Although building a successful business is more of an art than a science, there are steps that you can take to give your business its best chance. Those steps include research, gaining knowledge and networking.
In order to have a successful business you must know your industry. You can never be too knowledgeable about the industry in which your business sits. Knowing an industry includes learning the power players, knowing the history and changing dynamics and narrowing in on your customer. The best way to do this is thru good old fashioned research. Read blogs, books or any industry newsletters you can find. Bring in a employee with industry experience and learn everything you can or hire and industry consultant to mentor you.
Gaining knowledge is different from research. Gaining knowledge involves knowing your competition and your customer. You must learn everything you can about your competition. How do they spend their money to grow their business? Have they hired some business guru? Do they have an extensive advertising campaign? Are they active in their local community? Then you must learn your customer. What type of customer do your goods or services target? How do those types of customers choose a small business to work with? Do you advertise in a way that reaches those types of customers? Do your services adequately meet your customer’s needs? Ask questions, open your eyes to possibilities and be willing to change if need be.
Networking is the single most important way for a business to get their name out. Find industry groups that you can join. Attend business luncheons and mentors to meet other business members in the community. Get involved with a nonprofit organization and get your name into the community. Join social networking sites and create a profile and sites such as Linkedin, Google + or even Facebook. Get your name out there and keep it out there.
Although doing the above things won’t guarantee you business growth, doing these things will improve your chances of building your business into the business of your dreams. Consult with your small business attorney in order to ensure that you are protected in everything that you do.