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Three Small Business Trends That Every Entrepreneur Should Know About

Small Business TrendsChances are, you have a pretty good handle on the things that are most important to your small business and the industry you’re in. You’ve most likely identified a trend, problem, or opportunity and built a small business idea to address those needs in the market.

However, it is also important to keep an eye on bigger-picture small business trends that affect you as an entrepreneur and small business owner. In addition to the things affecting your small business and the industry you play in, there are a number of macro trends that every entrepreneur should be aware of.

Here are three current small business trends that are of particular important to small business owners in the process of taking their enterprises to the next level: (more…)

Three Sources of Small Business Help That Every Successful Entrepreneur Should Tap Into

Small Business HelpStarting, managing, and growing a successful small business is much easier said than done. If it were easy, more people would do it – and more people would be successful entrepreneurs and we would have more Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerbergs, and Bill Gates in the world.

In reality, though, entrepreneurship and small business ownership is very difficult. Every day of owning a small business involves a number of curveballs, unpredictable variables, and other challenges that most business schools don’t teach. This career can be especially difficult for first-time entrepreneurs and small business owners. (For more, see our blog: The 5 Scariest Parts of Running a Small Business).

There is some good news, however. There are a number of resources that can provide the help, guidance, and assistance that may seem hard to find at times. In other words, you don’t have to be alone when it comes to navigating the waters of starting, managing, and growing a successful small business. And, you can learn from common mistakes of entrepreneurs – all without having to make those same mistakes on your own.

Below are three critical resources that can help you and your small business succeed, grow, and thrive without breaking the bank: (more…)

Three Smoke Signs of Small Business Failure

Small Business FailureIt’s no secret that most businesses fail. By most measures, somewhere upward of 80% of small businesses and startups fail in their first few years of operation. What is less clear is why and how those small businesses fail.

Most small business failures are long in the making rather than overnight catastrophes. Experienced entrepreneurs will recognize the causes of and reasons for failure and take proactive and reactive actions to remediate those risks. Less experienced small business owners, on the other hand, won’t realize what hit them, even after the failure occurs.

There are several key early warning signs that, when properly remediated, can proactively provide a small business owner guidance on how to avoid small business failure and instead achieve small business growth. Here are three of the most common ones: (more…)

Why Perseverance is the #1 Ingredient for Small Business Success

Small Business SuccessIt is a well-known fact that hard work, dedication, and perseverance are all important to small business success. At the same time, however, few people ever explain the tangible and specific reasons why perseverance is so important to attaining your small business goals.

For example, in the classic book Think and Grow Rich, author Napoleon Hill examines how focus and desire can lead to business and professional riches. While the author does a good job of explaining the connection, here again, there is very little offered in the way of tangible ways that this focus and desire will help your small business succeed.

On the other hand, much has been written about other variables that commonly contribute to success. Popular business gurus and academics have analyzed all financing, education, leadership traits, and a spectrum of other small business success factors at length. However, none of these variables are nearly as critical as the more simple and universally accessible trait of perseverance.

Other than stating how important perseverance is, most business authors, gurus, and advice from the Small Business Administration gloss over this important topic. However, it is extremely important to understand exactly how perseverance will translate to small business success and help overcome the various obstacles that you face as an entrepreneur.

Below are the three ways that perseverance will help you on your way to small business growth and success: (more…)

Three Key Roles You Need to Fill As a Small Business Owner

Small Business ManagementIt’s no secret that owning, managing, and growing a small business can be tough work. Being a successful entrepreneur requires quite a bit of hard work, cash, ingenuity, and perseverance.

One of the primary challenges of entrepreneurship is the fact that small business owners need to possess so many skills and wear so many hats in order to realize sustained small business growth. On the one hand, they are required to be the visionaries for their new business or startup, while at the same time they are required to be a detail-oriented executor who can rally his or her organization to get things done effectively.

This is one of the key reasons why so few entrepreneurs are successful at the various stages of small business growth, beginning with the startup phase all the way through sustained growth and, if things go well, becoming a large organization. While entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg provide case studies of those that can adjust and make the transitions through the various phases of growth, the reality is that most small business owners don’t have the personality types, skills sets, or interest in doing so.

Regardless of which phase your startup or small business may be in, there are a number of key roles that you need to fill as a small business owner. The skills and focus required for each of these roles are varied, which is just one reason why managing a small business can be so difficult.

According to the book The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, there are three key roles that small business owners must fill on a day-to-day basis: (more…)

Burn Bridges Behind You to Ensure Your Small Business Success

Small Business SuccessIt’s no secret that most small businesses fail within the first five years of their existence. Of those that do make it through those early years, most of them fail in the next five years after that. In other words, although entrepreneurship can result in tremendous rewards, it is by no means a cakewalk.

This brings up an interesting question: why do so many small businesses fail? Based on our experience running our own startups and looking at our research of small business success and failures, the answer is much simpler than most believe. It is simply because the owner of the company gives up.

Now, don’t get me wrong – most entrepreneurs don’t give up easily. However, they often times find that small business ownership requires a lot more work, patience, and financial commitments than they had thought, which leads them to revert back to their Plan B.

The most successful entrepreneurs, on the other hand, burn all the bridges behind them. They don’t look back. They don’t even consider that their business may fail. They don’t keep a Plan B in their hip pockets in case things don’t work out. In other words, they burn all the bridges behind them and fully commit to their startup’s success – and eventually translate that success into small business growth. (more…)

Lessons from Radio Shack: Is Bigger Always Better for Your Small Business?

Small Business GrowthLast week there was a good article in the Wall Street Journal about Radio Shack’s struggles to avoid bankruptcy and remain solvent as a business. Although Radio Shack is by no means a small business, the trouble the company is facing is a good case study in some key points related to small businesses.

First of all, the company’s struggles are a good reminder of the various risks that businesses of all sizes face. Changing consumer preferences, new technologies, and financial headwinds are just a few of the many challenges and pitfalls that small businesses and their larger counterparts all have to navigate.

Second, this situation is a good reminder that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to small business growth. Radio Shack had become one of the biggest retailers in the world during its steep growth trajectory throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. However, the company’s growth has stalled in recent years and has instead been experiencing negative growth, fewer customers, and financial losses. (more…)

The Key Differences Between Small Business Success and Failure

Small Business SuccessWe’ve all heard the statistic that over 80% of small businesses fail in their first five years of existence. We’ve also heard the heroic success stories about entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and others.

But we don’t hear much about how and why those entrepreneurs were so much more successful than the many failures that occur each year. Some might say it’s luck, but there are distinct differences between those that achieve consistent small business growth and those that fail.

Here are eight things that make entrepreneurs more successful than those that ultimately fail: (more…)

The Five Scariest Parts of Running a Small Business

Small business training coursesFor most of us, starting a company is the epitome of the American Dream. By fusing our passions, visions, and identified opportunities in the marketplace, starting a small business is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication.

However, running a small business can also be gut wrenching and downright scary at times. Cashflow, economic turmoil, employee issues, and a host of other variables – often perceived to be outside of our control – all threaten to undermine the fun and rewards of starting a company. According to the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and other sources, most small businesses fail in their first one to two years of operation.

But having your eyes wide open to these various risks is the best way to overcome them. Below are five of the scariest aspects of running and managing a small business: (more…)