Small Business Achievement Thinking Through Study

You need to be a student of your clients. A small business leader needs to know and appreciate their clients. You need to study their behavior to constantly develop and enhance products to meet their needs. Having the habit of studying your clients creates a powerful tool to help you grow your small business.

What do I mean by studying your client? That is research, right?
Study is really on-going research. You need to be an observer of the environment in which your clients live and work. By know what influences them you can better appreciate and predict their buying behavior.

The key is really timing. For example, suppose that you read an economic report specific to the demographics of your core market. The report is an example of information that you can use to make decisions in your business. The information is historic however. Something already happened. Not only that, but the information is public knowledge. You have it and your competition may have access to it as well.

By studying the environment that impacts your client, you can be ahead of the game. This is analogous to predicting when somebody will want something. Read what your clients read. Participate in the same activities that interest them. By knowing the day-to-day experiences of your clients, you will provide a better product and service to better meet their needs. Study your clients to learn how their environment today will impact their purchases tomorrow.

The more accurately you can anticipate and plan for the future changes in the buying behaviors of your clients, the better prepared you will be to grow your small business.

The Importance of Having a Website For a Small Business

Well, let us start by knowing what a website is. A website is a virtual space allocated to an individual, a corporate entity, an organisation and even a country on the worldwide web or internet whereby the views – be it social, religious or political – of that person or body are propagated and disseminated to the world at large. Now, the importance or significance of an internet presence through a website to the rapid financial growth and success of an individual or a body cannot be over-emphasized. An advantage that readily comes to mind is the greater market that the internet affords to everyone who is wise enough to exploit it to one’s advantage – especially now that the world has become a global village, whereby anyone can get access to the internet even at the remotest of all villages with GPS-enabled phones and proper web settings.

The benefits of having a website are numerous indeed. Apart from the one that l mentioned in the last paragraph above, the internet gives you a 24/7 (24hrs a day / 7days a week), 365/6 (365 or 366days a year) access to everyone anywhere around the globe. And that means that even while a website owner may be sleeping, eating, playing or attending to the needs of his or her family, the website is always open for business and automatically attending to the demands of the site’s visitors without fail every single second, every single minute, every single hour, every single day of every single year. With all these benefits, you would expect someone to incur a huge monthly bill as running cost and overheads, wouldn’t you? But, what do you actually incur as your “office” overheads or running costs? Nothing! All you spend in many instances is the time and cost of building the website and hosting it on the internet.

My practical experience over the years as a small time business person has brought to the fore some reasons why many small-scale business persons, probably just like myself, do not have websites. Many of them may not yet be fully exposed to the internet. Additionally, they may know virtually nothing about the internet as well – and, as humans, we tend to fear what we do not understand and hate what we cannot conquer. Similarly, many small business owners are skeptical about the internet because, not only do they not understand how it works, but they equally see some site owners perhaps in their neighborhood who appear not to have made any remarkable progress with their sites.

Anyway, now that we have substantiated the need for a small time business to have a website, the next matter which needs to be given thorough and adequate consideration in order to arrive at a meaningful and result-oriented action plan is: given the many service providers rendering website building and hosting services that are available on the internet, which would be the right choice to employ as a practical and success-driven tool? My research on the web revealed that only a handful of the numerous website building and hosting service providers possess the requisite tools that would ensure the ultimate success of any small business on the web. Hence, a small business owner need to be particularly discerning in order to make a wise choice that would guarantee and precipitate a massive traffic-building process unmatched anywhere else on the net.

This is so because it is not sufficient to have a website that nobody visits. In other words, traffic or visitors to a website has a direct bearing on the income a business makes from having a website. Hence, more visitors to a site means more income, and no traffic invariably means no income for a business.

In the same vein, a consideration of the experiences of other small business owners would indeed be helpful in this regard. I stumbled on the following documented internet dossier of some selected small business owners in some parts of the world which l feel would particularly be of help too – http://case-studies.sitesell.com/Kitoje_netpro.html.

Conclusively, having analyzed the underlying causes of business stagnation and apparent lack of growth for many small businesses, we have highlighted the dire need of having a website as a huge boost for rapid growth and financial success for small businesses. In order for any small-scale business to embark on the road to sustainable growth and financial success and be well-equipped with the requisite “road map” blue-print for business success, it is imperative for such business to have a website. On the other hand, there is nothing anywhere which says that a small business person who has already taken some wrong decisions cannot make a detour from a dead-end road leading nowhere and with all the signs of failure clearly written in BOLD print.

BOTTOM LINE?

Every small business owner who decides to have a website with an expert website building and hosting firm is destined for success even during these times of global economic recession.

Mastermind Your Small Business Success

Mastermind Your Small Business Success

Although it had been a dream of my husband’s for decades, the thought of starting a business on my own was simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. After some careful thought and discussion, my husband Gerard and I cashed in our NY chips and moved to Maine in 2003 to birth Gerard’s “baby”, his jewelry store, Porte4.

For all of you self-employed, small business owners reading this, you know what I mean about the exhilarating / terrifying contrasting emotions that occur in the course of running your own business don’t you? In fact, the exhilaration can turn to terror in the blink of an eye, feeling like the two emotions are inseparable.

But get here, we did and I found the resources available to small business owners and entrepreneurs overwhelming. If you are thinking about starting a business, want to buy a business or want to grow the business you already have, there’s no shortage of information here: SCORE, SBA, ASBDC [http://www.asbdc-us.com], http://www.Business.Gov, Small Business Assistance Center at http://www.sbacnetwork.org. These are just a few; the list goes on & on. Two other great sources of information are Entrepreneur.com and the small business section on About.com ( http://www.about.com/business). Happy researching!!

Gathering the information wasn’t the problem. What I found the most difficult was converting all the information I found into usable and practical ‘how-to’ data. It was data overload and I needed to talk to someone about the real-world of starting the business, not the academics of it. Things like:

  • How do you balance the needs of everyone: customers, employees, family, self?
  • When and how do you make the decision to hire your first employee?
  • …and then how do you recruit and keep great people?
  • What is the right mix for marketing your small business? – Multi-media advertising, PR, speaking, event sponsorship, direct and e-mailing; networking; community involvement …Argh!
  • Growth Strategies – How do you balance the need for growth & innovation yet keep the core of your business steady and strong?
  • Well? Who can you turn to for help in making critical decisions? Wouldn’t it be nice to talk to someone on a regular basis who 1) you could trust and 2) could give you feedback based on their experience?

    Consider joining a small business mastermind forum. Mastermind forums or peer advisory groups provide small business owners and entrepreneurs a confidential environment to share with each other, helping each other by leveraging each other’s experience and knowledge, and so much more.

    The benefits of a good group will FAR exceed the investment.
    Among them are:

  • Reduce Costs: Small business owners often don’t have the budget to “re-invent the wheel”. By learning what other businesses have successfully done, you can save time and money.
  • Avoid Mistakes: Solving business problems on your own can result in costly delays and errors. Learning what others have done can help keep you moving forward.
  • Find New Ideas: Get outside your own paradigm and see through the eyes of other business owners. They may give you a perspective that leads you to a far greater outcome than you could have achieved on your own.
  • Improve Performance: When you look for best practices outside your own business, a wonderful thing happens. You raise the bar of performance and set new standards of excellence to propel your company forward.
  • There are a number of executive / CEO forum groups you can consider. Most are franchised and target the executives of larger companies (those with $10 million in sales or more). From personal experience I know the challenges small business owners and solo-preneurs have are every bit as plentiful and just as frustrating and complex as those of larger organizations. However, the smaller the business the more the professional can benefit from participating in a small business mastermind forum.

    Larger organizations have their boards of directors and big budgets. Small business owners and entrepreneurs should have their own advisory support. Grow your small business success through a small business mastermind group.

    Until next time, BE BOLD, Do Bold Business. Remember, it all starts with a Vision.