10 Tips for Small Business Success
Posted: February 22, 2010
The majority of the spas that make up the industry in the United States are considered small businesses. Check out these tips and this new resource for guidance about how to keep your spa's success on track.
BizMove.com announced the launch of a new comprehensive free resource of small business information titled The Small Business Management Knowledge Base.
The new resource features hundreds of guides, worksheets and checklists. According to Meir Liraz, president of BizMove.com, it is one of the most comprehensive free resource of small business management available on the net.
The new site has already been included on numerous recommended online resources lists, including at such quality entities as: NASA, Federal Citizen Information Center, Columbia University, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Rutgers University, California State University, Santa Clara University, Skokie Public Library, Northwestern University, Dartmouth College, Dublin Institute of Technology, and Seattle University.
Liraz offers the following advice to the small business owner struggling to survive in today's challenging times.
- Stay current. Join an industry association related to your product or offering. Subscribe to all the magazines that cover your business; they are tax deductible. Read blogs and constantly be researching topics about your business. It's easy on the Internet!
- Make sure you have a financial plan. Also, a budget and a measurement process to keep track of how you are doing monthly. If you don't know where you stand financially and have no short-term and long-term financial goals, then you are just letting fate dictate your success, and we know those odds aren't too good. Control your own destiny!
- Cash forecasting. It sounds boring and difficult, but it's not. Keep it simple. Look at your next three months projected income or revenue, then just lay next to it all the expenditures you need to keep the business running. The difference is your cash flow. You must do this to avoid surprises. Most businesses hit the brick wall because they fail to understand their cash flow.
- Get an advisory board or a mentor. Sounds crazy for a small operation? It's not! The board can be family members that you trust, or friends. Ask them to be your board of directors and review your business plans and results with them. Having someone to bounce ideas off of and get an objective opinion is critical.
- Maintain a balance between work, play and family. This is critical for long-term success. We all put in crazy hours on a short-term basis to get a hot project done or the product out the door, but if you do this on a long-term, regular basis it is a dangerous sign that you are losing perspective. You need to be able to step away on a regular basis and get your batteries re-charged. And also have time for family because if they suffer, it is almost a sure bet your business will suffer, too.
- Network. It's easy to get isolated in a home business or your own small business operation. Force yourself to get out and meet with others that can provide a business support structure for you. One of the benefits of a corporation is the workings of teams and the ongoing support structure it provides. You need to create that for yourself. Don't think you can do it all by yourself; by talking to others in business you will find out great ideas and it will help motivate you.
- Discipline/motivation. One of the hardest aspects of a small business or home-based business is creating the discipline or motivation to work each day. It is so easy to get distracted and put off the essential tasks that need to get done. Keep your work place and hours separate from the rest of your responsibilities. Develop a to-do list EVERYDAY. Set goals for the week. Review how you are doing against them. We all struggle with this, and it is one of the key elements of success.
- Don't rest on your laurels. Be prepared to always change. Force change. Look for things to do more efficiently or how to improve your offering or product. Constantly evaluate your competition and benchmark yourself against them.
- Do something you love. If you are in a business that you hate, then it is a good bet you won't be successful. Find where your true talents and skills are and get in a business that exploits them. The saying, "If you do what you love and the money will follow" is so true. Remember success is more attitude than aptitude and never forget that failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.
- Don't give up. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs failed several times before doing extremely well. So, if you're failing, fail. And fail fast. And learn. And try again, with this new wisdom. Do NOT give up. Yet, do not suffer, either.