Business

6 Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out from the Crowd

Running a small business is hard. Standing out from the crowd and elevating yourself above your competition is even harder.

small business tips

small business tips

With all the responsibilities for running your business already on your shoulders, it’s a big challenge to also become an expert marketer, too. You can only do so much!

But consider these 6 tips and you’ll have a major leg up on your competitors:

1) Understand Your Brand

Your brand is not just a name or logo. It’s comprised of everything that makes your business what it is. The way you present yourself, what you offer, the way you want to be perceived.

The first step towards the big leagues is ensuring your brand is clearly defined.

2) Give Stuff Away

A simple and time-tested marketing technique is to give away your product or service. Sounds outlandish, right? But depending on your industry, it may be ideal.

Restaurants that dish out free food at charitable events, for instance, expose people to their food and win themselves new customers.

3) Use the Social Media Your Customers Use

You’ll often hear that you have to be on Facebook because it’s the most widely used social media platform, but the truth is that the only place you need to be is where your customers are.

That can change depending on the nature of your business, so it behooves you to find out. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter – they all have advantages, so find out which is best for you!

4) Create An Event

Networking events are fine, but the real power comes in events you create yourself. Whether they are community events, open houses, or hosting your own networking event for local businesses, organizing your own puts you and your business in focus in a big way.

 

5) Be Good At What You Do

This one seems like it should be obvious (and it should probably be listed at #1), but it’s all too easy to forget. If you want to make your mark and you want your business to succeed, you need to strive to be the best at what you do.

Make people walk away and think, “Wow, why can’t others offer a (product/service) like that?” Your competitors won’t stand a chance.

6) Embrace Technology

The nature of your business doesn’t matter: technology is your friend.

Portable tech, new software, cloud computing, document scanning, mobile devices, and much more, all are things that can enhance your productivity, connect you with your customers, and save you a lot of money in the long term.

There are a lot of things to manage when you’re running a small business, but if you keep the above in mind you can give your business a major boost.

4 Common Mistakes Many Small Businesses Make

Owning and operating a small business is a lot of work.

Often headed by just one person or a small handful of people, there are a million and one things a small business owner has to keep in mind in order to keep their business running.

small business tips

small business tips

And that’s exactly why the mistakes listed below are so common. But they don’t have to be. Take a look, know what to expect, and be prepared so you don’t get caught in these common traps:

1) You Try To Do It All

It’s not uncommon in small business to tackle anything and everything yourself. In many ways, it’s an essential part of being a small business owner. However, you can take it too far and get in over your head, be overwhelmed with work, or try and do something beyond your capabilities – and all that can add up to trouble.

Solution: Don’t be afraid to outsource essential work that is beyond you or your team. If you’re not a good bookkeeper, for instance, hire someone to do it for you. It’s an expense that could actually SAVE you money in the long term.

2) No Written Goals, No Written Plan, No Clear Direction

This is an incredibly common mistake. Someone starts a business with good intentions – they have a particular skill that is marketable or they see a niche to be filled – and from there they just wing it.

Huge mistake. You can get by for a little while on luck or momentum, but in the long term it’s vital to have clear goals and a clear plan to get there.

Solution: Create a written mission statement, put a set of one-year, three-year, five-year, and ten-year goals in writing, and create a written plan to achieve those goals. You’ll be amazed at how that can refocus and improve your business.

3) You Don’t Have A Website

It’s all too common for small local businesses to think they don’t need to be online because they are a local business serving the local community.

They just assume the locals will find them. Big mistake! These days, nearly 97% of consumers search for goods and services online, and half those searches are for things local to them. Being online is essential to being found by new customers and clients.

Solution: This one is pretty obvious. Get a website! And while you’re at it, get yourself on social media, too. It’s essential to being seen.

4) You Haven’t Embraced Technology

Small business owners usually operate on pretty tight budgets.

We understand that. Because of this, small business owners are often reluctant to invest in technologies that could make them more efficient and profitable in the long run – and while saving money in the short term is nice, in the long term that is a mistake.

Cloud storage, document scanning, digital storage, mobile devices, and other tech can give you a major leg up on your competitors.

Solution: Don’t be scared to invest in your future! The businesses that do best recognize that they have to look further ahead than next week if they want to succeed. You should, too.

Running a small business can be tough, but by avoiding these common mistakes you can make life a lot easier for yourself, and as an added bonus get an advantage on your competition. Good luck!

Why Your Business Needs a Paperless Office

paperless office It wasn’t that long ago that the notion of a paperless office was a bit of futurology, a glimpse into a future that was a little out of our grasp. In some ways it sounded like science fiction. Business as we knew it would be forever changed, went the claim, making life easier for everyone.

Yet to our great surprise, the futurists were right. That future is here.

If you want a greener office, easier ways to deal with stringent HIPAA requirements, better security surrounding your corporate information, and more, the promise of the paperless office is now reality.

And yes, it can revolutionize the way you do business.

These days, document scanning services are common and help companies digitize years worth of records. In addition, software to make inventory and billing more streamline is also more affordable than ever. Finally, businesses that have to track loads of data have more tech options at their disposal than ever before.

One thing that is important to understand is that the term “paperless office” is kind of a misnomer. Most businesses can never go 100% paperless. As all small business owners know, government documents, employee forms, and more may still need to be done on paper, even if you’re trying to go greener.

You don’t have to be enslaved to reams of paper like in the past, though. Modern businesses are shifting towards doing business in the digital realm more and more, both because it saves them a lot of money and because it helps their business operate more efficiently.

call to action How much more efficiently? When you back on how much time it takes your staff to retrieve sort through paperwork, you help them work faster than they ever had before. As a result, your clients and customers will walk away more satisfied with the services you provide.

You can’t put a price on that.

The big roadblock for small businesses in transitioning to a paperless existence is scanning all those documents. Those projects take time. They take labor. They take money. Few small businesses can spare the staff for such a project.

Thankfully, there are organizations that do this kind of work to take it off the shoulders of small businesses. They convert stacks of paperwork into databases that help you move your business into the digital world.

It’s a good move to make. Most of the business world has been transitioning more and more to the digital realm. To survive in the marketplace a few years from now, you’ll need to be wired into it. If you’re not, you’re going to be left behind.

So are you ready to make a move towards the future and go paperless?

6 Ways to Help Your Business Stand Out from the Crowd

Running a small business is hard. Standing out from the crowd and elevating yourself above your competition is even harder.

small business tips

With all the responsibilities for running your business already on your shoulders, it’s a big challenge to also become an expert marketer, too. You can only do so much!

But consider these 6 tips and you’ll have a major leg up on your competitors:

1) Understand Your Brand

Your brand is not just a name or logo. It’s comprised of everything that makes your business what it is. The way you present yourself, what you offer, the way you want to be perceived.

The first step towards the big leagues is ensuring your brand is clearly defined.

2) Give Stuff Away

A simple and time-tested marketing technique is to give away your product or service. Sounds outlandish, right? But depending on your industry, it may be ideal.

Restaurants that dish out free food at charitable events, for instance, expose people to their food and win themselves new customers. 

3) Use the Social Media Your Customers Use

You’ll often hear that you have to be on Facebook because it’s the most widely used social media platform, but the truth is that the only place you need to be is where your customers are.

That can change depending on the nature of your business, so it behooves you to find out. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter – they all have advantages, so find out which is best for you! 

4) Create An Event

Networking events are fine, but the real power comes in events you create yourself. Whether they are community events, open houses, or hosting your own networking event for local businesses, organizing your own puts you and your business in focus in a big way.

5) Be Good At What You Do

This one seems like it should be obvious (and it should probably be listed at #1), but it’s all too easy to forget. If you want to make your mark and you want your business to succeed, you need to strive to be the best at what you do.

Make people walk away and think, “Wow, why can’t others offer a (product/service) like that?” Your competitors won’t stand a chance.

6) Embrace Technology

The nature of your business doesn’t matter: technology is your friend.

Portable tech, new software, cloud computing, document scanning, mobile devices, and much more, all are things that can enhance your productivity, connect you with your customers, and save you a lot of money in the long term.

There are a lot of things to manage when you’re running a small business, but if you keep the above in mind you can give your business a major boost.