7 Ways to Bust Through Your Business Challenges in Small Business Week
More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and these businesses create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. National Small Business Week, which is celebrated every spring, began in 1963 to recognize the contributions of small businesses to the economic well-being of America. During the week-long event, the U.S. Small Business Administration celebrates the impact of small business owners from all 50 states and U.S. territories.
If you are one of the millions of small business owners celebrating Small Business Week, you know all too well the challenges that come with being a business owner. It can be difficult to find the time you need to focus on growing and improving your business when you are knee-deep in managing it. This is why you should take advantage of Small Business Week and take time to tackle a project that will jumpstart your business, boost your productivity, or get your marketing process off the ground. It is time to dust off those projects that have taken the back burner to more important business needs and knock it out of the park this week.
Here are some areas to consider as you decide how to ramp up your small business this week.
1. Develop a Business Idea
Business ideas can come from anywhere -- hobbies you are passionate about, a problem you are trying to solve, or even an unexpected opportunity. Get inspired with a new business endeavor by browsing this list of 101 small business ideas.
Once you have an idea in mind, it is time to test, qualify and rate the opportunity. Before you make any life-altering changes that can't easily be undone, take some time to first evaluate your business idea to see if it has the legs you hope it does. Consider the steps outlined in this article on qualifying a business idea when measuring the potential of a business idea.
2. Get Your Small Business Off the Ground
Starting a business can be exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Not everyone manages the fear and uncertainty the same, but there are resources that will help you through the tough parts.
You may find that it's helpful to take time to think through the implications, thoroughly explore your passion, and see what has worked for others. Here are some resources to help you get started:
- Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business
- Is Having a Passion for Business Enough?
- 10 Character Traits of Successful Small Business Owners
Once you are ready to move forward, use this step-by-step business start-up article as a guide through the process.
3. Knock Out Your Business Plan
Having some kind of plan for your business is important, even if it's just a few loose ideas jotted down on a piece of paper.
The simple truth is that without a plan, it will be very difficult for you to create a successful small business. The business planning process is notorious for giving aspiring small business owners everywhere a big headache. Start with this list of business plan resources for overwhelmed business owners.
Then, browse the articles below for a few arguments in favor of taking time to write a business plan, a super-simple business plan shortcut, and a traditional business plan outline.
- Do You Really Need a Business Plan?
- Shortcut: How to Write a Simple Business Plan
- A Comprehensive Business Plan Outline for Small Business
4. Set a Goal
It will be very difficult to put even the best business plan into action without a clear goal that includes action steps. This article on small business goal setting will help you with every stage of goal setting so all of your hard work on your business plan won't go to waste.
5. Get Ahead of Money Issues
Often the biggest question for aspiring small business owners is, "Where will I find the money to start my business?" The articles below will help you figure out where you can find capital and how to reduce the costs from the very beginning:
- 4 Places to Find the Money to Start a Business
- 5 Quick Ways to Boost Your Bottom Line
- 10 Ways to Reduce Small Business Costs
- How to Bootstrap Your Small Business from the Ground Up
6. Solidify Your Marketing Plan
Regardless of what type of business you have, a marketing plan can help you identify your marketing goals and create a strategy for achieving them. A well-developed marketing plan becomes your company's playbook, guiding your actions and measuring them against the goals you identified. Start with this step-by-step marketing plan tutorial.
7. Try New Marketing Idea
One of the biggest marketing challenges for many small business owners is finding the right mix of marketing activities that reach their target market effectively without breaking the bank. This list of 101 small business marketing ideas is a great place to get some inspiration for marketing activities you can try in your business.
Whether you take a few hours or a few days, there is so much you can accomplish by setting aside a block of time solely for business development. Small Business Week is the perfect time to do it, so let’s get started today.