June 21 marked the first official day of summer and we couldn’t be more excited! The summer season brings warm weather, longer days, and well-deserved time off. For micro and small businesses, though, summer vacations can feel impossible. Small business owners feel conflicted about being away as it has real implications on the business. Yet on flip side, they’re working around the clock and need a vacation. On top of that, social never sleeps so allowing your social presence to dwindle while away isn’t an option.
Small businesses need small goals; that sounds trite, right? While it may sound ‘cute’, it’s actually quite true for businesses of any size. Small goals are not a reflection of the ambition or overarching strategy of a business, but rather speak to the strategic way a business approaches its long-term goals. Small goals enable businesses to chip away at large objectives and celebrate their wins along the way. It takes time and effort to get a business up and running in a sustainable way, so taking time to note accomplishments of any size bolsters morale and helps you refocus on the bigger business goals. Jack Nickell, the owner of Threadless.com, perfectly summarizes what it takes to start a company:
I have to admit I have never been very good at writing Calls To Action. Some people seem to have this preternatural skill, getting customers to click effortlessly. For me, it was always a major struggle. One that held me back for a long time, keeping my content from ever reaching the potential I knew it could.
Thankfully I have gotten over that hurdle. What pushed things in the other direction was learning about click triggers, and how they can improve your CTAs almost instantly.
Being a small business owner is an incredible feat. You’ve pursued your passion and made it into a reality. It is certainly exciting to be at the helm of a business, but it can also be overwhelming. You’re responsible for everything, and properly attending to every factor of your business takes time. You may have noticed that your day can easily be derailed by sales call or troubleshooting an unexpected and urgent issue. These kinds of interruptions are part of being a small business owner, but in order to maximize your time and not work 24/7, try setting a schedule. We have five recommendations for setting a schedule that works for you and helps you stay on track for reaching your business goals.
We recently touched on the importance of customer experience and how companies large and small are tuning into this relatively new business area. However, with the advent of customer experience, we can’t forget about good old customer service. Customer service is a company’s backbone, and plays a central part in any business’s success. Yet, in these ever-changing times, traditional customer service methodologies are no longer making the cut. Customers have higher expectations, there is greater competition in the market, and support is no longer an ancillary entity, but rather an integral part of the customer experience. As consumer demands increase, innovating with the changing atmosphere is necessary. As a small business, it’s the time to up the ante and refresh your customer service strategy.
As small business owners, you know that networking is of utmost importance to building your business and credibility. Word of mouth endorsements are invaluable and you never know the connections you will make at an event or during an online networking hour. Yet, as a small business owner, attending hours-long events to establish relationships and potential partners is just not part of your daily routine because they’re a major drain on your most precious resource: time. Luckily in this fast-paced digital age, there are a number of professional networking apps that help you to network effectively on your own time.
Customer experience (CX) has become a hot topic over the past few years and with good reason. Superior customer service is no longer a primary requirement for attracting and retaining customers. The customer’s experience must be stellar, memorable, and positive in order to provide the traction previously supplied by white glove customer service. How the customer is left feeling dictates their impression of a brand and impacts whether or not they will return to the business. “When people make purchases today, they want that purchase to make them feel a certain way,” says Daniel Newman, President of Broadsuite.
Just like April showers bring May flowers, April 15 brings Tax Day. Even though we know it’s coming, somehow the tax deadline tends to sneak up on us. As a small business owner, you have an incredible responsibility for filing correctly and in a timely way to save both time and money. It takes time to properly organize and file taxes, and the 2014 Small Business Taxation Survey found that 40% of small business owners spend 80 hours preparing for their income taxes. Whether you DIY or employ an accountant, we want to take the heartache out of tax preparation and save you precious hours and resources.
We’re all guilty of it: toggling between screens and applications; answering emails while talking to someone on speakerphone. These are normal daily activities that eat away at our productivity. The ability to focus on a singular task has become a novel idea; we have forgotten the importance of paying attention to one thing at a time and having complete focus. With increasing responsibilities and deliverables, the average person has resorted to ‘multitasking’ all the time. It is so common that it doesn’t even seem like multitasking anymore.
Whether your business goal is to be a best-kept-secret restaurant or the next big tech startup, you can learn a lot from the highly successful people who came before you. It might be hard to imagine now, but someday your fledgling enterprise could be booming – and you could be really busy. Establishing good habits now will lead to greater productivity and satisfaction as your business grows and changes.
With that in mind, we scoured the internet to find some sage advice for you today. Let’s take a look at 10 habits and philosophies of successful businesspeople and leaders that you can take with you on your journey to bigger and better: