Running a small business is not something most people are cut out to do. In fact, entrepreneurs who own and operate small businesses comprise a very small percentage of the workforce. Yet small business owners represent the backbone of the American economy by creating over two-thirds of new jobs and sustaining neighborhoods in every major metropolitan area.
So, why do small business owners create the level of envy in everyone else that borders on downright animus? Well, it starts with the small business skills that many are called upon to possess, but only the strong can achieve.
The Elusive Entrepreneur Dream
Small business technology levels the playing field between small business owners who operate on tight budgets and large corporations that seemingly have an endless supply of cash. The best small business technology enhances communication, increases data accuracy, and facilitates interaction between you and potential customers. Unfortunately, many small business owners believe that simply investing in small business technology is enough to put them over the competitive hump.
On the other hand, this isn’t always the case. Small businesses need to ensure they know how to use business technology and that they are using it correctly. Here are the three primary small business technology errors made by small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Get off My Cloud
You have several small business marketing tactics at your disposal, from handing out product samples to setting up toll free vanity numbers. Most small business marketing tactics require time, resources, and countless hours of research to properly set up. However, content marketing only requires small business owners to get in the right frame of mind, not dig into their pockets to attract new customers.
What is Content Marketing?
Small business owners must find ways to stay competitive with larger companies that have more resources to expand their market share. The best way to remain competitive with larger businesses involves increasing brand awareness through the implementation of advanced technology strategies.
Most small businesses, however, such as grocery stores, auto part shops, and independent restaurants, do not have the resources to always keep up with the trending gadgets and deploy new technologies to enhance their operations. Small business owners have their hands full already with trying to pay the bills, managing employees, attracting new customers, and just keeping their business alive.
Entrepreneurs face daunting challenges when it comes to running their small businesses. In fact, only 9 percent of small businesses survive the first five to ten years of operation. Everything from onerous taxes and regulations to mismanagement doom the vast majority of entrepreneurs who risk the security of working for a large company for the freedom of making it on their own. How can entrepreneurs succeed in an increasingly volatile economy? The answer lies in learning from the athletes of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The Attributes Shared by Olympians and Entrepreneurs
The world of Internet marketing is replete with catchy phrases and buzzwords. Most of the catchy buzzwords quickly move over for the next big online marketing strategy. A few buzzwords, such as content marketing, appear to have staying power. So, where does that put native advertising, a concept that gained traction during 2013? Is native advertising just another online marketing buzzword that we can expect to fade away? Or does it have the potential to be an integral part of small business online marketing strategies for years to come?
What is Native Advertising?
Superheroes such as Batman and Superman came from nowhere to catch free falling victims that villains pushed from tall building ledges. Similarly, a depressed housing market, stagnant job growth, and skyrocketing prices have pushed the American economy into a seemingly irreversible free fall over the last several years. The question on the tips of many economists' tongues is can entrepreneurs play superheroes and help save the American economy?
Small Business Job Growth
You have assembled the quintessential small business team. You recruited the most talented and savvy team members who are well-versed in leadership, operations, and technology. Your small business should leave the competition in the dust, but you have a small problem to overcome: communication with regular and prospective customers.
While communication seems like such a simple concept, it is often one of the hardest facets of a small business to improve and manage. Like any relationship, whether it is professional or personal, communication between teams and cuwwwstomers is of the utmost importance.
How to Enhance Small Business Communication
Small business operators have myriad ways to measure the success of their small businesses. Of all of the metrics used to gauge small business success, sales and marketing invariably appear near the top of the list. However, do you know that you can measure sales and marketing by using a methodology that does not include dollars and cents?
You can measure small business growth in terms of grit.
What is Grit?
Dr. Angela Duckworth has spent time and money researching grit. The University of Pennsylvania professor defines grit as "sticking with things over the long term until you master them." She adds that gritty people approach success as a marathon, not a sprint. Grit represents resilience, perseverance, and dedication. In the world of small business, grit has several applications to sales and marketing.
It’s no secret that the amount of start ups the country and the economy has seen in the last five years has increased exponentially. In fact, the amount of start ups that have appeared on the market during this time frame is one of the highest peaks ever. There are many reasons for this, some of which we have already discussed. But a shockingly large percentage of those start ups are actually female entrepreneurs. In 2011, there were 8.1 million female owned or operated businesses in the U.S.
So how are females jumping into the entrepreneurial world with both feet? What is the desire behind women who strive to become entrepreneurs? The reasons are simple.