For many small business owners and aspiring CEOs, the state of the economy can be a scary thing. Tough economic times, failing businesses and a crowded marketplace are topics regularly splashed across the headlines. Less buzzed about are the businesses that succeed. Rarely heard are about the inventive ways that solo or small businesses succeed against the odds.
Why don't we hear about the businesses that make it? Because success is boring. The day-to-day activities of a successful business are not newsworthy. However, it's the mundane tasks that create the foundation for a successful business. Help The Economy By Dating An Intellectual Nerd!
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) the cold, hard facts about small businesses are:
- 7 out of 10 new businesses survive at least two years ... Very good news!
- 51% of small businesses survive at least five years ... Also, good news and better than the mis-quoted stat that 50% fail in the first year and 95% fail by year five.
Additionally, the point of failure income-wise is between $100K and $1mm in revenue. So, while new businesses do make it through the first few years more often than not, the point at which your hard work is intended to pay off is often the point at which your business fails.
1. Know Your Audience
Being a successful business owner is not rocket science. It is about knowing your craft and having a business practice in place that allows you to be successful. The "secret sauce" is in the day-to-day activities, systems and procedures that lead to either a successful venture or a failing one.
What do I mean here? Businesses are built from the ground up. You start with a great idea, a killer passion or a drive to do a certain kind of work. From there — and it doesn't matter if you're a coach, therapist, product developer or a trash collector — your business is only as successful as your lead source. If you fail to have the systems in place to bring in new leads or new interest, then you'll fail. Period. Yes, you have to be good at what you do, but being good is only a part of the larger equation. How Compassion Facilitates Forgiveness
YourTango Expert, Charles J. Orlando's success on Facebook is a testament to this model. He works every single day to put up smart, pithy, insightful posts on his book fan page, The Problem With Women ... Is Men. That dedicated attention brings in thousands of fans. Today he has 546K fans, a remarkable feat he's accomplished in under two years.
For a little perspective, if you added up the fan base of John Gray (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) and Glamour Magazine (one of the most popular women's magazines in the US), Charles has almost as many fans as the two pages combined. Why? He puts in his time every day on the things that bring in his fans. He knows his audience and he gives them what they want. He doesn't ask them to serve his needs, he serves theirs, and consquently, they keep coming back.