Every great corporation we see today started as someone’s business idea.
It must have started as a small business and developed into a large-scale business over time and effort. Having this in mind, success of these small businesses should be taken very seriously in order to have a virile and sustainable economic growth in a nation like ours. Nigeria has about 35% return on investment, which is the highest in the world today, with this, there is room for small businesses to thrive and survive beyond 5 years of establishment. Government has also seen the importance of small business success that they came up with the idea that banks and financial institutions should set aside a certain percentage of their profit after tax (about 10%)to serve as loans and grants to entrepreneurs even without collaterals or interests.
7 secrets entrepreneurs need to know and do to have a successful small business are:
Set goals and be focused
Setting of goals is very important because it is the foundation upon which the business is built.
Goals give your business direction and focus; goals can be set for a short term, medium term or on long term bases.
They should be specific and time based e.g. a plan to make a profit of $5000 in September 2007,
it must be a plan you can achieve, and can also be measured at any point in time.
Goals must be written out clearly as a business plan and followed accordingly.
Be an effective leader
A good and effective leadership is needed to run the business even when the business has one or two employees.
The leader should see opportunities,
organize and coordinate how to achieve the set goals. He should also:
Ø Communicate effectively with his employees
Ø Provide best tools to achieve set tasks
Ø Provide motivation in one-way or the other
Ø Create an environment where employees grow and develop themselves
Manage your time effectively
Good time management makes the difference between success and failure in business.
Management of time is making significant decisions and carrying out important tasks that will boost the business,
time should be set aside for planning and delegation of tasks to achieve success with a specific time
Manage the growth of your business
It is the wish of every small business to grow,
it has also been established that poor management of growth is the number one cause of failure of small business,
most small business do not have adequate plans for growth and expansion before hand,
the key to positive and sustainable growth is transitional management,
where experienced and skilled employees are exposed to the secrets and wisdom of the business in order to take up managerial position.
Give good service and quality product
Small business should be able to provide good customer service that is centered on customer satisfaction.
The product should meet the customers’ need; this can be achieved by knowing the customers’ values, belief,
culture and income. Customers should be treated in such a way that he or she will always come to buy from you.
Attract and keep good employees
Employees should be given opportunity to contribute reasonably in the business;
they are actually the ones that person the task and should therefore know the business well.
There should be a programme to train them at all time.
Entrepreneurs should be careful when employing new employees into the business.
Network with others
Networking in business is a form of marketing, which involves word-of-mouth/mouse advertising,
done by the entrepreneur and not the customers.
This involves making use of every opportunity to create awareness of your product and services amongst the people you meet.
Advantages of networking are;
Ø It does not cost anything to talk to someone about your business
Ø It helps in quick understanding of your customers’ problem and how to solve it, since you meet them face-to-face.
Ø It is a targeted kind of marketing
Ø You could meet other business owners in other industries,
which may open up new opportunities you never envisaged.
Ø You can get qualitative advice to solve a problem.
In conclusion, entrepreneurs who have small business should know where to get relevant and up to date information about the business they are into, that way success is sure!