A Business Insider article shared quite a few facts about Small Business in America:

  • There are 28 million small businesses in the U.S. — which outnumber corporations 1162 to 1
  • 70% of small businesses are owned and operated by a single person
  • Small businesses employ 57% of the country’s private workforce
  • Only 50% of businesses survive five years — though most (70%) hit the two-year mark
  • Visit article for 14 more Small Business Facts

Even though this article is a few years old, the basic information isn’t that far off from today’s standards.  And what struck me most was the fact that many small businesses face the same fears, concerns, and issues as nearly every other small business.

Many small business owners typically don’t start their own small business to get rich quick.  They have a passion, a love for what they do, and want to share their work with others (their customers).  While several other owners are excited to be a part of what helps to drive the economy… by hiring employees.

Every Small Business has 4 Basic Essentials:  Finance, Operations, Sales, and Marketing.

Finance:  Cash-flow is essential, the life-blood of every business.  And according to the article, only 1/3 of small businesses rely on credit for financing.

Operations:  Whether you own a product or service based business, creating, producing or distributing your work is at the core of your company.  So if finance is the life-blood, then operations would be the heart, right?

But the next two is where it gets a little tricky.  You see… Sales isn’t Marketing and Marketing isn’t Sales.  But they do work in tandem.  They need each other for optimum performance.  It feeds the life-blood and keeps the heart pumping with orders.

So while many business owners, and let’s consider that 70% are owned and operated by a single person, are running the majority of the business… when do they have time to properly do their sales and marketing?

Marketing:  Many small business owners think, “Hey, I have a sign, a few business cards, I have my name listed in a few directories, and I’m even part of some local chambers…that’s a good enough start.”  And you’re right… it is a start.  But are you looking to run a successful long-term business or be one of the 50% who go out of business within five years?

Sales:   Sales is an exciting opportunity.  Even after 15 years in business, I still get excited about signing on new clients and continuing business with existing clients.  But if you don’t have a sales system in place, you will never be able to forecast your growth, success, operations ebbs and flows, or find a consistent financial pattern.  While some small business owners hire sales coaches and trainers to help set up a system, and we think that’s a great idea if you don’t have one in place, you do have to remember that it’s the marketing that will drive the customers to your door, not just a sales strategy.

Questions You Should Consider:

employee-trainingPassion:  What gets you excited about your role in your company?  And make this a top priority!  Do what you do best and you’ll always find success!

Time Management: Determine what would make better use of your time.  It’s ok to ask for help.  But seek competent professionals. Don’t seek an unqualified person to fill a role in your company.  It’s not worth the headache or heartache.

Finance:  Can you hire a bookkeeper to help with data entry?  Do you have an online system in place like Quickbooks?  Do you have a good CPA and could they help you with bookkeeping services?

Operations:  Do you have enough business that requires you to get help?  If on a consistent basis, consider hiring full or part time people?  Only need per project help, consider adding on a sub-contractor to fulfill orders.  But be sure you have your Operations Systems in place so that you get the work done according to your standards, not theirs.

Sales:  Do you know what you need to bring in annually/ quarterly/ monthly?  Work on a weekly sales list and determine how many contacts you need to reach to develop a great pipeline.  And a pipeline means how many calls, leads, prospects, and closed clients.  Once you know what you need on for sales, develop your goals and use this for your marketing.

Marketing:  Small businesses have so much available through social media, and it’s great because it’s free.  But here’s the issue… just because it’s free, doesn’t mean you should just clutter up your feed with non-sense.  Be a resource to your customer, not just a Facebook friend.  Your goal should be to improve your business, not just add something to your feed.

Here are some simple Marketing Suggestions: 

  • List your collateral:  Logo, business cards, brochure, location/ geographic reach (signage), website, social media accounts, video, etc.
  • Know your target audience:  Demographics like age, gender, income, etc.
  • List your Core Values, Features, and Benefits.
  • Determine your sales goals.
  • EVALUATE your current state including reviewing your web (Google) analytics.
  • PLAN and Strategize based on the evaluation.
  • CREATE stimulating content to positively impact your target audience.
  • SHARE this content through social media, web, PR, face-to-face, and use in your sales efforts.
  • MEASURE the analytics on a monthly basis.  This includes web traffic, calls, leads, referrals, social media likes/ engagement, shares, etc.  And compare your sales. Do this monthly.
  • REPEAT.  Marketing doesn’t stop; just as sales, finance, and operations.  It’s one great big ride!  And all we want to do is to keep adding more people on it!

We hope this post serves as an inspiration and a BACK-TO-BASICS reminder.profit

YVMP is a content marketing agency that serves the marketing needs of small businesses.  With YVMP, your small business will be ready to grow and serve your customers!  We offer professional, comprehensive, and affordable small business content marketing plans that helps take one more thing off your plate to help you focus on growing your small business.

Call us at 866-702-9197 or email me today!