Have you ever wondered how McDonald’s became the huge franchise it is today? It’s now one of the biggest chains of fast food restaurants in the world, but it wasn’t always that way.
The year was 1955, and brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald owned a restaurant in San Bernardino, California, which they had set up to resemble a drive-in cinema. It catered to families who wanted a fun atmosphere for themselves and their children. From a little restaurant to becoming the second-largest fast food chain in the world, McDonald’s now has more than 37,000 restaurants throughout 119 countries! Its tremendous growth showcases some of the secrets of small business success—good products, efficient work processes, and great customer service.
Looking at those big companies you see today, you will be amazed to find that most started out as small businesses that had to face challenges and strategize to get to where they are today. It’s fascinating how and why some businesses are able to succeed while others fail. And you’ll find out all about that in this post.
So, what are the secrets of small business success? Can other small businesses use them to succeed as well? Check out the things every small business needs to know to succeed!
What to Know About Small Businesses in the United States
Owning your own business can be rewarding, but it can also be a lot of work. And it’s absolutely worth it. In 2021, there were 32.5 million small businesses in the United States. This represents 99.9 percent of all US businesses. (The SBA broadly defines a small business as one with 100-1,500 employees and an average yearly revenue ranging from $1 million to $40 million. But the specific definition varies by industry).
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), close to half of all workers in the United States are employed by small businesses; a total of over 61.2 million people. (The remainder of U.S. employees work for large businesses with 2,500 to 9,999 employees, very large businesses with 10,000 employees or more, or the government.)
Small businesses play an important role in the growth, development, employment, and health of the economy. Considering the prevalence of small businesses across the U.S., you probably already know someone that owns a small business or will be running one in the future. But, other than number of employees, what characteristics are representative of a small business?
Three typical characteristics of small businesses
There are several characteristics that distinguish small businesses in the United States. Here are the top 3 characteristics:
- They are usually run by one or multiple people with little to no help. This means that the business owner(s) must sometimes wear multiple hats, which can be difficult and stressful.
- Small businesses tend to have less money than larger companies, so they are often not able to afford the same level of technology and labor as larger companies. They may also not have access to the same resources as larger companies. This makes them more susceptible to mistakes and oversights.
- Small businesses are often a lot more flexible than their larger counterparts because they don’t have as many rules or regulations that must be followed. This flexibility can make it easier for them to adapt quickly when market conditions shift or when other changes develop.
Overall, the good news is that there is a lot of room for growth for small businesses. So how do small businesses achieve growth and what are the best practices for faster growth in this time and age?
How Successful Millennial Small Businesses Achieve Growth
If you’re a millennial small business owner, there’s a lot to think about. How do you know if your business is going to be up and running in the next few years? And how can you make sure that your company is on the right track for growth?
So, how do millennial small business owners grow their businesses? Here are 3 ways to grow your business that you can model by taking cues from other successful businesses:
- They work in teams, not alone. The millennial generation is known for its collaborative and team-oriented mindset, and this carries over into the way they run their businesses. They’re not the kinds of bosses who spend all day holed up in an office, working alone, and then come out at the end of the day to tell everyone how it’s going to be done. Instead, they’ll work with teams of people who can help them achieve their goals.
- They’re comfortable with technology. Millennials grew up learning how to use computers and social media. Therefore, it is no surprise that the next generation of business owners use social media marketing over traditional marketing as a core part of their businesses. No business would grow as fast or go as far without a bit of technology.
- The growth mindset values collaboration over competition. There might be competition between small business owners when it comes to career advancement (and other aspects of life). But when it comes down to it— running a business within the team— millennial small business owners value collaboration over competition because working together makes everything more possible than working apart does.
5 Ways to Successfully Grow a Small Business
Growing a business is not the easiest thing in the world. But it’s not impossible, either. All you need to do is follow the success path—secrets of small business success—and the rest is history. Here are five key steps to help you get started on the right foot.
1. Set clear goals.
The first step to successfully growing a business is to set clear, attainable goals. These goals should be measurable and realistic, and they should tie into your larger vision for the company. If you don’t have a vision, now is the time to develop one!
As far as setting financial goals, what is a good annual revenue for a small business to aim for? While this depends on the industry and the number of employees you have, you should aim for at least $1 million in annual revenue.
2. Create a business plan.
Next, you need to develop a business plan that outlines exactly how you will achieve these goals and make them happen—and how long it will take! You should have a target annual revenue and include information about everything from marketing strategies to financial forecasts and projections.
Doing all these will give your business the best chance at success. And remember to include plans on how to grow your social media platforms.
3. Keep an eye on trends and adjust accordingly.
Remember that nothing lasts forever. If your business is doing well now, there’s no guarantee that it will stay that way forever. That’s why it’s so important to not only set clear goals but also keep an eye on new trends in your industry. For example, the use of mobile marketing, rise of remote work, growing online communities, and personalizing customer service, are trends that you should be attentive to so that you can harness them to grow your business.
4. Make the right hires.
You need to make sure you’re hiring people who will be dedicated to your company and its mission, as well as people who have the skills needed to contribute to your success. The right people can help your business grow remarkably, so look for people or teams that are good communicators and have experience growing startups- be it for small business customer experience, small business support services, sales, etc.
5. Provide great service.
A small business owner has to be very attentive to the needs of their clients if they want to grow. If customers don’t have a good experience, they won’t stay with you. You need to focus on how to make them feel like they’re getting the best possible experience from your business, not just getting what they need.
One of the ways to give your customers a good experience is making sure they have someone they can always communicate with when they have contact with your business. And this is where live chat support services come in.
How Managed Live Chat Support Can Help Your Business Grow
Live chat support services can help you dramatically increase conversion rates without adding a lot of new staff members or taking up too much of your own time. With managed live chat, your customers and prospects feel like they’re getting personalized attention from your team. This increases customer loyalty and retention rates.
Having online business support services with a managed live chat customer service can help you keep up with your customer service needs and increase your customer satisfaction rating. This eventually leads to more satisfied customers, repeat business, and referrals!
You can get reliable live chat and managed webchat services that will help you grow your business from Chat with Humans. Chat With Humans promises quick and appropriate responses to any inquiries or concerns about your business. At a managed live chat pricing of only $15 per qualified lead, this is a low-priced way that you can easily get more qualified leads and highly satisfied customers.
How to Take Advantage of Helpful Resources for Small Business Owners
Here are some of the best resources for small business owners to explore as a way of educating themselves on the best tools, tips, and tricks that there are out there for business growth.
Who doesn’t love a good book? There are a lot of books written by people who have been in your shoes. Some of the books every business owner should read include the timeless “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie; “The Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success” by Brian Tracy, and many more!
Good books will give you sound, proven advice on how to overcome common challenges like hiring the right employees or figuring out pricing structures for your products or services. You can find just about anything on Amazon or at your local library.
Blogs for small business owners are great because they give you an insider’s perspective on what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to running a small business. The best blogs are written by experts who have been through it themselves, especially in your industry or niche. They can help you avoid the pitfalls that come with being an entrepreneur while still giving you the tools and encouragement you need to succeed!
Conferences for small business owners offer everything from networking opportunities to education sessions where experts share their knowledge on topics like marketing strategies or accounting practices that might not otherwise be covered in other formats.
Many secrets of small business success are shared by experts in conferences to help inspire creativity while reinforcing confidence in yourself as an entrepreneur.
You can survive the storm of life, even as a small business. Start by paying more attention to the little secrets of small business success — they add up over time, and can help make your climb a bit better than most!