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Sure, you know you have to create a solid business plan, market your business well, and stand out against competitors when you have are growing a startup. But, there are secrets that other entrepreneurs don’t share as much.

Why? Because they’re the true keys to success as a small business and, perhaps, learning all the secrets of successful small business owners will make you, their competition, a bit more successful. Good for you!

Take in these six secrets and use them to your advantage for true small business success.

Invest in Your Team

Your team is truly the heart of your company. If you don’t understand that quickly, your small business will soon be a failure. When you’re growing a business, it’s important to invest in your team, not just financially, but also with your time, pride, and trust.

Create an atmosphere your employees love and thrive on. Appreciate them, and make it known to more than just each individual. Actions speak much louder than words in this area.

Promote team members rather than hiring externally. Not only do these employees already know the most about your company, but they’re already invested in it almost as much as you are. Plus, it’s awesome for company morale!

Be a Corporate Event Guru

Just because you’re a small fish in a big sea at the moment doesn’t mean you can’t hang with the best of them at corporate events. Corporate events help you build, and foster, a community of your targeted audience and those involved in your company.

So, search out some corporate event ideas, like ways to volunteer in your neighborhood or holding retrospective meetings. Some should be more for business growth, such as retrospective meetings to re-hash some of the successes and failures of the previous work week.

However, others should be strictly for bonding and building team morale. Fun outings, like an evening paint class or a day at the amusement park, will surely gain you some respect and boost the company atmosphere.

And, when the public sees a business acting more like a group of friends than co-workers, it is sure to look at your company in a brand new light.

Take Risks, and Be Prepared to Fail

Without risks, you and your company will remain stagnant as both a business and a competitor of others in the industry. What entrepreneur wants to become stale?

Of course, with risks, sometimes comes failure. It’s important to be prepared for the possibility of failure. Prepare yourself to bounce back from failure and use it as motivation to move on to bigger and better things.

Have a crisis management plan in place, just in case something goes wrong. Your employees decide to quit abruptly, customers are becoming disgruntled with your service, or your social media manager inadvertently made a careless blunder on Twitter.

All are possible, even for a small business, especially when you take risks to move ahead. Knowing how to handle it if it does happen is what will set your company apart.

Connect With Industry Leaders on Social Media

You probably know the importance of having your own social media accounts for your business. Social media allows you to reach your target audience quicker than other forms of advertising, and opens the gateway for you to engage with your audience like never before.

But, did you know that by sharing the content of your own competitors, you’re actually helping yourself, too? When you share thoughtful, well-written, engaging content from industry leaders, you’re showing your audience that you are knowledgeable enough to know what’s important to them. Therefore, you can play with the best of them.

Find out who the leaders in your industry are. Search hashtags, look at what’s getting shared and commented on, and find trustworthy companies. These are the ones you want to focus on when finding content to share. Eventually, the favor will be returned.

Don’t Let Yourself Get Low-Balled

Just because you’re a startup doesn’t mean you deserve to be at the low end of the totem pole. If your clients decide to take the low road and give you low-ball offers that take advantage of your starting position, it may be time to cut them loose.

Having a few, excellent clients is better than having several disadvantageous clients. It’s okay to offer discounts to loyal clients. But, it’s not okay for them to expect special discounts that they wouldn’t ask other, more established businesses for. There’s a big difference.

Stand Behind Everything You Do

Want to know the reason Apple continues to be a world leader in technology products? Because Steve Jobs absolutely loved his company, and he expects everyone who works for him to understand it, and love it, too. In fact, Steve Jobs treated Apple like his baby and made sure his employees fell in love with Apple as much as he did.

The only way to make sure everyone else loves your business as much as you do is to believe in it, and stand behind it, even when things go wrong. You can make mistakes; all business owners do at one point or another. But, never back down in your love for your company, faults and all.

Make your employees and customers love your business as much as you do by putting your pride on display at all times. Failure doesn’t come from mistakes. It comes from getting caught up in mistakes and allowing them to lead you to a new direction.



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