Owning a small business is no small feat. There are hundreds of articles written on how to effectively market yourself, attract customers, and drive traffic to your website. With so many gimmicks and tricks out there, it can feel impossible to determine what you should actually do in order to be successful.
The best piece of advice I have found that works for all successful small businesses is: Just be you.
Be authentic. Be genuine. Be true to who you are and work to ensure your business embodies and reflects this. Authenticity is the thing that can make or break your business.
Don’t be obsessed with making a profit
I love supporting small businesses — and not just because I own one. I love the personal touch and the intimacy that comes with working with small business owners. As you think about your business, especially while your business is in its infancy, you’ve got to take your focus off the bottom line. Turning a profit has to come second behind establishing good business practices and customer rapport. Remember, people come to you for a product or service, but the experience is what brings them back.
As a “for profit” entity, making money is on the mind of every business owner, as it should be. But for the truly successful small businesses that have stood the test of time, profit is never the number one goal. If you operate with integrity, put the customer first, do a decent job, and stay true to who you are, the profits will come.
This also means that there will be times when your profits may suffer. If you make a mistake, refund the customer’s money, and do the job again — for free. This shows that you genuinely care about the customer and about the product/service you provide. (See also: What Small Business Owners Can Learn From Top Forbes Entrepreneurs)
Let your love for your craft show
If you’re in business just for the money, it’ll show. And you won’t be in business long….
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