12 essential tips for small businesses

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At Dreamforce 2018, the Salesforce Small Business team asked attendees to share their most essential tips for small business owners. In four days, we collected over 1,000 pearls of wisdom.

Celebrate National Small Business Week, we’ve distilled these over 1,000 suggestions into 12 tips for small businesses. And for fun, we’ve included finalists who expressed similar ideas in different words.

Here we are:

1. “Every journey starts with a step – make sure you have the right shoes to go the far. “

Starting a small business involves many important decisions, large and small. The choices you make today can affect your business for years to come, so getting off to a good start and putting your business on the path to success is essential.

Finalists:

  • Start off on the right foot and invest in the right software / tools to be successful so you don’t have to start all over again.
  • Start simple and build it over time. It’s harder to simplify later.
  • Life is not about finding your calling. It’s about picking up the phone and dialing.

2. “Don’t boil the ocean – think small and fast.”

Don’t get overwhelmed by complexity or paralyzed by the pursuit of perfection – keep it simple when and where you can.

Finalists:

  • Do it now. Don’t wait for it to be perfect!
  • Don’t overthink or overanalyze simple tasks.
  • Progress against perfection.

3. “Trust your instincts, you may be familiar with the next industry trend!” “

Running a small business is intimidating, but you have it. You are the captain of the ship, so trust yourself to follow the right path.

Finalist: Think positively!

4. “Dream big, but remember to grow for the future. Planning is your best tool for continued success! “

It’s great to have a vision of where you want your business to go. But it’s even more important to plan ahead so that the decisions you make today don’t get stuck in the next day.

Finalists:

  • Change management is everything!
  • Change is the only constant!
  • Don’t be afraid to change, but do your research first!

5. “Be open to travel without being too rigid about the outcome. ”

Running a small business is an unpredictable adventure. Flexibility is one of the entrepreneur’s best tools for overcoming unexpected adversity.

Finalists:

  • Be prepared to face the unknown.
  • Your greatest strength is not having an ego.
  • Look at things from a new perspective and look for ways to improve yourself.

6. “One good employee is better than 10 bad employees.”

Employees are your greatest asset. Hiring (then listening and trusting) the right people is one of the most important steps to success.

Finalists:

  • Surround yourself with a great team and build that team slowly.
  • Don’t take your first and second hires lightly – they could literally make or break your small business.
  • You are as good as your team.
  • Invest in great people.
  • Listen and trust your employees. They are your greatest resource!

7. “Listen. Listen. Listen. You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in this report.

Details (and good communication) matter.

Finalists:

  • Nobody knows everything. Learn, collaborate, share.
  • Include everyone in the toughest discussions – your decisions will be better!
  • Don’t be afraid to share your opinion, even when it’s unpopular.
  • Always get feedback from your customers.
  • Always listen to your customers to refine your product and process.
  • Listen to customers – understand their needs and wants at every point of contact.
  • To ask questions.
  • Pay great attention to detail.

8. “Know your numbers, but know your customers better! “

Customers are the lifeblood of any business, but especially for small businesses. Treating them properly and giving them a reason to come back is essential.

Finalists:

  • If customer service is your priority, financial prosperity is inevitable.
  • Customer retention is as important as acquisition.
  • Customers first, always!
  • Become obsessed with the customer!
  • Always provide value and you won’t need to sell anything.

9. “Whether you think it’s possible or not, you’re right! “

Elvis sang it best – “Only the strong survive.” When the going gets tough, successful small business entrepreneurs get started.

Finalists:

  • There are no mistakes… only opportunities!
  • Problems happen. It will be fine. Keep on going!
  • When nothing is going well, go left!
  • Don’t be afraid to fail.
  • Failure is not the end. It’s an opportunity.
  • Do not abandon.
  • Persistence and perseverance go a long way.
  • Always keep moving!

10. “Work for a company that you are proud of. “

Once you’ve hired great employees, you need to treat them right so they stick around. Churn and the expense of replacing good workers can weaken even the strongest small business.

Finalists:

  • Always have a good corporate culture.
  • Treat your people well.
  • Keep your employees happy.
  • Be courteous and kind to people.
  • People are your business!

11. “Do what you say you will do!”

What does your business represent? If he doesn’t hold on much, he probably won’t be around for long.

Finalists:

  • Tell the truth!
  • It’s good to be nice to everyone.
  • Never burn bridges.

12. “You have a life. What is important to you? “

There is only one you! It is impossible to build and run a successful business if you are not running 100%. Be good with yourself, so that you are there to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Finalists:

  • Remember to breathe.
  • Take the time to eat.
  • Naps are sometimes necessary.

Many thanks to our wonderful participants at Dreamforce for taking the time to share with us so many thoughtful and helpful suggestions.

12 essential tips and advice for small businesses

Salesforce Essentials helps you find, gain, and keep more customers, so you can grow faster than ever. Learn more about our CRM solutions for small businesses by following us on Twitter at Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Photo via Salesforce


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