Fake it until you make it!
That’s the advice most entrepreneurs get when they’re just starting out. It’s true that you need to give off an air of professionalism, even if you don’t have a whole staff standing by to service customers. But here’s a new piece of advice that might help you be even more successful:
Embrace your smallness!
For many small businesses, the best strategy may simply be to think small. That may seem counter-intuitive, because most business-strategy guides tell you to always think big, so I’ll explain what I mean.
Small service — As a small business, you need to be realistic about how many products and services you can offer. Hone in on what you do best and stick with that. Don’t get sidetracked with irrelevant offerings outside your area of expertise. You may add other products and services later as you add additional employees and respond to customer feedback, but at the start you should keep your product offerings small.
Small strategies — Startups usually have extremely limited resources. If you embrace your smallness, you can focus on building your core competence and generating the right solution for your niche. Make short-term plans to stay in business and grow. Make long-term plans, too, but prioritize them behind more urgent matters.
Small customers — Don’t worry about reaching the largest target audience possible. You can build a lot of excitement for your new product or service by going after thought leaders and innovators. Focus on attracting the right customers first and then they can help you build your brand over time.
Small gains — Big profits are for big companies. Your goal should be to grow year after year, but don’t worry if you don’t enjoy explosive growth at first, or even if you see a stagnant year here and there on the way to success. Sometimes consumer demand is out of your hands. Focus on what you can control within your small sphere of influence.
It’s great to be small. Of course, you don’t want to stay small, any more than a seed wants to stay buried in the ground. The goal is to grow. By focusing on the strengths your small size offers, you can stay on the path to prosperity. Before you know it, you’ll need to start embracing your bigness!
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