The selection of the niche is where people often realize they’ve made a mistake. If you go too broad with a general business, you might struggle to know who your audience is. If you’re too specific with a barre class socks store, you might find your niche is too narrow. Not only that but there’s also a seasonality aspect. For example, if you’re obsessed with Christmas, you could build a Christmas business but you might struggle to find customers for your products in February. Another business tip to consider is whether you’ll be able to remarket to customers for years to come. For example, if you’re selling maternity clothing, women are only pregnant for nine months. After she gives birth, she likely won’t be shopping on that store anymore. So when it comes to deciding on a niche, choose a niche that’s popular year round ( Google Trends can show you how stable a niche is). You’ll also want to choose a niche that’s popular such as at least hundreds of thousands of monthly searches like fashion, beauty, fitness, or home decor. And finally, a niche that isn’t short-term so avoid maternity, weddings, or any niche business you won’t be able to build a long-term email list with. Try some unusual business ideas instead!
How to Grow a Successful Business
Charles is a nationally recognized capital markets specialist and educator with over 30 years of experience developing in-depth training programs for burgeoning financial professionals. Charles has taught at a number of institutions including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale, and many more.
To succeed in business today, you need to be flexible and have good planning and organizational skills. Many people start a business thinking that they’ll turn on their computers or open their doors and start making money, only to find that making money in a business is much more difficult than they thought.
You can avoid this in your business ventures by taking your time and planning out all the necessary steps you need to achieve success. Whatever type of business you want to start, using the following nine tips can help you be successful in your venture.
9 Tips For Growing A Successful Business
Analyze Your Competition
Competition breeds the best results. To be successful, you can’t be afraid to study and learn from your competitors. After all, they may be doing something right that you can implement in your business to make more money.
How you analyze competition will vary between sectors. If you’re a restaurant owner, you may simply be able to dine at your competition’s restaurants, ask other customers what they think, and gain information that way. However, you could be a company with much more limited access to your competitors, such as a chemicals company. In that case, you would work with a business professional and accountant to go over not just what the business presents to the world, but any financial information you may be able to get on the company as well.
8 Business People Share their Best Business Tips
“The best business tip for new entrepreneurs is to incorporate or form an LLC for your startup. Incorporating your business provides it with liability protection, which creates a separation between personal and professional assets. It also helps establish credibility with consumers and incorporating as certain entity types, like LLCs, may even provide you extra tax savings.” – Deborah Sweeney, CEO, MyCorporation.com
“The best business tip for new entrepreneurs is to never quit. Thousands of businesses fail every year because their founders throw in the towel too soon. You have to push through the steep learning curve: the insane hours, the mistakes, the failures, and the uncertainty that comes with starting any business. There are no overnight successes – it’s a myth. It usually takes years to become truly successful in your business, but as long as you don’t quit, it will eventually happen. Hang in there!” – J.P. Pesare, CEO, Kinetic Bridge
“The best business tip for the new entrepreneur is: just start. The time will never be perfect. You will make more mistakes than you can anticipate. But in the end, the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones willing to start and learn along the way.” – Rocco Cozza, Esq., Founding Attorney, Law Office of Rocco E. Cozza PLLC
“The best business tip for new entrepreneurs considering taking the leap is that if you truly believe in your idea, give up excuses and doubt, surround yourself by a trusted and talented team, bulldoze forward and DON’T. LOOK. BACK. because if you give it your all, you can mark my words… it will be the journey of a lifetime.” – Lori Cheek, Founder/CEO , Cheekd
“The best business tip for new entrepreneurs is: to get as much PR as possible when you start your company. No one can buy your products or services if they don’t know you exist. And no one is going to do it for you so do it yourself. Spend as much time as possible and get the word out through every channel you can. Even if you have a PR company you need to help them with your social channels and email lists. Sales are easily the most difficult things to get for new businesses so the more people that know about you and your company the better.” – Ben Walker, CEO, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC
“The best business tip for new entrepreneurs is to create a system for your business. Therefore, when you are able to start hiring individuals, there is already a tried system in place for them to follow.” – Jaquetta T Ragland, Owner, Young and Finance
“The best business tip for new entrepreneurs is to learn all facets of your business. For example, if you are starting a SaaS company you’ll need to know how to market the product, how to code, how to design a converting landing and various other things. You need to sit down and figure out exactly what your business will need and become moderately educated in them. While, you do not need to be at an expert level you should understand the processes enough to hire, or outsource the work without getting taken advantage of.” – Shawn Pour, Cofounder, Sell Max
“The best business tip for new entrepreneurs (especially if you’re a small business owner or solopreneur with limited resources) is to find one or two reliable marketing channels and focus on those, instead of getting distracted by every single possible channel for getting the word out about your business. For my small business, once I pinpointed Google as a source of quality leads, I started to focus more heavily on improving my visibility in search, which in turn helped generate more quality leads. Although this means putting off other aspects of my marketing (at least in the short term), it lets me hyperfocus and be more productive instead of spreading myself too thin trying to be everywhere at once.” – Chloe Brittain, Owner, Opal Transcription Services
How to Run a Business
1. Understand the marketplace and define clear KPIs.
You need concrete data on your ideal customers, the existing competition, expected growth and demand, market trends, and more. These types of insights are invaluable and help you make informed business decisions and goals.
The four Ps of the marketing mix are evolving, and you might want to explore the eight Ps that more accurately reflect modern marketing. They include product, price, place, promotion, people, process, physical evidence, and performance.
With business goals and research in hand, don’t forget to think about what you want personally, too. There’s a reason why airlines instruct us to place our oxygen mask on before helping others: if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of someone else.
2. Draft a business plan.
In the digital age, this is easier than ever before. A living document stored in the cloud and accessible to everyone not only allows for consistency and collaboration but for evolution over time. Changes can be made, saved, and shared automatically.
Featured Tool: Free Business Plan Template
3. Set revenue and profitability goals.
This is also a great time to revisit your pricing structure. Are your products priced appropriately? How many units will you need to sell each period to reach your revenue and profitability goals? Document and lay this information out clearly so you know exactly what you need to do to keep your business running and thriving.
4. Create a fantastic human resources team.
Small businesses can attract rare candidates by having a positive culture, a strong career track, and well-trained, unbiased recruiters. "A supportive culture and a strong career track are key to attracting the best of the best," agrees Taylor Dumouchel of Peak Sales Recruiting.
"Top professionals seek respect, not just within their immediate teams, but throughout an organization; they want to work for companies that value what they do. In order to recruit top talent, executives need to highlight their positive and supportive culture and underscore how they recognize that their positions are a part of the major drivers for company growth."
5. Hire the right employees.
As budget and demand allow, surround yourself with experts in things that you are not. Ask for input and feedback from them. Involve them in decisions that will impact them directly and indirectly to foster greater investment in what you’re building, and to make better, more informed decisions together. When you win, you all win.
But that’s not all. "It’s important to develop a clear onboarding strategy for employees and a system for measuring results," says Nico Prins of Launch Space. "Putting systems in place will help as you scale the business, especially if you’re expanding quickly, and reduce the amount of time and work associated in dealing with inevitable staff turnover."
"Outsource to experts and pay by the hour when you can’t afford or don’t need full-time staffing for a skill set," suggests Giles Thomas of Whole Design Studios. "Productized services are the simplest thing to buy as you see what you get upfront and don’t get any nasty bill-by-the-hour invoices at month’s end."
Successful business owners and leaders delegate to employees, freelancers, and consultants as necessary. This lightens the load on full-time employees and lets you and your team focus on your specific areas of expertise.
6. Offer benefits for staff.
A key part of building a strong team is making sure your team feels motivated, incentivized, and well taken care of so they can effectively do their job. This is why offering benefits for your staff is so important.
As you make hiring decisions, factor in how much budget you have to cover employee benefits. Once you know your budget, consider what benefits are required on a federal, state, and local level for your business. Some required benefits may include:
After factoring in the costs of required benefits, you can determine what elective benefits you would like to offer. Know that these benefits are often what keeps an employer competitive, especially in a hot job market. Additional benefits can include:
7. Implement the right tools for your growth strategy.
Thanks to the ever-decreasing cost of technology, even small businesses have all the tools they need at their fingertips (for instance, a free-forever, all-in-one CRM). But choosing the right ones can be challenging. According to Manvi Agarwal of SocialPilot, there are a few things you should consider when deciding which tool is the ‘right one’:
What makes a business successful?
The most successful businesses center everything they do around their customers, cultivate a sense of trust, and become experts in their space. When a business is able to combine these three things, they’re able to deeply understand their target audience, promote customer loyalty, and provide a solution to their challenge that they can’t get anywhere else.
1. Focus on the customer experience.
2. Remember to listen.
You might use traditional methods like calling or emailing your customers. You may also use the process of social listening or conduct feedback surveys, such as net promoter score (NPS), to gather data on customer sentiment. Listen to the market and your customers. Adapt and be flexible, but don’t waver on your core values, beliefs, and objectives. Here’s a powerful example of a CEO who listened to feedback and applied to grow his business.
"As the founder of an indie startup, I’ve come to embrace a few core values," says Eugene Woo, CEO of Venngage. "This includes realizing our mission over a long period of time instead of a quick exit, creating value for our customers by helping them solve real problems, being responsible for our own financial sustainability, scaling at our own pace and doing the right thing over ‘it’s just business.’ This philosophy has guided every aspect of my decision-making process as I’ve made Venngage into an independent, growing and profitable business over the past four years."
3. Become a better leader.
Before anything else, develop the leadership qualities necessary to build your business’s long-term vision. Great leaders exhibit integrity, accountability, empathy, humility, vision, influence, and organizational direction to drive ideas to completion.
4. Cultivate trust.
The very foundation of your business is built on trust with your customers. 76% of consumers pay attention to advertising from brands they’ve trusted for a long time. To develop that trust, make sure your business goes above and beyond their minimum expectations. That means build a loyal community and ensure your product does exactly what you say it does.
5. Spread your message.
And in 2020, that means embracing the digital revolution in both your communication and marketing. Where are your customers? Online. How do they prefer communicating and engaging with businesses and others? Digitally.
Additionally, consider leveraging partners to amplify your messaging. As CEO of Aptitude 8 Connor Jeffers told me, "In the early days of Aptitude 8, we found a lot of success with partner marketing. I recommend early-stage companies find partners that serve the same audience they’re targeting, build relationships with their marketing teams, and supply those teams with great content they can help distribute easily."
Jeffers adds, "Every marketer is hungry for additional assets they can put into their marketing machine, especially if they’re not the ones who have to get them created. The best part of this partner led content strategy is that it’s totally free! After investing in this for a while, you also start to build up a library which you can repurpose for other inbound marketing efforts as you continue to grow your business."
6. Build your platform.
Yes, we recommend using channels such as Facebook, email, digital ads, and search engines to attract new customers, however, these are all what we call managed and paid media. Strong businesses also focus their energy on a primary platform that they own.
A new company’s branding, design, tone, and personality all need to be aligned across every marketing channel and point to a website. Additionally, having a website is beneficial because you own the channel. That means you can promote your content on it anytime you want without dealing with algorithms, paying for ads, or competing for space on the front page. High-quality, valuable content promoted on your website drives traffic and leads to you.
Just make sure that content is solving an existing problem for the customer. "One way to validate that people are looking for solutions to their ‘problems’ is through keyword research," says Nathan Gotch of Gotch SEO. "You can find the exact keywords your prospective customers are using with tools like UberSuggest or the Google Keyword Planner. You then need to create content around the keywords you find."
But it doesn’t stop there. "Content is also a valuable sales tool," says Valerie Turgeon of Brandpoint. "While a strong sales team is essential for closing the deal, buyers are more likely to self-educate and engage with digital content before conversing with sales. A content strategy will help guide your content creation and distribution efforts to get in front of buyers first and help capture leads for your sales team."