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Don’t Just Stay In the Game, Win It: Strategies for Small Business Success

Posted on the 08 November 2013 by Jureklepic @jkcallas

Think fast: Why do most new small businesses fail? According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the top reasons are as simple as they are avoidable: lack of capital, poor management of credit, and lack of experience. This last point may be the most daunting. After all, how do you get experience other than going through the hard work of trying and failing? But fortunately, savvy small business owners will work to learn from the experiences of others to stay competitive with their business rivals and secure customers, capital, and ultimately, financial success.

Show Yourself the Money

As the New York Times reports, it's often challenging for failed business owners to accurately pinpoint where they went wrong, which certainly makes sense since if they knew the true nature of their problems, they'd presumably be able to fix them. That said, lack of capital is consistently cited as a problem that can lead to the downfall of even the most energetic new small business owner.

This is a sticky knot of a problem with a few different threads, but one of the easiest solutions is making sure you have access to the best business credit cards to allow yourself cash reserves for long term funding. When choosing a card, consider the most popular options that business owners prefer, and compare the various benefits offered. Do you plan to travel a lot? Choose a card that maximizes your mileage rewards and gets you free trips, faster. Do you conduct a lot of business lunches? Seek a card that gives you extra bonuses for dining or any other business-related expenses. By staying on top of your credit and choosing the card with perks that best fits your needs, you can access resources while building your business in ways that a simple loan simply can't provide.

Management is Key

Once you've got your assets squared away, you need to work hard to appropriately manage the income and expense streams that flow in and out of your business. The SBA recommends using technology such as accounting and time tracking software, as well as email management tools. Automating a lot of your financial planning and decision making will free you up to focus on developing your product and listening closely to your customers about what's working and what they'd like to see improve. Your goal here is to stay on top of your expenses without spending too much time wading through spreadsheets. After all, every minute you're tied up at the desk is a minute your competitor might be out there snagging a customer that could rightfully be yours. Invest in systems you trust and credit plans that give you freedom and peace of mind. Then focus on acquiring new customers and meeting their needs with excellent, memorable service.

Stay Focused, Not Fearful

Finally, while it's good to keep a clear head about what your competition is up to, remember that at the end of the day, your goal is to do right by the people who are handing you their hard earned cash: your customers. suggests that listening closely to what your customers need is one of the hallmarks of any successful business, no matter the size or the budget.

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