Top 10 Tips to Become a Successful Small Business Owner

September 23, 2018 Written by Oralie Chapman

If you are dreaming about opening a small business or you're in the startup phase of your business, you may benefit from the wisdom of other successful small business owners who have gone before you.

Here are 10 tips to become a successful small business owner

  1. Set short and long-term goals
    The best way to become a successful small business owner is to define what success means to you; starting with your overall vision for your business. Each week create a list of what needs to be accomplished and check items off as they are completed. Set short-term goals for your first three months and first year in business and then two, five and 10 year goals. Once you have identified your goals, create an action plan to achieve them by incorporating tasks into your weekly to-do lists.

  2. Don't try to diversify too quickly
    Staying focused on what you do really well is the best path to success. If you do decide to open additional locations or add product lines it is wise to do so with caution and a very careful plan in place. Diversifying too quickly is a good way to take on debt which can leave your initial business floundering.

  3. Build a network of support
    Especially for sole proprietors, being a small business owner can make you feel alone as you toil away working on establishing your business. The best way to avoid a feeling of isolation is to build a support network of other local business owners through networking events, membership in your local chamber of commerce and staying active on social media platforms including LinkedIn and your Facebook business page. For some, hiring a small business coach is a way to receive support.

  4. Keep your overhead costs as low as possible
    When you are starting out it is wise to keep your overhead costs as low as possible. It may be tempting to lease a large office or warehouse space right off the bat but it often makes sense to start out in your home and meet with clients virtually. Other ways to lower overhead costs include choosing cell phones or internet-based phones over landlines and hosting your website(s) on a cloud server instead of your own servers.

  5. Delegate tasks
    Find employees who you can trust to take on some of your work load. Good examples are bookkeeping, taxes, data entry, and customer service tasks. Consider outsourcing tasks such as office cleaning, HR/payroll and tax accounting. Delegating tasks frees up the small business owner to focus on sales and other work that helps to grow the business. The other thing it does is lets the owner focus on their strengths while allowing others to take care of the tasks that suit their strengths.

  6. Don’t quit your day job too soon
    While there is no doubt that starting a small business can take hours and hours of your time, it is best to hold on to your day job – and that guaranteed income – until your revenue stream is established and you are absolutely sure that your small business idea is going to work.

  7. Stay focused
    Avoid the temptation of getting involved with another startup until your first business is fully up and running. Creating a successful business takes a ton of time and mental energy so it’s important to stay laser-focused on establishing your current business until it is running smoothly enough that it can be managed by an employee or business partner.

  8. Don’t underestimate the importance of a great website
    The internet is an incredibly important part of most businesses today. Many potential customers find businesses by searching for the services or products they are looking for in a search engine and then clicking on the link to your website from the search engine results page. If your website isn’t properly optimized it won’t show up in the search results. If your website is unattractive, loads slowly and doesn’t prioritize contacting the business you will lose customers.

  9. Understand millennial employees
    By 2025 three out of every four workers globally will be millennials. With many business owners being part of older generations, it may be tempting to think that millennials need to adapt to the old ways of doing business but with an average cost of $ 24,000 to replace each millennial employee, the most successful businesses are those that have learned to successfully recruit and manage millennial workers by understanding what motivates them and avoiding common millennial managerial mistakes.

  10. Outsource HR/payroll
    Most businesses have employees and that means taking care of payroll and benefits and being informed about Hawaii’s employer laws. Outsourced HR services are ideal for small businesses not big enough to have an HR department. Outsourcing this work means that you can focus on growing your business while ensuring that your employees needs from payroll to taxes, health insurance/benefits and worker’s compensation are handled. You also gain peace of mind that you are in compliance with all of Hawaii’s employer laws.

Partnering with Makai HR

With the cost of doing business in Hawaii at record highs, we know how important it is to keep labor costs in line with revenue. Our outsourced HR plans are priced competitively and include value-added services like time-in/time-out systems. Our three tiers of PEO service plans are tailored to the size of your business and specific needs. We offer a 100% paperless solution which means that your employees can manage their needs through a computer, tablet or phone. We can truly improve your employees work benefits while freeing you up to run your business.

What are you waiting for? Companies who partner with a PEO benefit from 7-9% faster growth, 10-14% lower employee turnover; and they are 50% less likely to go out of business. Contact us today to get started!