Networking is an incredibly valuable tool for small business owners. Have a group of like minded entrepreneurs where you can discuss the ups and downs of business to determine what is and isn’t working can help you take your company to the next level. Unfortunately, amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and social distancing requirements, mixers for professionals to meet and network are on hold for the time being. Luckily, The Hartford Small Biz Ahead recently interviewed successful small business owners on the best tips they have to share with other entrepreneurs. Here are the biggest takeaways from their article:
Create a Community with Other Small Business Owners
One of the interviewees, Laura Kelly of the Handwork Studio, emphasized the importance of being part of a community of professionals. Joining a mastermind group (which you can even do online,) she says, is a great way to brainstorm with other small businesses owners who can help motivate you and keep you accountable.
Create SMART Goals
You can use the SMART goal system, which emphasizes creating goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound, to drive your business forward. Getting specific with your goals enables you to visualize them clearly and work backwards to figure out what steps you need to take to achieve your desired end result.
Outsource or Delegate
When you start your own company, it can be tempting to try to control everything yourself. After all, your business is your baby, and you may feel like outsourcing work will lead to a drop in the quality you’re able to achieve. However, according to Gene Marks of Marks technology, delegating tasks that you don’t love or aren’t good at is actually essential to the long-term health of your business. Doing so frees up your time and mental space to work on the tasks that actually need your attention, which will enable your business to grow and flourish.
Be Cautious with Your Financial Investment
Those interviewed also stressed the importance of being cautious with your financial investment. Sara Blakely at Spanx told the story of how she kept her day job in the sales world for two years after she started her company in order to maintain financial stability and be able to invest in her company. She credits this period of waiting to take her business full time with the eventual success of her company!
Likewise, Marks advised new entrepreneurs to keep their overhead low. This offers you peace of mind in the event of a recession and enables you to offer competitive pricing.
Find What You’re Good at and Stick to It
Defining your niche is incredibly important to your success, said Marc Mathios of Ace Apparel. Jayson DeMers of AudienceBloom agreed, reminding business owners to avoid distractions and focus on giving 100% to their company rather than chasing other ideas. Giving your all to your startup is at the heart of entrepreneurship, and your passion and drive to make your company succeed is one of your biggest assets as a business owner.
These (and other tips from successful entrepreneurs) can help you understand what you should do in your business in order to have a greater likelihood of success.