Small business is the lifeblood of America. It is literally the foundation of this country and the key to its success. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees represent 99.7 percent of all employer businesses and employ approximately half of all Americans working within the private sector, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. Small business consulting firms know what it takes to make small businesses succeed and they utilize these methods on a daily basis.
During the past 17 years, small businesses have generated 65 percent of net new jobs, making them important contributors to the U.S. jobs market. It is difficult for the typical small business to achieve enough success to remain open during its initial years, let alone hire employees. Intense competition and a restricted economy allow only 31 percent of small U.S. businesses to survive for seven years or more.
What does it take to increase the chance of success? First and foremost, small business owners should realize that they cannot meet every need of all consumers. They must find a niche within their market sector and stay within it. Marketing should capitalize on a unique aspect of the business so customers view the company as the one to meet their needs.
Small businesses tend to have small budgets, especially during their initial years. Reducing overhead by keeping rent costs low and comparison-shopping for office supplies, equipment, and services will minimize expenses. Getting creative with cost reduction by performing equipment maintenance in-house and turning off lights and equipment at the end of each workday can make a big difference. Starting the company online is a major way to keep overhead costs low because separate office space will not be needed.
Many small businesses cannot compete with major players in the industry in terms of prices. However, the playing field is level when it comes to customer service. A small business that provides excellent personalized attention to customers will make itself stand out. Small things like extended operating hours, online ordering capabilities, and free shipping with orders of a specific price level are viewed as extremely valuable by customers.
Inadequate planning has resulted in many small business failures. A small business consulting firm can help small business owners develop or refine business plans and create effective strategic plans. Consultants help small businesses plan for a successful future and guide them in turning corporate visions into measurable results.