Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Small Business Tips: Simple Steps to Business Success In Any Industry

Business Survival 101…Ten Simple Steps to Business Success In Any Industry

1. Do Your Research

- Use the internet, books and magazines to stay current in your industry.
-Make sure that you know all the legal state and federal requirements before you move forward with your business.
-Before you set your prices check out what your competition is charging and what is customary for your state or city.
-Shop around for the most effective and cost friendly products when shopping for your business.

2. Know Your Trade!

- Actions speak louder than words!
-It doesn't matter how good you are, remember there is always going to be someone out there with the potential to be better.
-Not all fields require a degree but training is a must!
-Teach yourself as much as you can, then enroll in a course that pertains to your business field this way you are a few steps ahead of the rest.
-Attend trade shows, workshops and seminars as frequent as possible so that you stay up on the changes and newest trends in your industry.

3. Invest In Your Business

-People with professional representation of their business are more likely to book a client quicker than someone with nothing to show.
-Get a professional website, business cards and email address. This can be done for under $100 annually.
-Create a portfolio of your work.
-Join local industry related professional clubs and organizations such as HAEVP for the event industry.
-Being a part of industry groups shows that you value your business and insures that you stay up to date on all industry trends.
-Get insurance and trademark whatever you think is an important part of your business.
-Promo your business occasionally through give a ways and discounts.

4. Be Approachable!

-Be personable, honest, confident, and have an impeccable self presentation.
-Most important, be you! People know when you aren’t being who you normally are, it always shows.
-Leave your attitude at home or in the car, no one wants to do business with someone who’s arrogant or rude.
-Not sure what to wear? Black slacks and a nice black dress shirt will always do the trick.

5. Network

-Networking is also a form of branding yourself; people associate you with your business.
-Shout to the world or anyone who will listen who you are and what you do.
-People most commonly conduct business with people they know and trust.
-Attend different industry and non-industry related business functions to meet new business owners and potential clients

6. Brand Yourself

-Get a really cool but simple logo.
-Create a simple but catchy slogan.
-Where and when ever your work will be used or displayed be sure your logo is seen also.
-Get listed in business directories, magazines and online industry websites. Be sure to include you logo when ever applicable.
-Create a blog for your company to show your work and offer some of your expertise.

7. Ask for Help

-Understand that it’s ok to ask for help, some of the greatest people in the world became great by asking for help.
-Establish a team of mentors whom you can go to for advice.
- Look for professionals with 15 + years of experience in your field or current business needs, they make the best mentors and posse many years of knowledge.
- Be open to receive corrective criticism and consider it an honor to have someone correct you if their intentions are to see you grow.

8. Friend vs. Business Associate?

-Learn to recognize the difference between a true "friend" and a "business associate".
-You don’t have to become friends with everyone you do business with.
-The saying goes, “never mix business with pleasure”.
-In the beginning keep personal conversations with a business associate to the bare minimum, the less they know about your personal life the better.
-Once you have gotten to learn the person and their personality if you chose to pursue a friendship so be it.

9. Keep Your Ideas In a Safe Place…Your Brain!

- Not everything should be shared with everyone.
-Don't take people at face value; remember the first law of nature is "self preservation”.                                                 
-Never tell people what you are doing until after you do it!

10. Don't Get Emotional!

-Stuff happens, learn from it and move forward.
-Never let them see you sweat!
-In the end how you handle a situation displays how professional you are and how much you value your business and clients.

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