If you’re a small business owner — or have dreams of becoming one — the most important thing you can do is to continue learning and growing as an entrepreneur. As you ride out your entrepreneurial journey, it’s important to keep up with the changing trends and continue to look for innovative solutions to sustain and grow your business. Let’s take a look at some of the key “do’s” and “don’ts” for surviving the ever-changing business trends to become a successful business owner.
Do Make Professional Development Continuous
Fine-tuning your professional development skills isn’t just for beginners. At every stage of success, you should continue to set professional development goals for yourself to become a better entrepreneur and a better person overall. It’s important to read books, attend business seminars, and follow those with first-hand knowledge of how to navigate past, present and future business trends. For example, thought leaders such as Joshua Cooper Ramo have advised CEOs, generals and politicians for years with insights into current economic and technological shifts and the true secret to success. Ramo’s book “The Seventh Sense” is a New York Times Top 10 Best Seller and earned itself recognition as a CEO Reading List Top Pick. This is no surprise since the book unveils how networks within the internet, trade, and finance realms can influence a business leader’s success. These types of concepts are ones that both established and aspiring business owners can utilize to enhance their professional development skills.
Don’t Deny the Changing Trends
Many small business owners think that sticking to a traditional growth model is the only true road to success. But as we’ve seen, the world is constantly changing so not recognizing and incorporating those changes into your growing business can be detrimental. One of the most obvious changes that businesses have had to adapt to is technology. For example, many brick-and-mortar retail companies have moved online to cater to the nearly 200 million Americans who prefer to buy goods and services virtually, reports Statista.com. Completely moving into the online space may not be right for your company but some other ways your company can (and should) keep up with the current technological trends include:
- Providing access to your goods, services, and information online
- Having a strong social media presence with engaging content
- Integrating 24/7 live customer support via your website
These types of technological changes can bring about new opportunities and profits to businesses by boosting visibility and catering to a larger consumer base. Technology is not going away any time soon, so it’s better for your business to embrace the changes rather than deny them.
Do Network with Other Small Business Owners
As stated before, learning from others can be a major key to your own success as a business owner. Make an effort to attend local networking events and make connections with like-minded entrepreneurs. And no, this doesn’t mean going to a networking mixer and trying to hand out as many of your business cards as possible. Be intentional about your networking and make it a personal goal to learn something new before you leave or plan to connect with an entrepreneur from a specific area of business. You never know who you’re going to meet — perhaps another business owner who can help your business grow with his or her own experiences and personal connections.
Don’t Give Up When Things Get Tough
The road to success can be a bumpy one, but it all comes down to attitude and perseverance. When your business is affected negatively, first think about what you can learn from it, and secondly, think about what you can do to change. Additionally, learning from and listening to your customer base can help you find areas of your business that need some help. After all, building loyal customers who trust your brand is what is going to sustain and grow your business.
Success doesn’t happen overnight and it surely doesn’t come from an inability to change. Following these four do’s and don’ts will help you become a better entrepreneur and successful business owner down the road.