5 Things Small Business Owners Should Know Running a small business demands a lot of decision making and wearing many hats, so it’s no surprise it can feel arduous and overwhelming from time to time. It’s easy to get lost in the noise and lose track what’s really important for a business to thrive. It’s always good to remember that even some of the biggest companies originally started very small, and as a result of good business ideas, management and strategies, grew to become what they are today. With that in mind, here are 5 very important aspects that every small business owner needs to know. 1. You Need A Good Business Plan If you’re like most small business managers and owners, you’re very busy, if not extremely overwhelmed. The idea of investing long hours of precious time to write a plan for your small business might not seem worth it. But the statistics tell a different story. There are some very compelling reasons to create a business plan for small businesses. When creating a business plan, focus on what really needs to be measured and what really needs to be done. The plan doesn’t have to be a 100-page document. As a matter of fact, it can contain just a few pages, where you will list all the essentials for your business and how you plan to achieve them. Creating a business plan is an integral part of the process of establishing a successful business. Even if your financing is already secured, a well-written and articulated plan can be very helpful in your quest to success. 2. Know Your Customers The importance of knowing your customers is paramount. Without understanding your audience, you won't get too far in business, and you’ll almost certainly go under. What most folks do wrong is they create a service or a product and then go looking for people to sell this service or product to. A much better approach is to find out what your customers want before you go into it and only then create your product that will be in immediate demand. So before spending a lot of money on a crazy idea you think will work, it’s better to try and ask yourself these two questions: What will my customers think about this service/product? How exactly will my service/product help people and why do they need it? 3. Keep Good Account and Recordkeeping All successful businesses practice good bookkeeping; they always know where the money is going and where it’s coming from. You’d be surprised how many businesses don’t keep close track of their revenue and expenses. Good bookkeeping can help you avoid potential issues that may be overlooked in the everyday business operations. Luckily, in this day and age, advanced technology makes it easier than ever for everyone to maintain business records necessary for a fruitful business. There's lots of software can produce all the records you need to assess and attune your business for a strong financial position. 4. Leveraging Social Media to Generate Leads Social media offers many opportunities for small businesses to start conversations with potential clients and generate new leads. Give your small business a social media and online presence to attract and engage your target audience, and funnel them through your process to become customers. Once you have leads in the system, you can use social media to establish a conversation and find out more about their needs and wants. The more positive touch points leads have with your business, the more likely they will be to trust your brand and eventually make purchases. Lead generation should be thought of as a continuous, long-term process. If you already have a system in place, look into how you can improve it further and streamline the lead generation process to increase your chances for business growth. 5. Know Your Target Audience Location Not every business idea is great for a given region. For a business to flourish, you need to have a market. And in some places, depending on where you’re located, there might not be a market for your product. Location is less important if you’re selling products online, but if your business is tied to a location - no matter how good your product or service is, if there’s no one to buy it, there’s no point in investing in the idea. So make sure to do your diligence when checking the market demand. Conclusion Small business owners have a lot on their plate. Employee management, business laws, regulations, taxes.. the list goes on and on. It’s very easy to lose track of what’s really important and get stuck with issues. Try to focus on the core elements that drive your business forward and once you get the essentials in place, you can build and expand much easier. Hopefully, these five tips will come in handy. Good luck!