Small Business in a Big World

November 10, 2008

To Keep Your Business Growing, Look Ahead!

I found this inspiring article from Chron.Com written by Ron Consolino. He is a management counselor for SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business, a volunteer, nonprofit association and a partner of the U.S. Small Business Association.

A key to successfully piloting a small business now and in the years ahead will be embracing new ways of thinking. What works today may not work tomorrow, because the environment is always changing.

You need the attitude that whatever is done today can always be done better.

Anticipating trends can be extremely valuable in keeping you current on everything from sales strategies and customer desires to technology tools and the general economy.

As your business grows, change will be inevitable and small-business owners should constantly look ahead and seek out ways to shake things up. The more you test the winds of change, the better your chances of success down the road.

Truisms like “stick to what your business does best” are outmoded. If you want your business to survive, consider that past business traditions and processes might only hold you back.

Not all customers are created equal. Some are more valuable and loyal than others, and those are the ones you should lavish the most attention on with special savings and service offers.

Just as your customers put pressure on you, you should challenge your suppliers to find ways to reduce their prices, improve their delivery times, or evolve their materials or services to better meet your changing requirements.

Advances in technology will continue to radically change how small companies do business. You will need to keep up. Small-business owners who know how to acquire and manage information will achieve the most success. Capturing and analyzing data about customer needs, wants, behavior and how they use your product or service is becoming increasingly critical.

To get ideas about new products, services or markets, talk to your customers and suppliers, attend trade association meetings, and read trade journals and other materials. Anticipating trends is not easy but is essential in remaining successful over the long term.


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