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More than ever, small businesses today really need to shine to get new business in a difficult business environment. Here are five smart things that you can do for your business to really make you stand out from the rest and get noticed:
1. Join a weekly or monthly business networking group
One of the greatest advantages of joining a healthy and functional networking group is forcing the small business owner to get out there and market with other like minded entrepreneurs. You should be able to learn to speak the language of your business to others in a very short time. This provides you with the skills to effectively tell anyone what it is that you do and how you can be of benefit to others. You will also gain a network of referral partners that you otherwise would not have had the opportunity to meet. Check out BNI (Business Network International). They have very successful structured word of mouth networking groups all around the world. Businesses often see multiple gains on their investment.
2. Surround yourself with reputative business people in your area
Everyone in business should have a few good mentors that help you shape your business effectively. It is important to learn from other's mistakes as well as your own and to also be encouraged from their successes. In business you will hopefully have successes and setbacks. It is good to brush ideas and strategies with others that you know and trust. You may be your own boss, but that does not mean that you have to go it alone.
3. As a business owner, take care of your own health to stay on top of your game
Whether you are a sole proprietor or partner, you have many things to juggle in both business and life. Especially when starting out you have so many hats to wear and it becomes quite easy to find yourself strung out on caffeine, fast foods and sleepless nights. There often is just not enough time in a day to get all the things done that need to be done. Here are some simple tips:
a. Don't work through lunch. Go for a walk along a path surrounded by nature
b. Switch from coffee to tea. Who really needs 20 cups of coffee a day anyway? Tea can be more healthy and puts on less weight
c. Join a gym and commit to working out for 20 minutes a day. Make it part of your daily routine. You will begin to feel like you have more energy to tackle the day's tasks by exercising your heart, and getting more oxygen to your brain
4. Get active on some groups in Linkedin, give away some of your expertise to gain new business clients
Everyone is an expert in at least something in their field. By sharing what you know and engaging with others you are engaging in a business philosophy of Giver's Gain (a term used in BNI). In business you can always focus on hunting or you can farm and grow success. By farming in business, you are giving in order to expect a harvest. You give referrals, you give knowledge, you give time to mentor etc. and in the long run as you begin to cultivate your network you receive in return.
5. Make sure your marketing is top notch.
Your website is the key to your business in the online world and consumers today want to research and know about your products or services before they buy. Having an effective small business website is really important because your website is open for the word to see and is a reflection of how good or how sloppy your business is. So make sure that your website design looks and functions really well!