So you started a business… Good for you! You’ve got an office, a few staff members, and a really solid business plan. Even with the foundation in place, you’re probably thinking, “What in the world do I do next?” Don’t worry! Michigan Creative has been there, and we’re here to help.
If you want to grow a successful small business, there 7 simple things you need to know:
1. Do What You Love
You’re not going to be a success story if your business isn’t in something you love. The truth is, starting a business is hard (but you already know that) and you aren’t going to get anywhere without putting in a lot of effort. It’s going to take time, hard work, and probably cause a little bit of stress, but if you love what you’re doing, it’s all worth it.
2. Do What You Know
If you don’t have experience in the field that you’re starting your business in, chances are you probably don’t love it either! Let me give you an example: Our CEO, Brian Town, taught high school TV production for 12 years before leaving to start his own marketing company. We do a lot of video, and a big reason for that is because of Brian’s background. Brian loved teaching but was ready to go out and start his own company. Since he was so passionate about what he was doing, he was willing to put in that time and effort it took to get Michigan Creative to where it is today.
3. Build a Brand
You can’t just slap a logo and a slogan on your new business a call it a day. You have to really establish your brand and make your company one that people want to do business with. What do you do? How do you do it? Why do you do it well? Building trust and confidence with current and potential clients will help to secure long term business and customer satisfaction.
4. Employ Good People
A big deciding factor of the success of any business, big or small, is the employees. You need to have good, hardworking, passionate people, especially when starting a new business. If you love what you do, and your employees love what they do, you’re going to have a lot of happy people willing to put in the work to make something of the company!
Networking is key at any stage in your career but is especially beneficial if you are just starting out on your small business journey. You need some printing done at a good price? Perfect, you met that guy with a printing company at the dinner you went to last week! Thinking about advertising on the radio? Done! That woman you talked to at that lunch yesterday knows someone at the local station. You can be the best at what you do, but it’s still always helps to have people that you can turn to when you need a helping hand!
6. Take a Step Back
As an entrepreneur, you’re going to be working long hours. You’ll wear multiple hats when you first start out… Boss, employee, salesman, marketing director, accountant and more. Try not to get so wrapped up in everything going on around you that you lose track of what’s next! In order to be successful, you have to know when to take a step back and really evaluate everything you’re doing. What’s working? What isn’t working? What do you need to do tomorrow?
7. Know That You are Going to Make Mistakes… and That’s OK!
You’re not going to do everything perfectly the first time. Actually, you may never do everything perfectly every time… and that’s OK. You love what you do, you’re good at it, your brand is strong, you’ve got good employees and connections, and you know what’s going on in your company (phew!). If you’ve got all of that, you’re going to do good work. We all make mistakes, and you’ll make a few, too. The important thing is that you take the time to correct those mistakes and make things right for your clients and your company, and the rest will fall into place (with all of that hard work we talked about, of course).
If you need help in any aspect of your new small business, we can help! Check us out at www.michigancreative.com to see what we can do for you!
– Alli Myers