There is a limited skill pool for most small businesses due to financial restrictions and lack of talent options from the immediate area. Yet, these barriers break through the clever use of online resources, products, and services.
It allows a business to operate on a large scale without undertaking the complexities of a corporation. Consider the following to encourage success within the main operations.
Education & Training
There are numerous (free and paid) educational portals and training options online:
- One could learn six sigma traits to improve their managerial abilities
- Take a course to keep up with the growing tech demands on Udemy
- Attend a workshop to get hands-on experience with new skills
Education and training should be at the forefront of the day-to-day operations to keep workers skilled and up-to-date with changes in the industry & marketplace.
This ability to adapt will present opportunities for business growth, encourage creativity, and create job satisfaction for employees wanting to contribute more to the business. It also lends toward long-term viability in the marketplace since it keeps the business from becoming outdated and irrelevant.
Research & Development
The tough, monetary draining aspects of laying the foundation reduces through:
- 3D printing gives access to one-off productions during the prototype phase
- Websites and an online presence could be built using WordPress or Wix
- The market is testable through crowdfunding on Kickstarter or GoFundMe
These tools lead to rapid prototyping and experimentation so they may be tested on a small-scale market for viability.
The ability to collect funding, 3D print prototypes, and create agile services using these items saves time and money. It allows the entertainment of ideas which may become the next flagship product or service for the business.
Advertising & Marketing
A small business may compete with big corporations with the use of:
- Google Analytics provides the necessary tools and resources to track campaigns
- Platforms like Facebook and BuySellAds are a great point of entry for paid advertising
- Content marketing, via resources like Content Marketing Institute, creates free traffic
The best way to learn these advertising & marketing resources is through following the lead competitors in the market and learning from mistakes. Competitors and key players have it figured out since they’re reveling in success.
Use this to your advantage by applying similar principles, formats, and strategies but tailored to your brand, tone, and goals.
Sales & Customer Service
Close the sale and turn them into lifelong customers with:
- LeadPages and KissMetrics are flexible options to improve the sales funnel
- Soho CRM and Salesforce create excellent rapport and service for customers
- Fulfillment by Amazon reduces logistics time and costs
The path to capitalize on sales & customer service is to gain the right talent. Years of experience trumps college degrees. Snipe this talent from other successful businesses by offering better pay and benefits.
Otherwise, use extreme vetting when posting job listings and soliciting inquiries. Place qualifiers to weed out lackluster candidates so only the best come through.
Finances & Legal
Lift the stress of staying in the black (and legal repercussions):
- LegalZoom is an easy-to-use resource for just about any legal needs
- UpWork (and other freelance sites) will pair the business with experienced CPAs
- Gust and AngelInvestmentNetwork connects the business with funding & investing
Take full advantage of the finances & legal resources provided by your state government website. If these documents are too difficult to understand then use online resources that cover the information in layman’s terms (see above).
A CPA and lawyer would be a fantastic addition to the Rolodex for those that cannot bother with accounting and legal actions in combination with the resources.
Small business competition is measured on a global scale. Options for improving the workplace, skills, growth, and viability are no longer restricted to the locale and finances. The Web offers what you need to position the business as a dominant player – the question becomes “are you going to take advantage of these options?”