If you are looking for effective strategies for small business growth, look no further. Your small business will flourish if you make these 10 strategies your daily practice.
In this article I refer to a brick-and-mortar business. However, where applicable you can modify the tips to suit your online business (for example, Karatbars, if you are doing it online)
Although I don’t have a brick-and-mortar business, I’m qualified to shed some light on this topic.
In the last 4 years or so I worked part-time for 4 different small businesses and had a relatively close business relationship with the management of each.
Today? Only one business of those four thrives, one is doing so-so, and two other are out of business.
Having just recently finished “Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons” by Napoleon Hill, I look back and see what is responsible for success in these businesses and what is not. Thank you Napoleon Hill for opening the door into this worthless knowledge!
Remember that today, the majority of world top entrepreneurs in one way or another, knowingly or unknowingly, use the strategies described by Napoleon Hill in his books “The Law of Success In Sixteen Lessons” and “Think and Grow Rich”.
Okay, let’s call the business that thrives Biz A.
The one that is doing so-so, Biz B.
And the two that are out of business, Biz C and Biz D.
1. Have goals for your company
Owners of Biz A had company goals for the next 2-3 years (I don’t remember exactly). In my second interview, I was given a 5-page document describing the company’s goals.
This is the only company (out of 9 I worked for after graduation) that presented me with such a document.
2. Treat your customers/clients royally and be ready to sacrifice your time off
I saw one of the owners of Biz A constantly over delivering. (Biz A has two owners: wife and husband).
For example, a wife, would often accommodate a client on the same day if something unexpected happened (thus sacrificing her personal time).
3. Have monthly meetings with your employees/contractors to keep the spirit of the company healthy
Owners of Biz A organized meeting with employees/contractors 1-2 times per month. Problems, the coming events and the goals of the company were discussed.
Everyone was welcome to suggest ideas and improvements.
Remember, if people who are part of your business are not too happy, you won’t be too happy with your profits or reputation either.
4. Exercise pleasant, caring personality and be enthusiastic with your employees/contractors and clients/customers
In Biz A, all had relatively pleasant, calm, enthusiastic personalities. All, except one, and she eventually was let go because of her not very agreeable personality.
A tip? When you feel like you are in a bad mood, take the day off because in the end it may cost you your employees and clients/customers.
5. Give business to your competitors if it’s in the interests of your client/customer
I’d sometimes overhear one of the owners (wife) sending an individual to her competitors if the location or professionals there would serve an individual better. That’s the highest degree of business ethics!
On the other hand, when working for Biz C, sometimes I’d send people to competitors if a requested product was not carried or not in stock. Once I did this in front of the owner. The reaction of the owner? He became very upset and said that he doesn’t want me to do it anymore. (Just a reminder, Biz C is out of that type of business today).
6. Tell with actions, not words
I’d sometimes see the owners of Biz A doing the cleaning and other unpleasant work, thus silently telling that they want everyone to take part in a dirty work.
7. Be above “give-and-take”. Give without expecting back
On my second interview the owner of the Biz A casually said “… and here we don’t have such things as I’ll do this for you if you do this for me“. I was surprised… in a good way.
Yet another example of the highest degree of business ethics (and morality in general).
8. Make your clients feel welcome by creating an ultra-clean inviting environment
Owners of Biz A go far to make the clients feel welcome. I’ll list what grabbed my attention the most:
♥ Ultra clean, tastefully designed, recently renovated office
♥ A diffuser with essential oils and relaxing music
♥ Client rooms equipped with fans for better circulation
♥ Ultra clean bathroom. Wiped dry sink (this was a requirement!), cotton hand towels, spotless mirror, running diffuser
♥ A jug of water with ceramic cups, selection of organic teas and Swiss chocolate
♥ Tastefully hanged signs with words such as “Love”, “Hope”, “Inspiration”
9. Organize regular events and gatherings
Biz A had one big event at the beginning of fall and the second during Christmas time.
Plus there were small gatherings every couple months.
Clients, everyone working in the company, and all those walking by (if the event was outside) were invited.
10. Package your products beautifully
Biz A sells health products which are wrapped in blue paper and put in a pretty white paper bag with a blue company logo on it.
Above I mentioned that Biz A thrives, and it does really thrive. In fact, it is one of the most reputable alternative health clinics in Calgary (large Canadian city in Alberta).
The only suggestion for Biz A is to be more open to revisit the salaries when asked so. This suggestion may not be very objective though as I speak only from my own perspective here 🙂
Major pitfalls to avoid when running a small business
Note, I’m only mentioning the things I observed or experienced in Biz A, Biz B, Biz C or Biz D.
Obviously, there are more pitfalls to stay clear of when owning a small business.
♥ Unclear, insufficient communication with customers/clients, employees/contractors, and partners
♥ Failing to keep promises
♥ Varying degree of consideration and respect for different employees/contractors
♥ A long delay or unwillingness to revisit and raise a salary when asked
Inspired by “The Law of Success In Sixteen Lessons”, Napoleon Hill