Rhonda Abrams is recognized as one of the nation’s experts on all things small business, entrepreneurship & business planning. She thrives on helping entrepreneurs of all natures to launch and grow their own businesses. She’s published many books, written tons of columns and speaks nationwide in hopes of inspiring the next big small business entrepreneur.
“Dealing with all these different types of small businesses, I’ve learned certain realities always apply. I call these “Rhonda’s Rules.” These rules are keys to small business success. Ignore these rules at your peril: I’ve seen many new entrepreneurs fail because they ignored one or more of these business basics.”
Here are 10 of the most important “Rhonda’s Rules” for small business success:
1. Go small to grow big. What’s the one sure way to fail in small business? Try to sell to everyone. A key to small business success is carving out a niche — a particular specialty or narrow market segment — rather than competing for every customer. Don’t just be a marketing consultant: be a marketing consultant for a certain industry. Don’t be a general store — focus on a specific type of product or customer. Small businesses just don’t have the resources of time or money to be a generalist.
2. Take care of your bread-and-butter business. Entrepreneurs have lots of good ideas, but those can distract you from your core business. Before you consider new directions, clearly define what part of your business brings in the money that pays your bills. Concentrate on that first.
3. “Make sure the dog will eat the dog food.” That’s a quote from pioneering venture capitalist and my mentor Eugene Kleiner. What Kleiner meant was that no matter how good your ideas appear to be, you have to make certain you’ve got a product or service that customers really want.
Read the rest of “Rhonda’s Rules” on USAToday.com.