“Launch and Learn Tips” from a Small Business Owner

Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat – it’s the cycle of life for an entrepreneur. Some people work out to feel better, others just work.

Starting a business is not an easy grind but it is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself – it can be terrifying, heartbreaking and exhausting yet still it provides an unequivocal sense of purpose, accomplishment and autonomy.

To give yourself the best chance of success, the BabbleBoxx team put together a list of tips based on the “learn as you grow” experience of a small business.

“Launch and Learn Tips” from a Small Business Owner

1. Use “No” to Grow: When you’re small and unknown, rejection is inevitable. Practice reframing each situation, so you don’t take it personally.

Tip: Recognize that the person shutting you down may not be ready or in a position to decide. Stay in touch by delivering solution-based, consistent communications and don’t be afraid to reach out to others, even C-level executives, within the organization. At the same time work towards finding another way into the company be it, for example, through an agency of record or a local franchise owner. Last, set your eyes on similar players in the space with whom you can align. There’s always a deal to be made — it just takes persistence, time and finding the right contact.

2. Think Like an Athlete: Never look back during a race – this well-known rule for competitive athletes will helps you stay on track in business.

Tip: There is always room for more than one player and, just like competitive sports, the only way to be your best is to train smarter. Focus on your idea. Make the product(s) and services you deliver YOUR best and no one else’s. And never be wooed into thinking that building a business happens overnight – it’s best to prepare to be in it for the long run.

3. Listen to your Heart: It takes a special type of individual to thrive in a small business. A person may have perfect skills on paper and lack the qualities it takes to thrive in the scrappy, self-starting world.

Tip: “Soft skills” can’t be learned but are vital for a company to excel. This type of spirit may be hard to identify so to keep it simple. Seek out candidates with H.E.A.R.T.: Hunger, Attitude, Energy, Resolve and Trust. It’s okay to level-down on skills for the right candidate – you can always train the brain, but you cannot teach character. You must hire for it.

“Launch and Learn Tips” from a Small Business Owner

4. Partner for Power: Partner marketing is one of the most powerful tools for small business.

Tip: You can gain access to so many untouchable products and services simply by sharing them with other partner(s). Office space may be the first thing that comes to mind but think along the lines of co-oping for operational platforms and tools, consulting expertise, trade show exhibits and so on. On the marketing front, smart collaborations allow you to tap into a pre-existing, qualified consumer base thereby increasing your reach and offsetting your media spend.

5. Launch and Learn: The key to success for small business is action.

Tip: Focus on speed to market and get customers involved in the development, design and testing of your new ideas. Don’t get mired in projections or let perfection stifle your innovation. Instead, learn as you go and make improvements iteratively and consistently.

Want to learn more about small business marketing and secrets of success from other brands and industry executives? Download and listen to our podcast, Beyond the Boxx, for all of the latest and greatest tips, tricks and strategies.