[Guest post today]
Even the largest of businesses start off on a small scale, often as the idea of just one person who spots a commercial opportunity and turns his or her idea into a marketable product. If you’re thinking about joining the 28 million small businesses now operating in the US, here are some of the advantages, as well as a few hints to help you on the way…
What does it take to run a successful small business?
Successful entrepreneurs are usually proactive, self-motivated and determined characters who are not put off by failure and are prepared to take risks. They are usually comfortable with technological advances and always confident enough to embrace new and innovative ideas as they arise.
Four benefits of keeping your business small
1. Small businesses are inherently flexible. Because the leadership team is so often very small, usually just one or two people, they can respond quickly and readily to the demands of the client. The chain of command you can find in a large company does not exist, allowing the business owner to reach quick decisions. Larger companies are often hampered by established procedures that cannot be changed.
2. Small businesses are, of course, cheaper to run than large companies with far lower overheads. They can usually be found in small premises with lower rents, heating and lighting costs.
3. The public often prefer to deal with small businesses because they can seem so much less impersonal than larger companies. Customers get to know who they are dealing with, which makes them more confident in the services they are paying for. Employees can feel more loyal too because they work so closely with their boss.
4. Owners of small businesses are able to follow their instincts, introducing new products, developing new ideas as they wish rather than being dependent on the approval of a board of shareholders or other chains of command. This can be exciting for the business but also for the public who benefit from having greater choice as a result. Small businesses can develop niche markets, developing a product that might not have mass appeal and thus not make financial success for a larger firm. In addition, a smaller enterprise with lower overheads is in a position to make a profit on something with relatively low sales figures.
So how do you begin in small business?
Every business begins with a concept. But the most practical thing you can do to kickstart the process is research. Investigate not only the market where you want to pitch your product, but the way that customers are responding to other companies already out there. This way, you can start to analyse and discover how you might do things better or differently to stand out and impress your target consumer audience.
Armed with information on your rivals, your potential customers and the market, you will then be well-placed to start writing your business plan and budgeting for a small business of your own.