Rules for Small Business Success

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You don't have to start out as an expert in order to start and operate your own business. Many very successful entrepreneurs have started their own businesses without money, financial banking, or years of college. Similarly, plenty of entrepreneurs have found success in fields where they had no previous experience. So, whether you're young and considering starting your very first business, just getting started in a different field, or need a refresher course in how to be a successful small business operator, the following ten rules for small business success will help you be a winner.

Target Yourself

You are not all things to all people. The very first thing you need to do is decide what your niche is and that means narrow your focus. Ultimately narrow-focusing will broaden your appeal.

Be Different Than Your Competition

If your competitors are doing it, then you shouldn't. You need to stand out from a crowded marketplace where so much of the advertising spin and all the products look the same. Remember, if you join the herd, no one will find you.

Build a Team

Don't hire an employee just to fill a position. You need to hire a person in order to be part of a team that is cohesive. Building a strong team (with players that complement and re-enforce each other) is a sure way to build your business into a successful enterprise.

Be Fast

Time is the most precious commodity when it comes to running a business. If delivery is expected to show up at your warehouse on Friday afternoon, show up on Thursday afternoon.

Products that lay around waiting for shipment is time lost forever. And don't wait to return phone calls or respond to emails. Your customers need your response in order to be satisfied. Your vendors also need to need from you in a timely fashion because your relationship depends on it.

Say Thank You, Often

It's a small thing, but it goes a long way.

Tell your customers, and employees, how much you appreciate them. People need to know that they are valued and in the end, they''re the ones that'll make your business grow. And, if you really want to leave an impression, say thank you the old-fashioned way by taking pen to paper and writing them a note.

Be Consistent

Make sure your business has a consistent look and feel because that's your image and your brand.

Always Smile

Forget all those traditional reasons you've been taught why people buy from you such as price, quality, or your lifelong warranty. People buy because they like (and trust) you.

Fanatical Optimism

The glass half full adage has been around for ages for one reason: it's true. Attitude will always win out in the end.

Sell Soft

Don't ever hard sell your product, or yourself. Instead, solve problems and satisfy wants. If you do what is truly best for your customer, he or she will stay with you for life.

Leave Your Comfort Zone

Never accept the idea that the way you've always done it is the best way to do it. Learn to accept new ideas and new technology. Remember, life moves forward, not backward.