11 Tips for Small Business Success

Quick Tips / October 20, 2022 / Thanny Schmitz

As a small business, you know that success is not always easy to come by. Between competing with big businesses and maintaining a tight budget, there are plenty of obstacles in your way. But with the right tips and advice, you can set your business up for success. 

New business owners face quite bleak statistics. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 18.4% of businesses in the U.S. fail within the first year, while 49.7% close after five years. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on your dreams of owning a successful small business.

If you seek small business success and are determined to make your business thrive, there are things you can do to increase your chances of success. We’ve compiled a list of 11 tips to increase your small business’ success.

Illustration shows 11 square shape images aligned horizontally side-by-side, broken down in two lines. Each square contains a smaller illustration resembling each of the 11 tips for small business success.

1. Provide Exceptional Value

It is impossible for small businesses to survive without a customer base; therefore, you must provide exceptional service to keep your customers coming back. It’s estimated that acquiring a new customer costs 5 times as much as it does to keep the same customer coming back. Hence, small businesses must provide value if they want to succeed.

Image contains two round shapes side-by-side, one representing customers and one representing businesses. Between them, two horizontal arrows point to each other, detailing how products and services provided by the business come back as revenue.


Why is it essential?

  • Helps you stand out from the competition: There are a lot of businesses out there calling for attention. If you want yours to stand out, you need to offer something that the others don’t.
  • Builds customer loyalty: If you provide your customers with a great experience, they are likely to come back for more.
  • Increases word-of-mouth marketing: Happy customers are often willing to tell others about their positive experiences, which will increase your organic sales. 

Customer loyalty is not only earned through the product or service provided, but also by the value provided. Retaining existing customers has been shown to boost profits by 25%.

2. Research Your Target Market

Every successful business needs to have a firm understanding of its target market. It’s no wonder that most small business owners attribute their failure to a lack of understanding of their target market.

Image contains the 6 main key-points to assess your target market.


Why is it essential?

  • Helps to identify target market: By conducting research, you can learn about the demographics of your potential customers and what they are looking for in a product or service.
  • Gives a better idea about competition: Research also enables you to better understand your competition and how you can position your business.
  • Helps with funding: Investors or lenders often require research before providing funding.

Creating a small business without any idea who your target market is is like constructing a house without a solid foundation. It’s not setting your business up for success. Business planning is essential in order to thrive with your own business – and researching your target market is one of the most important parts of it.

3. Invest in the Right Business Tools

Investing in the right business tools will help you simplify daunting tasks, like deal management, sales processes, and team collaboration. When you have the right tools, you can increase efficiency while focusing on revenue-generating activities.

As a small business owner, your budget is often tight. Instead of saving money by skimping on business tools, invest in a tool that handles all the necessary aspects of your business, which will end up saving you money.

That’s where tools like Daylite come in. Daylite is an award-winning CRM and productivity business app that empowers small businesses to get more done throughout the full customer lifecycle. Daylite is a native app built exclusively for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. From meeting prospects and taking control of your sales to managing the moving pieces of projects, all the way through to winning more repeated business, it’s all done in Daylite. 

Graphic contains a MacBook, iPad and iPhone screens at the centre, all showing different Daylite features. Title reads: "Shine bright with Daylite, the only CRM app made for your Mac."

“Daylite ramped up our capacity. It took us from being able to manage 50 projects to 250 projects with a similar staff size.” Jeremy Picker, AMB3R Creative

Why is it essential?

  • Saves time and money: Investing in the right tools allows you to automate tasks that would otherwise take up valuable time.
  • Helps to be more productive: Using the right tools allows you to be more productive, and spend your time on the things that grow your business. 
  • Improves your business decisions : Right tools help you access data you can use to make better business decisions.

4. Keep Your Overhead Costs Low

As a small business owner, it’s important to keep your overhead costs low. It’s desirable for a well-performing business to have an overhead rate of not more than 35% of total revenue. Therefore, it’s important to find ways to reduce expenses. High overhead costs can eat into your profits and make it difficult to keep your business afloat.

Why is it essential?

  • Maintains profitability: It is imperative to keep overhead low to keep the company profitable as well as allow it to grow.
  • Gives more flexibility: Keeping overhead costs low gives you more flexibility in the way you run and do business.
  • Increases your business’s growth: By keeping your overhead costs low, you’re able to reinvest more money back into your business and grow faster.

Additionally, by keeping your overhead costs low, you will be able to offer lower prices to your customers, which will help you to attract more business. In order to keep your overhead costs low, you need to be proactive and constantly monitor your expenses.

5. Stay Up-To-Date with Industry Trends

As a business owner, it is important to stay up to date with industry trends. By analyzing market trends, you can determine which products or services are in demand and adjust your business accordingly. It can also help you keep an eye on your competition and make sure you are offering the best possible product or service. Additionally, staying up to date with industry trends can help you identify opportunities for new business ventures.

Why is it essential?

  • Helps to beat the competition: Keeping up with industry trends is essential for staying ahead of the competition. 
  • Develops business strategies: If you’re not up-to-date on the latest trends, you’re at a disadvantage when it comes to making strategic decisions for your business. 
  • Utilizes upcoming trends: Staying informed about industry trends allows you to capitalize on new opportunities and stay ahead of the curve.

Being aware of new “growing trends” within your industry can lead to learning new strategies, tools, and taking part in different events. These things will allow you to change and adapt your business strategies and models in order to bring new customers through your door.

6. Hire the Right Employees and Invest in Them

Employees are the fundamental structure of any business. This is why it’s so important to hire the right people for your business. Having the right staff ensures your business will grow, leading to your overall success, as well as reducing your requirements for further hiring as your company grows.

Illustration details the differences between hiring the right people versus the wrong people and the affect it has on small business success

Why is it essential?

  • Increases your business’s growth: The right employees will help your business to grow. They will be dedicated to their work and will be willing to go the extra mile to help your business succeed.
  • Promotes a positive work environment: The right employees will also help to create a positive work environment. They will be friendly and easy to work with, and they will help to create a positive culture within your company.
  • Improves productivity and saves money: Investing in the right employees will pay off in the long run. They will be more productive and more likely to stick with your company for the long haul. This will save you money in the long run, as you won’t have to constantly train new employees.

Hiring the wrong employee can be a major hiccup in a business and can end up costing you more than just your time and money. 

Statistics by Haiilo show that 69% of employees state that they would work harder if they felt more appreciated in their jobs. When you invest in employees, it makes them feel more appreciated and gives them everything they need to succeed. 

7. Have a Strong Online Presence

In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever for small business owners to have a strong online presence. A recent study found that nearly 28% of small businesses don’t have a website, and of those that do, many are outdated or poorly designed. This can significantly impact their ability to reach new customers and grow their business.

Why is it essential?

  • Increases visibility: With so much competition out there, it can be difficult for small businesses to get noticed. Having a strong online presence helps to increase your visibility and get your name out there.
  • Gives greater reach: A website or social media account allows you to reach a much wider audience than you would be able to through traditional marketing methods.
  • Enhances customer engagement: An online presence gives you more opportunities to interact with your customers and build relationships with them. You can also use your online platform to collect feedback and help improve your products and services.
Image is a darkened photo of a phone screen in the background. In the foreground, a title reads "How to build an effective presence online".


8. Encourage Customer Feedback

By collecting and incorporating client feedback, you can gain valuable insights into what your customers want. This can help you make changes to your product or service offerings, as well as improve your marketing and customer service strategies.

Why is it essential?

  • Identifies areas for improvement: Feedback provides valuable insights into what customers think of your products or services. It can also help you identify weaknesses or areas you need to improve.
  • Increases customer confidence: Customer feedback can help build trust and confidence in your brand.
  • Develops loyal customers: Encouraging customer feedback can help you create a stronger customer base by showing that you’re interested in their opinions and willing to make changes based on their feedback.

Research shows that 34% of consumers are less likely to do business with a company after just one negative experience, demonstrating the value of customer feedback and improving from it. 

Illustration contains a list of the benefits of customer feedback for small business success. On the right site, an illustration of a man standing in front of a human-size computer detailing 5 start reviews and customer satisfaction rates.


9. Set Goals and Have a Plan for Success

Setting goals and having a plan for business success is essential for any small business owner who wants to be successful. Without a clear destination, it is all too easy to get lost along the way or to make decisions that take the business in the wrong direction.

Why is it essential?

  • Helps you reach business goals: Having a solid business plan helps clarify the goals of a small business. What does the business want to achieve? What are the key milestones that need to be reached? Without a clear plan, it can be difficult to set and achieve meaningful goals.
  • Provides a roadmap for success: A plan provides a roadmap for success. It can be difficult to know what steps need to be taken to reach objectives. A plan can help to map out the steps that need to be taken, as well as provide guidance on how to deal with obstacles along the way.
  • Tracks progress: Goals help track progress and identify areas of improvement. Without goals in place, it can be difficult to tell if a small business is making progress.

Image shows a section of a blackboard with five coloured sticky notes detailing steps for small business success. In order, they read: setting Goals will, give directions, energize, provide challenge, and make you think outside the box.


In contrast, businesses that have a written plan are more likely to succeed, as they have a roadmap to follow and are more likely to receive funding from investors. 

10. Be Patient and Don’t Get Discouraged

All businesses start out small, and it takes time to grow and build a customer base. A lot of new business owners get discouraged when they don’t see immediate results, but it’s important to be patient and keep working hard. Once you’ve established yourself and built a good reputation, word-of-mouth will spread and your business will prosper.

Why is it essential?

  • “Strengthens your patience:” Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes time to build a successful business and rushing things is likely to lead to mistakes being made.
  • Patience is a virtue: Staying calm and collected during difficult times is essential for making smart decisions and moving forward.
  • Helps to stay focused: The most successful businesses are those that have faced challenges and persevered. Giving up at the first signs of trouble will only result in failure.

Of course, being patient doesn’t mean you should just sit back and wait for customers to come to you. You need to actively market your business and work hard to find new ways to reach potential customers. But as long as you keep working towards your goals, you will eventually see the results you’re looking for.

11. Be Willing to Adapt and Change

Being a small business owner requires a lot of flexibility and adaptability. After all, the landscape of business is constantly changing, and those who are unwilling to change with it are likely to find themselves struggling to keep up. 

However, being willing to adapt and change can give you a major advantage. By being open to new ideas and ways of doing things, small businesses can quickly adapt to changes in their environment.

Why is it essential?

  • Things evolve constantly: The marketplace is constantly evolving. What works today may not work tomorrow, so it’s important to be able to change with the times.
  • New business opportunities: Being open to change allows you to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. If you’re stuck in your ways, you’ll miss out on potential partnerships, new markets, and other growth opportunities.
  • A changing customer base: Customer tastes and preferences are always changing. If you’re not willing to change your product or service offering, you risk losing customers to your competition.

It is evident that any small business owner who wants to be successful must be able to adapt and change. 

Moreover, it is important to not only be open to change but also proactive about it. Those who are able to anticipate industry trends and adjust their businesses accordingly are likely to find themselves ahead of the competition. 


Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, a SBA report concluded that small businesses create up to 44% of all US economic activity. It is possible for you to be successful in your own small business endeavors with hard work and determination.

For small businesses, acquiring new business often means juggling multiple priorities at the same time, as each deal has its own time frame and different client requirements. That’s why you need a tool like Daylite Opportunity Board that will help better manage your sales pipeline, so you’re making the most of every sales opportunity that comes your way.

About the author: Thanny Schmitz is a seasoned copywriter and content strategist passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. With over a decade of experience, Thanny has been behind insightful articles and blogs that inform and spark meaningful conversations within the ever-evolving spheres of tech and small business success.

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