20 Top Tips for Small Business Growth



Behind every successful business is a great leader, leading by example.

In a competitive marketplace your Mindset really counts – it’s all about who you are BEING, what you KNOW, what you’re DOING and SAYING. A small shift in your mindset can give you a massive improvement in business results.

Here are my twenty top tips for being a better small business leader:

1.     Be a Beacon – Get Your Mindset Right  

Attitude is 80% of success – Learn how to flick your own attitude switch from grumpy to great by maximising your energy, focusing your little voice and managing your stress level. Be a beacon of positivity, optimism and tough love to attract more clients.

2.     Be Organised – Get a Plan & Prioritise It

Any plan is better than no plan – A one page strategy plan, an action plan, a To Do List, or Not to do list. Identify and focus on your ideal clients, alliances & products. Learn to say No!

3.     Be a Counter – Set Targets and Watch Your Results

Always know your desired outcome to get better results . What you focus on expands.  Where your attention goes – money flows! If you don’t like numbers – use colours and charts to communicate.

4.     Be Neat – Improve Your Appearance 

People judge professionals on professionalism. Your personal presentation is critical – The way you look, your equipment, car and office says a lot about your business.  Tidy up & get a makeover!

5.     Be Pricey – Charge Higher  Prices and Avoid Discounting

Put your price up! Learn to sell your value before you discuss price. Don’t be a premature price presenter.  You are not a commodity! – learn to add more value and confidently articulate it.

6.     Be Found  Easily –  Leave a Trail & Be Easy to Find

Be brilliant at the basics – Business Cards with picture and large font, helpful Brochures, Nice phone message, More Web listings & Google Places. Get a Facebook fan page and LinkedIn Bio listing.

7.     Be  Remembered  – Work Your Relationships

When starting up contact your Personal Network of 1000 people you know. Fill Your Database with all the data from Prospects, Alliances & Clients. Focus your efforts on your Top 10 clients, Your Influential 100 relationships (meetings) and leverage the 1000s with regular contact via their preferred channel – enews, emails, mail, cards, SMS or Facebook posts (use a marketing calendar).

8.     Be an Expert – Go Niche!

People pay professionals for expertise yet it’s hard to be all things to all people. Find several niches where you can develop experience and connections. Develop a speciality Product Knowledge niche  (e.g. Warehouses), Geographic niche, Community niche (e.g. cultural), Industry or Sector niche (e.g. Teachers), Demographic niche (Boomers) , Club or Special Interest niche (e.g. Golf club),

successful business9.     Be Humble – Ask for More Help

Many business people have a big ego and it stops them asking for help – and directions! Smart people ask other successful people for their ideas and experiences. Find a good Mentor and an accountability buddy too.

10.  Be More Grateful – Build Alliances & Reward Your Referrers

Thank people for any and all their help – give your referrers feedback and updates., send cards, gifts and cross referrals.  Don’t be a tight-ass! Most people feel under-appreciated. Thank them for ALL their leads and referrals. What gets rewarded gets repeated and what gets celebrated gets achieved.

11.  Be Smarter – Seek Better Quality Information about the World

Read more Books & Blogs! Watch YouTube training videos. Find your guru – consult experts and advisers. Most books contain someone’s lifetime of knowledge and wisdom – just find the right one you need at the right time.

12.  Be Focused – Get More Clarity on What You Want (or Don’t Want)

Set more goals, make more wishes and have a dream poster, Choose to spend your time on high $ value activities (Negotiating, Dealmaking, Selling, Systemising etc.) not low value activities. Learn to delegate – coach and counsel other people.

13.  Be a Contrarian – Seek Good News and Avoid the “Bad News” Mediasuccessful business

Focus on any good news, personal bests and any improvements.  Avoid TV and Newspapers that are full of bad news. People want to feel better about themselves by comparison to worst case events.

14.  Be an Asker – Turn One Client into Many

Learn to listen better and ask more – don’t just tell. Selling is not telling. Ask the ‘million dollar’ questions. Find out where any of your best clients, staff, products or leads are coming from. Adopt a Blue Ocean Mindset – Ask Who else? What else? When else? Where else? & How else?

15.  Be Systematic – Improve Your Process & Systems

Adopt a standard process for starting and ending your meetings. Send an agenda beforehand. Use a set of Checklists.  Have a list of great diagnostic questions and a list of addons you can offer clients.

Finish meetings by asking for add ons, extras, referrals, connections , help and the next step.

16.  Be High Tech – Use Better Technology & Efficient Equipment

Anything that can save you time, saves you money – a better Phone, Laptop, Website, Blog or Database will boost productivity. Try an iphone5, ipad2, wordpress, highrise and use outsourcing websites like Elance, Guru and Fiverr.

17.  Be Empathetic – Remove Client Ouch! & Reduce Their Pain

You can convert more prospects and clients by finding and removing their pain. Ask clients “If there was one thing we could do to improve what would it be?”They want more comfort, more ease of use, no nasty surprises, better quality, branding and design efforts. Show them that you really care. Remember that FUDGE sells – Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt, Guilt, Effort – show prospects how to remove them by buying from you.

18.  Be Frugal – Spend Less than You Earn

Do everything you can with what you already have. Keep your costs down and expenditure in line with income. You can’t spend your way to success.  Just do the work – new toys don’t grow clients.

Don’t make excuses – keep busy.  Early on – it’s less yearning and learning and more earning!

19.  Be Diligent – Put More Effort into Building Your Team

When you employ someone – you rent a body. If you want productive work you need their heart and mind too.  Learn to be a better leader and put much more effort into recruitment, coaching & training efforts. One hour of good recruitment saves 100’s of hours of pain and effort.

20. Be Disciplined – More Doing, Less Knowing and Avoid Distractions

Most people know what to do – they just don’t do it. Build your discipline muscle over time by choosing to do the right thing. Avoid doing blame, reasons, excuses, bad attitude and denial. Don’t fool yourself with distractions and addictions. Read the book “Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath for ideas on changing when change is hard.

So what really makes a business successful? – Good people with a good plan following a good process will usually get good performance.  Success requires something extra – the right people with the right strategy doing the right things at the right time & place.

In turbulent times it’s essential to choose the right strategies and make the most of ALL your resources. You only have a limited amount of time, energy, attention, money and support – so you need a great plan and most importantly the drive and discipline to implement it!

If you need help with your business strategy – let me know!

Find out more by contacting Business Strategist David Staughton today

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