Running a small business is no small feat.
It takes constant dedication, focus, and is full of trials.
Because we must constantly work “in” the business, we don’t often get time to work “on” it.
And though the end of the year can be a busy time for many small business owners, it signals a time to do exactly that… reflect and prepare for a new beginning in a new year.
I’m a big believer in looking back, reflecting on what has gone well, and building on that in the new year to get closer to my goals.
When I look at Modern da Vinci, the growth we’ve seen is incredible. It’s a sign that we’re on the right track, but more importantly, it’s a sign that the small business community is as vibrant as ever.
Here are some incredible statistics from 2016:
- Average reading time is up 21.45% over last year.
- Bounce rate is down 35.14%.
- 521.74% more page views this year over 2015.
- 850.70% increase in new visitors in 2016!
These statistics are obviously exciting for Seth and me here at Modern da Vinci. But more so, these statistics should make you proud. Proud to be a small business owner. Proud to be part of an ongoing conversation with owners like yourself, all learning and growing together.
We’re excited for what’s to come in 2017. We’re looking forward to growing more with you and finding new small business owners like yourself to learn from.
But before we end 2016, it’s worth reviewing the top posts in each of the five areas for a growing, thriving small business.
Top Post of 2016
What do historical legends such as Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Abraham Lincoln have in common with modern day magnates Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, and J.K. Rowling?
They all experienced painful, demoralizing failure on their journeys to the top.
Had they succumbed to these failures, they easily could have faded into anonymity. So what is it that fuels people who are wildly successful and separates them from others?
Top Post in Small Business Strategy
Having a strategy is vital for any small business. Unfortunately, the “classic” approach to strategic planning doesn’t work very well for small businesses. Using the wrong methods for strategic planning can cause a lot of frustration for small business owners as well as wasted time, effort, and resources.
So then, what is the right amount of strategic planning for a small business? Let’s start by taking a look at some common issues small businesses run into with strategic planning, the most important elements of planning that small business should focus on, and concrete steps to tackling strategic planning the right way.
Top Post in Leadership
As a leader, you are expected to have answers. The drive to find the “right answer” and to do so expeditiously may be well intentioned but comes with considerable risk.
Taking a step back from a problem and further assessing it through powerful questions can provide great insights. Voltaire once said,
“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”
Top Post in Team Building and Hiring
It's not that easy.
Knowing whether to invest in a new hire.
The thought of burning cash on a new employee who can't keep up with the work and is making life worse for everyone around them is a real threat.
What these unfortunate small business owners don’t have is a method to sort through the confusion, making it clear when to bring on a new employee, and what skills they should have.
Top Post in Product Development
Deep down you’re excited.
You’re excited that your new idea is going to sell. You’re excited that your new product will be met with fanfare, enthusiasm, and will win the hearts and minds (and wallets) of an entire market.
But stop and think for a moment.
How can we thoughtlessly build that “next great product” when so many businesses around us create products that fail? How can we justify the cost and time it takes to build a new idea into reality based solely on our excitement?
You can’t. Or at least, you shouldn’t.
Top Post in Sales
For some reason, when it's time to deliver your elevator pitch, it’s easy to get all flustered. You ramble on about your back-story or throw your company name at them followed by some industry jargon.
And what do you get in return?
Blank stares, an “oh that sounds interesting,” or your audience reminisces about a similar idea they had once upon a time.
In our top sales post of 2016, we outline a process for creating an elevator pitch that works for you. One that opens doors and creates conversation. One that has real potential to lead to a sale.
Top Post in Customer Satisfaction
With your customer's satisfaction and revenue at risk, delivering bad news can be downright stressful.
If you've never had to deliver bad news to a customer, congratulations. This post is for you, because inevitably, you will.
If you have had to deliver bad news to a customer, I feel for you. This post is for you as well. Because I've been there a few times before. So many times, actually, my business finally figured out how to do it well. In fact, after delivering the worst news in our company's history, the customer literally called us back to thank us for it.
About the Authors
CO-FOUNDER | LEADERSHIP, BUSINESS STRATEGY, MANAGEMENT, COACH, TRAINER, AND FACILITATOR
Seth Sinclair is a leadership coach, management consultant, trainer, and facilitator with a passion for helping his clients achieve their personal and professional goals. Reach out by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more on our About page.
CO-FOUNDER | TECHNOLOGY, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, MARKETING, AND SALES
Michael Mehlberg helps small businesses owners achieve their goals and live their passion. His approach to technology, corporate strategy, product development, marketing, and sales is both practical and highly effective, and has helped multiple small businesses grow into the company their owners envisioned. Reach out by emailing him at email@example.com or learn more on our About page.