The day-to-day drama and excitement of running your own small business is a million miles away from cubicle hell and the general drudgery of corporate life. In fact, for most small business owners, that’s a key part of the attraction in going out on their own in the first place!
Those traditional big businesses didn’t get where they are today purely through luck. There are plenty of standard corporate practices that small business owners should actually be looking to copy and integrate into their own endeavours. In this piece, we’ll step through 3 big business strategies that you can look to start leveraging today, regardless of which niche you happen to be in.
- Define Your Funnels
Step inside the doors of virtually any major firm and you’ll find an enormous amount of attention being paid to highly detailed sales and marketing funnels which track and optimise every stage of the customer acquisition journey.
Though most small business owners won’t be able to devote the same level of resources to tackling funnels, they do need to be aware of them. An exercise as simple as writing down the typical stages you expect your customers to go through can be highly illuminating all on its own. Once you’re aware of the journey you’re asking your customers to embark on, you’re inevitably going to start getting better at helping them through the various stages involved.
- Pursue Partnerships
Running a small business can be a horribly demanding task at times, so it’s no surprise when owners seem to have the blinkers on – it’s often the only way of reining in your focus and powering through the tasks at hand. It’s important not to let that narrow focus turn into tunnel vision, however.
You won’t be running your own Mergers and Acquisitions or Joint Ventures department in the early stages of your business, but there are always opportunities for constructive partnerships floating around if you’re actually paying attention. Take the time to really sit down and analyse the local landscape with a view to discovering other businesses you could potentially partner with in some way, however small. You may be surprised at the opportunities lurking in your immediate vicinity.
- Segment Your Customers
When you’re desperately trying to acquire them, it’s easy to see customers as something of an undifferentiated mass. The reality is, though, that all customers are not the same. Far from it, in fact. There’s an excellent reason why big companies relentlessly segment their customers – it’s a fast track to increased profits and long-term loyalty.
Even a little extra effort here pays off handsomely. Sit down with a list of your current clients and customers and start thinking about what types of categories they naturally fall into. You’ll soon start identifying process improvements and revenue opportunities as a result of this segmentation.>
The key to long-term entrepreneurial success is cherry-picking the productive aspects of larger businesses, while avoiding bringing unnecessary corporate overhead on board. Get the mix right, and you’ll soon be running a small business that marries the best of both worlds. The three tips we covered aren’t the only ones worth incorporating, but they’ll get you off to an extremely solid start!