Bethpage, NY (PRWEB) May 19, 2011
Since the early 1960s, the President of the United States has observed National Small Business Week to recognize the contributions of small businesses to the economic well-being of America. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business and small businesses create 60-80 percent of new jobs in the country. In honor of this year’s observance, Optimum Business shares 12 proven tips to help small businesses thrive.
“We are committed to providing our small business community with the services and benefits they need in order to be successful and thrive in today’s marketplace,” said Stephanie Anderson, small business advocate and vice president of commercial marketing for Cablevision. “In the spirit of this year’s National Small Business Week, we are offering our ‘thrivability’ tips as a reminder and motivator of some key principles for small business success.”
Tips for Small Business “Thrivability”:
Build a Team: Sure, you’re the founder and without you, there’s nothing. Take one minute and pat yourself on the back. Lonely yet? Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, writes that having the “right people on the bus” is the single most important determinate of success for any business. Do you have the right team in place?
Be Optimistic: Optimism is the fuel that drives most entrepreneurs when all others would lose hope. In fact, a study among small business owners by Cablevision’s Optimum Business unit shows that over 75% of small businesses believe optimism plays a critical role in their on-going success. So a little hope goes a long way.
Reward Hard Work: Let’s assume you’ve built a great team even before reading this article. Now it is up to you to reward them for their greatness. Feel free to remind them regularly how much you value their contributions and to celebrate their accomplishments. And a little cash money tied to a specific achievement is good too.
Plan for the Future: It is hard to get anywhere if you don’t know where you want to go. Even if growth isn’t the goal, imagining where you want your business to be in 2 years, 5 years or even 20 years, will set you on your way. Whether you imagine you had higher margins or more time off, you’re one step closer just by writing it down.
Don’t Sacrifice Quality for Value: Watching every penny like a hawk seems to be wired into the DNA of most entrepreneurs. The trick here is to make sure you aren’t being penny wise and pound foolish, cutting costs and quality at the same time. Look for vendors who can deliver value, providing the quality you need at a rate that works too.
Be Accessible: For better or worse, we’ve moved into an era of 24/7 accessibility, in which customers have come to expect interaction on their schedule, not necessarily yours. While it is up to you to decide how accessible you want to be, technologies like email and “find me” telephony give you lots of options.
Partner to Grow: The operative word in small business does not have to be small. Even if your company is really small, you can bolster your team through partners, who can enhance your service offering without adding costs. Outsourcing functions like payroll and IT can also cost-effectively bolster your operations.
Love to Learn: Do you have the insights you need to meet your customer’s needs let alone increase the likelihood they will recommend your business to a friend? If not, make that a priority and get to know your customers right away. Whether you do this online or in person, the insights you gain will be invaluable.
Ask for a Deal: Small businesses often mistakenly assume that they have little leverage with their suppliers. This is not the case. Bargains are to be gained but you have to ask. Further leverage can be found by picking bigger vendors that can pass along pricing discounts like the Optimum Business Benefits program.
Build an Intern Program: Every year, hundreds of thousands of high school and college kids gain experience interning at companies, big and small. Why not bring on an intern or two this summer as a reward to one of your hardworking staff members? This should be a win-win-win, helping your community, your employee and your business thrive.
Telecommute for a Productivity Boost: With gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon, it is worth looking to see if telecommuting is an option for you or some of your employees. Travel time saved will improve morale and increase productivity especially since current phone and data systems make it easier to work & share from anywhere.
Make Sure to Measure: As an entrepreneur, you have the joy of measuring success any way you want. That said, make sure you have a yardstick by which you can chart your progress. And if you’re unsure where to begin, check out David Allen’s Getting Things Done, a book that has helped millions set goals and improve productivity.
Designed for small-and medium-or home-based sized businesses that require high-speed Internet and voice communications, Optimum Business provides bottom-line benefits like predictable flat rate pricing and highly reliable voice and data services. The Optimum Business offering includes Optimum Online and Optimum Voice for $29.95 per month each the first year when combined for new customers.
To learn more about Optimum Business, including features, benefits and more, please visit http://www.optimumbusiness.com.
Cablevision Systems Corporation is one of the nation's leading telecommunications, media and entertainment companies. In addition to delivering its Optimum-branded cable, Internet, and voice offerings throughout the New York area, the company owns and operates cable systems serving homes in four Western states. Cablevision’s local media properties include News 12 Networks, MSG Varsity and Newsday Media Group. Cablevision's assets also include Rainbow Media Holdings LLC and its programming and entertainment businesses, AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv and IFC Entertainment, as well as Clearview Cinemas. Additional information about Cablevision is available on the Web at http://www.cablevision.com.
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