I can't believe how much information is thrown at small businesses. All the information is intended to be helpful but it becomes too much and difficult for anyone to make decisions. From social media strategies, financial resources, investor pitch competitions and government programs it all becomes a huge opportunity that requires analysis to determine what is right for your business. In the end, how to do you know what to do?
I am a small business owner and as a small business consultant I have been following relevant entities that support small businesses. My Facebook feed is full of trainings, software and other items that claim to drive customers and crack-the-code of limitations. What good is this if you don't have a solid business launched yet? So how does someone get their a solid business launched? One step-at-a-time.
I recently joined a Facebook group of women small business owners. It was a fantastic group, but a bit too large for my comfort. What I loved about the group is women were showing their websites and/or sharing their business vision and were getting feedback. Not just "looks good" or "needs improvement", but tangible feedback with changes to make it better. I also saw many other small businesses offering to help them. This is the type of small business community that will help entrepreneurs be successful.
This may be a bit off our topic for today's topic, but I have to challenge small businesses to shop at small businesses. I recently heard a small business ordering printing from an online company instead of ordering from their local print shop. Lets shop local even when we see we can save a few bucks online.
Back to the topic, here are the three must-have's every small business owner needs. The rest will organically fall into place as you build your business with your expertise and vision.
You will not operate your business successfully without an accountant, an attorney and insurance companies. The landscape is changing and you must make sure that you have the professional expertise to navigate your finances, legal matters and insurance. The accountant will help you with payroll, taxes, budget, accounts payable, accounts receivable and other financial matters. Your attorney will help you with establishing your business, contracts and/or other legal matters your business encounters. You may need one or more insurance companies that will handle your business liability insurance, cyber insurance, medical insurance and other voluntary benefit insurances. Make sure you shop around and are comfortable with the professionals and/companies you will be working with. When you encounter a situation you will want someone that makes you feel safe, heard and supported.
It is hard for me, even as a small business owner with marketing expertise, to see how much time we spend in marketing when we could be working on our business. I understand starting out the budget is limited but as you obtain traction invest in marketing expertise. Another way to talk about marketing is your brand. Being able to have a cohesive online and print messaging will build loyalty to your products and/or services. What do I do? I am still doing my own online marketing, but I use my locally owned Minuteman Press for all promo and print materials (double-sided business cards, pens, notebooks, clothing and more).
BUSINESS PEER COMMUNITY
In a previous article I talked about the importance of community. This community can be a chamber, a mastermind group, a local entrepreneur group or one that you put together for your own needs. What this community will do is allow you to talk and have others understand what you are saying. Most people who are employees don't ever understand what the decisions and/or challenges their employer faces. You will also bring your expertise to be able to support other small businesses. You are not lonely at the top.
Thanks for reading, I hope you got something out of this and I would love to hear your thoughts. Have a great weekend.
Written by Faith