How To Run A Great Small Business

Tips and suggestions on  how to run the small business you want abound all across the Web. You just have to know where to find them. We’ve collected some tips from the most authoritative sources and some from the thriving small business community on BizSugar, one of our sister sites, to compile a list of links that we hope will help transform your business and your life.

Getting Started

Always be inspired and inspiring. When she was just 11 years old, a school assignment lead to an interview with her entrepreneurial grandfather that changed Frederique Murphy’s life forever. She has found that the key to the business she wants the most is to help others find what they are seeking as well. Do you know what your ideal business will look like? BizSugar Blog

Understand your business value. Small business sales have been on the increase of late but whether you plan on selling or being around for the long hall the same remains true. Understanding what creates the real value in your business is critical. See your business as others do not through your own emotional attachment and you will go far. You’re the Boss

Building Connections

Understand your customers intimately. A Website catering to coffee connoisseurs has created a great opportunity for specialty roasters to connect directly with a customer base that shares their obsession. Understanding the kind of customer you serve is critical to success and requires seeking them out first. Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Get your Web strategy nailed down. Chances are no matter what kind of small business you run these days, the Internet will part of it. The means for getting your Website noticed by your customers is always changing. BizSugar “Contributor of the Week” Steve Chou gives you some pointers on this changing world.

Managing Expectations

Keep your employees engaged. A recent contest promoted partially on the BizSugar blog looked at the options available for keeping employees engaged and offered small business owners the opportunity to compete against one another by submitting their own ideas about how to keep employees focused. BizSugar Blog

Understand a customer’s pain. Small businesses will need to work harder for every dollar in the aftermath of the great recession as consumers become more cautious about spending decisions. Have you noticed a difference in the way customers evaluate spending? How can understanding their needs yield better results? Open Forum

Branding & Building

Figure out your branding strategy. This is more than simply a logo and a catch phrase, says consultant Isabelle Mercier. In her video interview with Jonathan Kay of Grasshopper Media, Mercier asks about the key to creating a brand that will make your business stand out from all others in a meaningful way. Leap TV

Get your finances under control. Growth has become a huge challenge to small businesses, principally because of the need for cash flow and lack of easy access to small business lending. One option available is the use of “commercial paper” to lower the cost of borrowing. Open Forum

Odds & Ends

Grow your business with technology. This goes beyond the Web, of course, but in this post Ramon Ray suggests four ways to put technology to use taking your company to the next level. If you’ve wanted to get more into the use of technology in your business, this post is a great way to get started. smallbiz technology

Improve your delegation skills. You’ve heard the expression, of course. If you want something done right, do it yourself. Running a great small business may require just the opposite sentiment. Unless you are a solopreneur, you certainly have employees or contractors working with you. Refusing to delegate will hurt your business by distracting you from other key projects. Planning Startups Stories

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.