Small Business Week

Small business is BIG business. In North America, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are privately held and comprise of almost half the total economy, create most of the new jobs, and lead in terms of innovation and growth.

In honour of small business week, I’m sharing ten best practices that I’ve observed, learned and helped to refine with my successful clients. Hopefully, you can use one or two of them to advance your business.

  1. Your primary role is to attract and serve your customers – this is marketing. This is your most important role. If you do this well, you will differentiate yourself from your competitors and endear yourself to your customers.
  2. Marketing promotes your brand. And, your brand is how your customers perceive you, your quality, value, customer experience, and everything about you. Since you can’t read the label from inside the bottle, it’s impossible for you to see yourself as your customers see you. What is your brand?
  3. Strategy is about focus. It’s about saying NO! It’s about the courage and drive to be the best at something specific and unique, where few if any competitors fear to tread.
  4. Customers perceive value in speed. Getting there the first will increase your value, increase your customer satisfaction, and increase your profits.
  5. Have multiple price points. Give your customers choices for how much value they can receive from you. Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table and your customer isn’t receiving what they want.
  6. Train your employees as if you want them to take over the company. That way, someday, maybe they will.
  7. Develop metrics for all important results and the activities that drive them. Don’t just measure inputs, measure outputs.
  8. Aim high. This alone assures a higher trajectory and increases your chances of success. If you grew 3% last year, ask what you would have to do to grow 50% this year.
  9. Think long term. You’re not a publicly traded company with quarterly earnings reports. Build strength and gain market share with strategic investments.
  10. Ask for help. Find people who have been there and done that and can show you the way. Asking for help is a healthy sign of strength.

We welcome your additions to best practices, just add a comment below.

Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved. Phil Symchych

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