Owning a small business often times means that you need to be an expert in a number of areas. In addition to being the visionary entrepreneur, you also need to know how to market, sell, manage finances, hire and manage employees, and continue to execute the small business ideas necessary for your business success.
Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs overlook a number of areas that are bound to have the biggest impact on your small business growth. Here are five small business ideas that can have an immediate impact on your business:
Think big rather than small. Even though your business may be “small,” that doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to think or act small. Yes, there may be a gap between where you are now and where you want to be – especially if you are just starting out – which is why it is important to focus on where you are headed rather than overemphasizing where you are now. In order to do this, define big goals for your business and communicate what your business will become to your market. More often than not, this mentality becomes a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy to fuel your small business growth.
Find cash within your small business. Small business loans from the Small Business Administration and banks may be hard to come by for most, but that doesn’t mean that you need to be cash strapped. Instead, look for ways that you can find cash hidden in your business right now. For example, can you collect payments from your customers any faster? Can you work out longer payment terms with your vendors? Can you raise your prices on your products or services? Can you make more of your employee pay variable and performance-based to stay in sync with your sales? You may find that some people may balk at the above ideas, but they may be good ways to increase your cashflow and generate higher profits quickly.
Reduce your operating costs. Most small businesses that participate in our small business training courses operate with higher operating costs than they need to. They often times pay too much for their raw materials or inputs without realizing that even a single phone call to a key supplier can significantly reduce their costs. Another way to keep your internal costs under control is to constantly shop around for lower-cost suppliers, which can, at the very least, have the effect of keeping your current suppliers competitive. Either way, look for inefficiencies and opportunities to reduce costs and increase profit margins within your business.
Define and document your business operations. This one doesn’t sound appealing to many entrepreneurs, but it is one of the quickest, easiest, and most effective ways to generate higher profits for your business. Think of all the times your internal processes break down or your customers don’t get what they expect from your business. Often times this is due to the fact that your processes aren’t clearly defined or understood by your employees. By simply documenting your standard processes and training employees accordingly, you can ensure that your business becomes a well-oiled machine rather than an unpredictable mess. This is true even for solopreneurs without employees; documenting all of your business processes will ensure that you are executing consistently on a day-to-day basis.
Utilize small business guerilla marketing tactics. Marketing and advertising your business doesn’t need to be expensive and it doesn’t require expensive consultants, either. Look for creative ways to get your word out at a low-cost, such as through targeted social media marketing where you can spend as little as $1 per day and still get impressive results. Good old-fashioned cold calling is another inexpensive and relatively effective tactic that many entrepreneurs overlook in this digital age. The list of examples goes on and on, but the point is, there are plenty of ways to market and sell more of your services for little to no cost.
These are just a few of the most effective profit-generating small business ideas that we have seen work effectively for our own businesses, as well as for other entrepreneurs. Learn more of these and other effective small business strategies by attending or learning more our free online Small Business Boot Camp training course for entrepreneurs and small business owners.