How can we improve the success rate of small businesses?
Small businesses run the economy, but most do not succeed after a year and a half. How can we increase the success rate of small businesses and probably in turn increase the economy?
Start small and validate as you go along, make sure that your plan is viable. Make sure you can get someone to pay you for what you're doing. In this day and age with all the technology and all the resources we have at our disposal, there's no excuse for not validating.
Get feedback. Listen to your customers as much as you can and incorporate their feedback. Listen to that feedback and tweak your understanding and your expectations based off of that feedback.
Make sure that your audience and your customers are the right customers for you. If you take your questions to the wrong audience, you will get the wrong feedback. You have to fine tune and understand your customer profile and your ideal customer, and make sure you're speaking to them and not people who are outside of that box.
Make sure that you are scaling appropriately to ensure sustained growth. Be mindful of your size and work at your scale, don't look at others and compare yourself and try to be where they are right now. Hiring too many people too fast, getting office space that is way too costly for your size, things like that are pitfalls that could potentially bankrupt you. At the same time, you should be ready to grow and scale when your business is reaching an inflection point, where your product or service will sustain that growth.
Make time to operate on your business, not just in the business. As a business owner you need to figure out and strategize the path forward, or your business will stagnate. You need to get yourself out of the business. For small business owners, the goal should always be to get revenues enough to hire the next person. You want to increase revenues to hire the next person so you can get yourself out.
Invest in your community from a development aspect. Focus on providing value and support in the community wherever you see fit. And let them know that is your business that is doing that. That is a form of marketing, but it’s also a way for you to bring your community along with you. It's important to make sure you're investing in the people because they're the ones that are really going to see the value and want to pour back that investment into your business.
Leadership is humility and being humble. Never be afraid to ask for advice and ask for help as a small business. If you're struggling, reach out to people in your community, reach out to resources you can you can look up online and ask for advice, ask for help.
Be transparent with the people involved and let them know exactly what's going on. Be transparent with your community about what you're working on, things you're investing in, be transparent with your employees, your stakeholders, so that those people can also pull their resources to be of value to your business.
Talk to your employees, your vendors, your suppliers about the things that you want to do and how they can potentially help you. They too work at your business and see and interact with your customers wherever they might be in a different way. And they're going to have a completely different vision of how the business operates than you do. Bringing in their voice can be huge for providing some insights that might help your businesses be more successful long term.
Control the controllables. As a small business owner or a startup owner you quickly realize that you can only take action on things under your control. Things outside of your control, you just have to let them be because you're going to drive yourself crazy trying to make an effect or change on those things.
Find some support groups from the small business aspect that might help you be able to grow your network and be able to be successful long term.
Co-creator passion: Empowering women and marginalized communities through Neu. Neu is a platform that connects housekeepers and domestic workers with those in need of service.
Invention of the week: Design graduate Natalie Kerres has developed Scaled, a flexible protective cast for athletes made of interlocking scales. This is a flexible body cast that can be used for athletes to help protect themselves from injuries- wrists, neck, back, preventing hyperextensions or pinched nerves. In everyday life, applications of Scaled could be huge for people in repetitive motion type jobs such as clerical or construction workers, people working in factories.