Celebrating Small Business Month with 8 Business Tips for Success

Table of Contents

1. What Are the Top Challenges Small Businesses Face Today and How Can They Overcome Them?
2. 8 Tips for Small Business Success
3. How Can Small Business Owners Stay Motivated and Focused on Their Goals During Small Business Month?

May is National Small Business Month, which means we’re celebrating the small business owners, employees and entrepreneurs who keep our economy going. There’s no denying that opening a small business and turning it into a success is one of the most challenging (and rewarding) things a person can do.

At Addition Financial, we work with entrepreneurs and small business owners every day, providing them with the financial tools and guidance they need to achieve their most important business goals. We also recognize that as a small business owner, you have some unique challenges. To help you turn your small business into a success story, here are 8 business tips for success.

What Are the Top Challenges Small Businesses Face Today and How Can They Overcome Them?

Before we give you our tips to succeed with your small business, let’s review some of the top challenges faced by local small business owners and some ways you can overcome them and become a key player in your local economy. Small business challenges

  • Cash flow, or the lack of it, is one of the leading causes of small business failure. To improve your chances of survival, prioritize cash flow. That may mean finding angel investors, getting a business line of credit or keeping your clients on short terms or giving them a cash discount to keep the money flowing.
  • Inflation has driven costs up in every sector of the economy. Even though the rate of inflation has slowed in 2024, business owners are still getting hit with price increases for raw materials, services and finished products. Inflation isn’t something you can combat on your own, but you can negotiate discounts with your suppliers and improve your efficiency to save money.
  • Supply chain disruption has impacted many businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses need to remain flexible and may need to consider working with domestic suppliers instead of competing with large companies for the services of overseas suppliers.
  • Employee hiring and retention is an ongoing challenge faced by businesses at every level and in every industry. Small business owners can improve their chances by creating a positive culture and offering employees fair pay and benefits.

Local small businesses may not have the resources that large companies do, but they face the same issues and may need extra support to overcome them.

8 Tips for Small Business Success

Because running a small business can be even more challenging in some ways than running a large one, here are 8 tips to improve your chances of success.

#1: Be Active in Your Small Business Community

Regardless of where you live, your local community is home to many other small businesses that face the same challenges that you do. Our first tip is to get to know other local businesses and share information and tips with them.

Joining your local chamber of commerce or other business organizations can help you get to know other people in your community with an entrepreneurial spirit. You can help each other with advice and resources.

#2: Get to Know Your Market

We’re sure that you did some market research prior to opening your small business. But here’s the thing: market research isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it activity. The most successful small businesses are constantly gathering information and deepening their knowledge of their customers.

You can learn what your small business customers care most about in a variety of ways. If you’ve got an email list, you can create a survey to send to members. You can engage with customers in-person or on social media. The key is to maintain your curiosity and stay on top of what your customers need and want.

#3: Maintain Accurate Records

Our next tip is a common sense one: make sure that you have a system for maintaining accurate records. You’ll need a filing system that makes sense and accounting/bookkeeping software to keep your finances straight. How else will you know what your annual revenue is or how much cash flow you’ve got?

If you have employees, you’ll also need a secure place to store their personal information. Some companies prefer to use cloud storage while others keep employee records in locked files. Either way, you’ll need to be sure that this information is stored securely and that your records are complete.

#4: Streamline Processes with Automation

Business systems automation is one of those things that can sound intimidating, especially for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. Don’t let the name fool you: automation is available for every business at every level and it can save hours of your valuable time.

You’ll need to invest some time up front to standardize repetitive tasks and automate them, but once you do, you’ll save hours that you can put into connecting with your customers and pursuing your most important business goals.

#5: Identify and Track KPIs

Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are metrics you can use to track your business performance and progress. Too many small business owners don’t take the time to identify the ways to measure their success or track those measurements–and failure to do so can impede your progress.

Some KPIs to consider include things like Cost of Goods Sold, Customer Acquisition Cost, Customer Retention Rate, Gross Profit Margin, Revenue Growth Rate and Accounts Payable Turnover. You don’t need to track every metric but staying on top of the most important KPIs will maximize your growth. KPIs to consider

#6: Have a Memorable Brand

Your brand is something that should encompass everything important about your business. That includes:

  • The products or services you sell
  • Your mission and company values
  • The things that make your company unique 
  • Who your customers are
  • Your industry

A memorable brand makes an impression. As a small business, it’s particularly important to create a strong brand because it may take several “touches” before a prospective customer is ready to buy from you. Your online brand should start with your website and be consistent everywhere your company appears online.

#7: Create a Strong Online Presence

No small business today can afford to ignore the importance of a powerful online presence. 87% of consumers say that they often research businesses and products online before making a purchase. That means you need to be aware of what prospective customers may learn about you online, and do what you can to make sure they learn what you want them to.

Your online presence encompasses your website, professional business listings, social media profiles and online reviews. You can start by auditing your website and updating it as needed, keeping your social media presence active and informative and claiming your profile on review sites such as Yelp.

#8: Take Advantage of Small Business Resources

As a small business owner, you have more resources available to you than you might think. Taking advantage of them can help you increase your sales and revenue and find financing to improve your cash flow. For example, you might qualify for a small business grant or a loan through the Small Business Administration.

If your business qualifies, owners may also be able to find special resources for women business owners or minority business owners. These may include networking opportunities, online classes and more.

How Can Small Business Owners Stay Motivated and Focused on Their Goals During Small Business Month?

As a small business owner, you already have a full-time job and you may feel like you have two or more! While you might be busy, here are some easy ways to stay motivated and focused during Small Business Month.

Participate in Local Events

Your local community might sponsor events during Small Business Month. Even if they don’t, you can keep an eye out for community or business networking events during the month of May. For example, you might have an opportunity to sponsor a local Little League team or participate in a charity drive to increase your visibility in your community.

Track Your Success

If you haven’t already done so, Small Business Month is the perfect opportunity to review some important metrics and start tracking them to maximize your chances of success. You could calculate your Customer Acquisition Cost or Customer Retention Rate and use those numbers to set some goals for your business for the rest of the year.

Set Small Business Goals

If you set aside some time to identify KPIs and calculate some results, you can use the information to set some goals. You might decide you want to increase your customer retention rate by 5% or increase your profit margin. The most important thing to remember is to set SMART goals, which are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

Connect with Your Customers

With increased awareness of small businesses, Small Business Month is the perfect time to connect with your customers. You might create an Instagram campaign to encourage people in your local community to buy from small businesses instead of national chains or host an online or in-person event to meet your customers and learn more about them.

Celebrate Small Business Month with Addition Financial

National Small Business Month presents an opportunity for communities and small business owners to celebrate the companies that provide jobs and keep our economy running. The 8 success tips we’ve included here can help you strengthen your company and achieve your most important goals.

Are you looking for a financial institution that cares about your small business success as much as you do? Addition Financial is here to help! Click here to read about our business services and join today.

The content provided here is not legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. Please consult with legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific needs or questions you may have. We do not make any guarantees as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not support any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability or legal obligations for your use of this information.