When you’re running a small business or a startup, it’s easy to feel as though your company is powerless in an economic and financial sea dominated by giant corporations. When certain challenges come along that threaten your business, it’s easy to think that there’s no way out. This is actually wrong-headed. There’s much that small businesses can do to help themselves succeed and thrive in a cut-throat marketplace.
Look Into Grants
You may not have heard, but your business may be eligible for a government business grant. Not all entrepreneurs feel good about taking grants. They feel it’s cheating, getting an unfair helping hand. Many like and appreciate the struggle to do things by themselves. Well, the beauty of grants is that they aren’t compulsory!
Startups that are struggling to get off the ground due to lack of funding might find that grant an essential lifeline that keeps them going enough to see their first successes through and establish their name and reputation. Following that, the rest of the success story can follow. So, grants are there for a good reason, and as a tax-paying citizen, you shouldn’t feel ashamed of taking an opportunity when it comes along.
One of the top advantages to being a small business owner is that you can be a lot more dynamic, flexible and creative when it comes to changing direction, adapting your business, and adopting new practices. Within a small business, it only takes 1 person or a tiny number to agree on a course of action, and then simply implement it. Larger businesses have to square things with their board, their shareholders, and sometimes even government regulators. It’s a lot harder for them to manoeuvre in that nimble way.
Get Active on Social Media
You might not be a big social media user, but the world at large is one, so you need to engage with this environment to help your business grow and develop. Most people will now learn about your business through online channels, so maintaining an effective presence online is very important. You don’t have to use every single social media channel, but having a website with links to, say, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn is a good start.
When looking at social media, be sure to study what each channel can offer you. If you sell products online, for instance, then Instagram is a big help, showing your product’s features and how others are using it already in their daily lives.
Get Active in the Community
Giving back to the community is another must, even for a small and growing business. You can’t leave all the philanthropy to the big corporate giants. The people in your community are your customers, either existing or potential. In the wider scope of things, consumers everywhere will prefer your brand if you demonstrate strong social responsibility, and giving back to your community that supports you is a big part of that.
Don’t Grow too Fast
Many businesses fall into the trap of rapid growth. They take early fast growth and run with it, pushing harder and harder to keep the business growing faster and faster. Sooner or later, however, what happens is that they start to dip in quality in order to keep up with demand, or they fall behind with customer service requests, or start to make mistakes in their workflow. If one or more of these things start to happen, it can create a serious chain reaction that damages a brand permanently.
Be Ready and Willing to Invest in Talent
Finally, while you may feel resources are too tight to invest in new people, you should still dig deep to try to find some money for nurturing talent. People you bring in early on are likely to stick with you on the journey and make massive contributions as they do. It’s the best time to start looking for talent who will help you lead the brand as it expands further in the future.
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