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Fri, Oct 24, 2014

TECHWISE: Making your business stand out above noise

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Have you felt overwhelmed with all the responsibilities you have to juggle when running a small business?

Is it hard to find your voice amid all the other advertising that is so pervasive in our society?

It can be hard to find your way in business, but below are some tips to make you more successful.

1. Find your niche.
To be successful in business you will need to find what makes your idea or product stand out from the rest.

Get ahead of the market and build a product that the market will want, instead of trying to convince the market to buy.

This is harder than it sounds, but in every market small and large there are niches of customers looking for something you can provide.

2. Focus on what you do best.
You cannot be all things to all people. Once you have found your niche, make it more efficient, add layers of benefit, and expand your market base. It takes time to build up a successful product in a market.

Don’t kill your own momentum by hurrying to introduce another product on the heels of the first.

3. Get the Word Out.
The old adage of “If you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always got” holds true until the market changes.

Be willing to try new ways of engaging your customers.

Our world is increasingly going digital. While traditional marketing methods can still work, it is time to look at your digital marketing efforts.

Internet and mobile marketing are definitely the way of the present and future. Spruce up your website, social media pages, and gauge the effectiveness of internet advertising and email marketing to your potential customer base.

4. Build your team.
Your skill and talent can be maximized to great effect, but a jack of all trades does a lot of things very modestly.

Build a solid team of people and partners that complement each other.

One all-star team with a consistent game plan will beat the stand alone star every time.

Look for professionals in the accounting, insurance, technology, and marketing fields that can round out your team.

5. Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.
Most any successful business owner has stubbornly carried on despite failure, and pressure to give in.

At the same time, those same business owners are not afraid to fail, pick up the pieces, and give it another go.

The critical time to “hold or fold” is up to you, but whatever you do, do it with heartfelt conviction.

6. Look for critical feedback.
Constructive, and even destructive, criticism can be some of the most valuable information you can get.

Actively seek feedback from your customers, industry experts, and trusted colleagues.

You can only get better when you know your weaknesses. Typically, this is the hardest feedback to take because it is ultimately a personal critique.

Take it anyway.

Be confident enough to receive the tough news and get better.

7. Protect your flank.
If you are already competitive in your market, look out for complacency. Markets shift constantly, and you have to be prepared to improve your offering, and stay ahead of the winds of change.

Improve your technology and methods, and try new marketing and strategies to stay on top.

Continually strive to make your product more effective and easier to purchase.

A study of effective businesses will show that successful entrepreneurs have a knack for getting out ahead of the competition, providing a product the market wants, and staying on top for the long term.

You don’t have to be a Titan of industry to make your small business grow, but you can learn from the best and implement their strategies on your own terms.

Pete Adams can be contacted at pete@bondware.com.
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