8 Growth-Boosting Secrets of Small Business Owners

by Megan Nye November 30, 2018

Ready to break out on your own and start your own business? Your timing couldn't be better.

Today’s entrepreneurs have access to an array of cutting-edge technology and shared resources that can help transform small business dreams into a vibrant reality. Whether you're ready to launch a new business plan or expand the small business you've already started, here are eight tips to help you and your young business grow.

1. How to upgrade office space for a small business
 

Big businesses centralize employees into an office space to increase efficiency and minimize expenses. Small businesses can mimic this strategy without the overhead by using shared services in a co-working space.

A co-working space is a resourceful option in lieu of a pricey office rental. They often provide several membership levels, from private office space for larger teams to flexible hot desks (non-permanent seating) for smaller startups. Many provide access to printers, mail services, IT support, conference room space and, most importantly, good coffee.

2. How to streamline group work for a small business
 

For some tasks, back-and-forth emails can lead to wasted time, overlooked steps and buried attachments. Instead, experiment with cutting edge cloud-based work sharing software and apps to create dedicated channels for work-related chats. Here's how these tools for improved collaboration can help: 

  • Simplify communication with a service that allows for conference calls, group video chats or live chat features. Sign up for online calendars that make scheduling meetings a breeze.
  • File share with a basic online site that everyone can access. Or exchange ideas and images with a note-taking app.
  • Optimize collaboration with an online project management system. You’ll pay a premium for all the bells and whistles, but many tools offer free or low-cost options with invaluable features.
Quote
Experiment with cutting edge cloud-based work sharing software and apps to create dedicated channels for work-related chats.
End Quote

3. Put tasks on autopilot for your growing business
 

Many day-to-day business tasks take up valuable time, especially if you're operating with a lean staff. Leveraging the power of automation tools to save time, streamline processes and feel as if you have another set of hands can really help when trying to grow your small business. Here are some ideas:

  • Try a client management system to store key client details and track prospects through your marketing funnel.
  • Use an invoicing system to create client bills quickly, facilitate online payments and send past-due reminders.
  • Set up an auto-responder to send a welcome message to your new email subscribers.
  • Consider a social media scheduler that can post updates on a predetermined schedule and loop content.
     


4. Ways to fund your small business
 

The type of business you create and the early growth goals you set for it will likely play a major role in determining the amount of money you’ll need to get it off the ground. Fortunately, you have many potential funding options to tap:

  • Bootstrapping: If you’ve got the funds and resources in your own pocket, you may be able to start your business single-handedly and build it up with your profits.
  • Investors: Willing to split the wins and losses with additional stakeholders? Solicit funds from friends, angel investors, venture capitalists or by crowdfunding.
  • Line of credit: You don’t need to be a mega corporation to get attention from lenders. Some banks offer lines of credit designed for small business owners.
  • Credit cards: A strong personal credit history can help you get approved for a business credit card, which may provide flexibility as financial needs arise. Repay the entire statement balance on time and you can avoid penalties and interest charges, too.
     

5. Try influencer marketing for your business
 

Enlist the help of a someone with credibility and widespread recognition among your target audience through influencer marketing. You may not land a major celebrity endorsement at first, but you can create a beneficial business relationship with someone who adds value to your enterprise.

Where can you find the right influencers? Search social media for people who are respected in your industry and have a big social following. Pick a person whose image and reach most resonate with your marketing goals and ideal client, then see if they'd be interested in working with you. You can also explore popular bloggers, prolific authors and thought leaders. If they're willing to promote your business or product, it could mean a major boost for your brand awareness.

Quote
Pick a person whose image and reach most resonate with your marketing goals and ideal client.
End Quote

6. Many small businesses tap into the gig economy
 

Hiring the right people is always a smart way to share the workload and enlist experts so you don't have to know (and do) everything. If you aren’t ready for the commitment (and cost) of a full-time worker, consider hiring a part-time employee or freelancer to tackle necessary tasks that are too time-consuming or outside your area of expertise.

The gig economy is only growing, and so is the pool of skilled people to call on for short-term projects. The fields are expanding to include accounting, content development, social media management, graphic design, building maintenance, order fulfillment and more. You can connect with professionals who know how to step in quickly and play an important part in building your business on a contractual basis. 
 

7. Prioritize your most important tasks for your business
 

This might seem obvious, but it's easy to lose sight of the master plan when you're all in to get a small business off the ground. If you’re truly going to get things done efficiently, it can help to disconnect from day-to-day tasks long enough to take in the big picture and establish your priorities.



Try the "eat the frog" approach — a phrase means to tackle your most challenging task first — when it comes to prioritizing. It can give the rest of your day a boost, allowing you to gather momentum and power through your lighter tasks more quickly.

8. Celebrate the success of your business
 

No matter how many processes and systems you have in place, never overlook the influence of the human element in determining your company’s efficiency and success. Ensuring your people have what they need and feel appreciated is essential to building a business that runs smoothly.

“[Employees] are more valuable than key technology, fancy offices or even money in the bank,” says The SnapBar co-founder Sam Eitzen. Don’t forget to recognize your team’s accomplishments, which will ultimately help build camaraderie and foster a sense of pride and community for your brand.

The bottom line? 

Every bit of time you save by streamlining a process instantly becomes available for ideation and innovation. The little hacks you incorporate today can add up to big gains for your company, yourself and those helping you realize your small business dreams tomorrow.
 

Quote
Employees are more valuable than key technology, fancy offices or even money in the bank.
End Quote

Megan Nye is a personal finance freelance writer and small business owner who loves picking the brains of successful entrepreneurs. Her writing has been published by Business Insider, Credit Karma, LendingTree, U.S. News & World Report, Personal Capital and Northwestern Mutual.

 

 

The content reflects the view of the author of the article and does not necessarily reflect the views of Citi or its employees, and we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in the article.