Always be looking for ways to improve your business and make it stand out from the competition. Recognize that you don’t know everything and be open to new ideas and different approaches to your business.
How to Grow a Successful Business
Charles is a nationally recognized capital markets specialist and educator with over 30 years of experience developing in-depth training programs for burgeoning financial professionals. Charles has taught at a number of institutions including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale, and many more.
To succeed in business today, you need to be flexible and have good planning and organizational skills. Many people start a business thinking that they’ll turn on their computers or open their doors and start making money, only to find that making money in a business is much more difficult than they thought.
You can avoid this in your business ventures by taking your time and planning out all the necessary steps you need to achieve success. Whatever type of business you want to start, using the following nine tips can help you be successful in your venture.
9 Tips For Growing A Successful Business
Analyze Your Competition
Competition breeds the best results. To be successful, you can’t be afraid to study and learn from your competitors. After all, they may be doing something right that you can implement in your business to make more money.
How you analyze competition will vary between sectors. If you’re a restaurant owner, you may simply be able to dine at your competition’s restaurants, ask other customers what they think, and gain information that way. However, you could be a company with much more limited access to your competitors, such as a chemicals company. In that case, you would work with a business professional and accountant to go over not just what the business presents to the world, but any financial information you may be able to get on the company as well.
Best Small Business Advice: Meetups
Whether you’ve got an issue with your industry or are struggling to connect with your community—or you’re facing a more widespread issue, like managing finances or looking for funding —there are always people you could talk to.
That might mean you start attending meetups in your neighborhood or get a group of likeminded entrepreneurs together for Thursday pizza dinners. However you do it, scoring some quality facetime with other small business owners on a regular basis can help you get the small business advice you’re looking for.
Meetup.com makes it easy to find local groups of entrepreneurs, whether they’re operating in your industry or talking through specific issues. Browse topics like Small Biz (over 4 million members and more than 10,000 meetups!) and Small Business Owners to find award-winning meetups near you.
2. Small Business Expo
While informal meetups are great for regular small business advice sessions, conferences are ideal for structured sessions of learning. Some come at a cost, but many are worth the price tag for the networking opportunities as well as the valuable insights from industry pros.
3. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
The name is a bit of a mouthful, but the annual WBENC conference is not a meetup to miss if you’re a female entrepreneur looking for guidance and small business advice. You might have to book a ticket out to Vegas for next June’s show, however.
4. Launch Festival
San Francisco, here we come. Got a startup idea or a small business plan you want help turning into reality? Launch is the conference for you, with 15,000 attendees and 250 speakers converging to support and learn from one another. There’s nothing more energizing than being surrounded by motivated peers, each looking to change the world.
5. America’s Small Business Summit
Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, this conference brings small business owners together in our nation’s capital to share their problems, discuss solutions, meet, greet, wine, dine, and learn. (They also give out awards for small business owners—so the trip could be worth your while beyond the potential for great small business advice!)
6. South by Southwest
Pack your sunscreen—Austin, Texas is host to SXSW , the world-renowned conference on business, tech, film, music, and entertainment entrepreneurship. If you’re searching for small business advice in one of these industries, these showcases, panels, advance screenings, and networking events could pay off.
Best Small Business Advice: Lawyers
All business owners need legal advice. No business survives without handling a contract or dealing with an employee agreement, and there’s always the possibility that a disgruntled customer will try to sue.
Your solution? Read all the legal-oriented small business advice you can find before doing, writing, or agreeing to anything that could endanger your business, and then run things by a lawyer before taking the next step.
30. Rocket Lawyer
While it’s not free, Rocket Lawyer does come with a trial period so you can test out the service before committing. With Rocket Lawyer you get legal templates to download and edit, a lawyer review process for your completed documents, and a channel for asking their experts legal questions. For many, it’s well worth the $39.95 monthly price tag.
For $23.99 a month, you get all the legal small business advice you can handle—and then some—with LegalZoom . Plus, lawyers will review your legal documents and, if you want to pay extra, write those contracts and so on themselves.
32. Law Guru
If you’re looking for the small business advice without the monthly charge (or the documentation help), Law Guru is the perfect resource. Simply post a question and await your answer from a qualified, credentialed lawyer. (It’s always important to note that, with services like these, you should work with a lawyer who knows the specifics of your business if it’s especially important.)
There is a paid version of Law Guru if you need a speedy or especially complicated response, but if you’re just trying to get some basic legal small business advice, there’s no need to pull out your wallet.
Got legal questions? You can get them answered at Avvo for free —or talk to one of their 90,000 lawyers for a flat $39 fee. While this service won’t be as useful if you’re looking to get a contract or lease reviewed, it’s an affordable way to understand the legal implications of your business decisions.
34. Legal Clinics
There are plenty of local legal clinics out there—just search “small business legal clinic,” plus your city or state, and you’ll find institutions like NYC Business Solutions , The Law Project (for Chicago), the SBLC pro bono project in Oregon, and many more. If you need legal small business advice from a real live lawyer, but don’t have the means to pay for that assistance, then a legal clinic is your best bet.
Getting the right small business advice is a vital part of being an entrepreneur. It might feel like small business owners are supposed to go it alone, but really, everyone needs a helping hand once in a while.