 10, 2012

We’re a small business.  Most of our clients are small businesses.  If you’re reading this, you probably own a small business.  What is unique to the last four years is the rise of entrepreneurism, small businesses, and web applications.  The last one sound like a wild card?  Think again.

With millions of free web applications, cloud technologies, and easy to use website platforms becoming a small businesses owner is less mysterious now than it has been in the last 25 years.  Is this because of a failing economy or thriving technology?  Who knows, but the one benefits the other.  That’s just one piece of the small business pie.

Before we break for the weekend, we wanted to offer some tips, questions and ideas for the small business owner.

Are you on a cloud?  Spreadsheets, reports, articles, sales materials, customer management and much more are available through several cloud services free of charge.  If you’re a business to little (or no) money jump on the cloud.  It’ll make finding information, storing information, and sharing information so much easier…and free.

Finding the right fit.  One of the marks of a genius is knowing when you need help.  Steve Jobs surrounded himself with masters.  When asked how Tina Fey “does it all” in interviews she replies, “I’m not afraid to ask for help.”  No man is an island.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  You get it.  No one can do everything.  So surround yourself with a sharp and well balanced group who can.  Be picky.  Only hire those who inspire.

Trust.  Be clear with your future customer base, this doesn’t necessarily mean overloading them with information but providing the information they want to hear.  When selling the ipod Apple showed us its size, its music capacity, variety of colors, and cost.  Part of what makes them so effective is Apple is simple with information.  They’ll tell you everything you want to know, but you have to ask them first.  Know your customer’s priorities and start from there.  They’ll come back asking for more.

Charge for your Work.  If you want your business to grow, you’ve got to become good at making money.  One of the ways to do this is understanding the worth of your product, and accepting no less.  When you work for free, your work suffers.  When you charge an appropriate fee, your work improves, your product improves, your business grows, and your customer gets happy.

A few final thoughts from my favorite entrupreneur Seth Godin:

Small Business Success:

Three things you need:

  1. the ability to abandon a plan when it doesn’t work
  2. the confidence to do the right thing, even when it costs you money in the short run
  3. enough belief in other people that you don’t try to do everything yourself.

When you’re a small business owner, you’ve got to play by your own rules.  The most important being: you can change them at any time.  Stay focused.  Stay creative.  We’ll see you on Monday.