How to Succeed as a Small Business Owner
Mar 15, 2012, 12:29 p.m.
Michelle Binks has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. A move to a new city provided her a chance to start her own consulting business and build from her employment experience she had received while working at a couple of large human resource departments.
“Starting my company was not a tough decision, it was learning how to maintain and grow my company to where I wanted it to be that I needed help with,” said Binks, president and owner of HR Consulting Solutions.
Binks was not alone in needing help. The Small Business Administration says 50 percent of all small businesses fail within the first five years. But, according to a Dun and Bradstreet study, 90 percent of successful businesses say they sought expert help.
Binks found that help through a business accelerator program, which provided the use of nationally recognized small business experts to help her succeed.
“What’s great about a business accelerator program is that its specificity provides for individual companies,” said Binks. “When starting my business, I didn’t realize the huge importance of sales and marketing, but the business accelerator experts worked with me personally and covered these areas in a way that I could apply to my business and make a difference to my bottom line.”
She is just one small business owner who has seen the positive growth in her business because of a business accelerator program.
“Entrepreneurs face new challenges every day,” said Bob Wright, Wright Business Institute founder and business accelerator career coach. “Overdue payments, materials that don’t arrive on time, employees who don’t show up for work and more. It’s easy to feel daunted and become paralyzed. Often, just taking one small step in the right direction will get things moving to really take off. A business accelerator program is a great step that will provide business owners the tools to make those little changes that can immediately make a difference in their business.”
Business experts offer these tips to help small business owners make those changes to better their business:
- Target your Audience - It’s tempting to try a little bit of every type of advertising that’s offered to you. But with limited budgets, entrepreneurs end up with a tiny presence in each. Instead, select a few mediums that really reach your target audience and that you can afford to establish a presence in by using frequency and larger visuals.
- Set Goals - What is your higher purpose as a small business owner? What matters most to you? Write down your answers and keep them close at hand. Share them with your business partners, allies and friends. Remind yourself of them when you pick up the phone, when you face rejection, when you squeeze in another sales call on the way to pick up the kids.
- Sell Hope First - Many sales professionals make the mistake of getting caught up in trying to sell the features and dimensions of their product first – rather than engaging with the customer around their hopes and dreams, about what they hope to accomplish. It’s important to understand the bigger picture in positioning yourself with a client and in the marketplace.