5 Tips for Small Business Owners
Here’s what all small business owners know: starting your company isn’t the hard part.
Sure, it required a leap of faith, a boatload of confidence that you could run your own business, and a little bit of luck. Yes, it forced you to look at everything that could go wrong and decide to do it anyway. All of the nitty gritty details associated with getting registered and fully legal caused a lot of stress and sleepless nights. We can totally relate.
But, if you’ve been in the game for even a short amount of time, you know that it’s what happens after you officially start your company that’s really interesting.
This small business owner lifestyle can be tricky to navigate, with every day seeming to present new challenges and obstacles to achieving your goals. However, with the help of our five quick tips for small business owners, you’ll be able to stay on course and build the successful company of your dreams.
5 Tips for Small Business Owners
Have a “Why”
As a small business owner, it’s likely that you’re putting in a lot of hours - and wearing a lot of hats. (You are seriously killing that fedora!) When you’re up burning the midnight oil, wondering why you’re putting yourself through all of this pressure, you’ll want to come back to your “why”.
Your “why” is the reason behind why you do what you do. Perhaps you formulate your own candles because some of your most powerful memories are attached to a scent and you want to illicit that emotional response in others. Maybe your grandmother taught you how to sew, and you restore vintage items in order to help her spirit live on.
Whatever your purpose is, identify it, and let it be your guiding light as you push through the growing pains of being a small business owner.
Know Your Worth
If this is your first business rodeo, first of all, welcome to the club! One of the first rules of business is this: you must make money - otherwise you still have a hobby. Asking for money for your goods or services can be scary, and first-timers can have a difficult time determining how much they should charge for their work. After all, you’re doing what you love! How could you possibly expect someone to pay for something that comes so easily to you?
The truth is, everyone has different talents, and just because something seems simple to you doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t be willing to pay for it. Understand your worth by evaluating your lifestyle and how much you need to make each month in order to bring in a livable salary, as well as by conducting research into other small businesses within your space to see what they’re charging for similar products or services.
Focus on Revenue-Generating Activities
It can be so easy to get caught up in the glamorous side of owning a small business. From this side of the world, everything can seem shiny. You feel like you need to hold day-long photo shoots in order to have a perfectly curated Instagram feed, run Facebook ads to get more likes on your business page, and post inspirational messages on LinkedIn in order to become a thought leader in your industry.
We’d like to offer a different perspective: stick to what is making you money. As the owner/founder/CEO of your company, it’s your job to make revenue happen. Though the shiny things can be a fun way to decompress from the more difficult duties of a small business owner, it’s important that the majority of your time is spent on revenue-generating activities.
RGAs (yes, we just invented that acronym) are exactly what they sound like: tasks that are proven to make you money. If you’ve seen a dramatic influx of purchases from Instagram, then perhaps that is where you should spend your time. However, if your email newsletter is driving the most traffic to your online shop, or if your storefront is a major draw for passerby, perhaps you should focus on optimizing those means of customer acquisition instead.
Find Your Tribe
No one tells you that being a small business owner can be lonely. If your friends and family members aren’t entrepreneurs, it may be hard for them to understand your workload or your passion for your company - and that’s totally okay.
When you need someone who understands what you’re going through, you should turn to other small business owners. There are many online communities where entrepreneurs from every industry gather, ready to meet for coffee or jump on a Skype call at a moment’s notice.
Don’t forget to seek out other owners in your geographic area as well. Community over competition is the name of the game, and we could all use a bit of support once in awhile.
Do It Your Way
Finally, there are a million articles on the internet telling you how to run a small business. There are endless hours of podcasts, courses, ebooks, and costly masterminds that claim to hold the key to success. In reality, everyone’s journey is different.
You need to do what works for you. You were the one who got yourself here, to this moment where you are the boss of your own business. You were the one who took the risk, left comfort behind, and created a life that you had only dreamed of. You are the one that we believe will take this company to the top.
Follow your gut, fall back on your “why”, know your worth, and reach out to us if you ever need that extra bit of reassurance. We’re quick with an inspirational quote, a mug of tea, and a great story about that time that we failed miserably, picked ourselves back up, and kept on truckin’.
Welcome to the small business owner community - we’re glad you’re here.