Connecting Small Businesses

As most entrepreneurs and small business owners alike know, running a business is rarely easy and is oftentimes, downright hard. New and established businesses alike all have their fair share of ups and downs. Being a business owner is a lot of pressure, even if this pressure is shared with partners. Owners of small businesses often feel isolated even when they are surrounded by people who are also invested in their company.

Aloha News Network provides information that we hope is relevant to small business owners at every stage of the small business game. Being an informed owner is a good way to connect with other business owners. Getting connected with other business owners that have similar interests, needs, and areas of expertise, is a good way to help build networks that can enhance your ability to thrive in today’s ever changing business markets.

There are more than 28 million small businesses in the United states. This means that “small” businesses make up over 99 percent of all US businesses. People start businesses for a variety of reasons including that they have a great business idea, want to be their own boss, want to be be able to design a career that has flexibility and one that they can grow in, and have a desire to be financially independent and to be their own boss. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that even the best business ideas, even those backed by many hours of hard work and tenacity from those who are trying to get a business off of the ground, do not succeed. Approximately only two-thirds of businesses that have more than one employee, survive the first two years of operation. Only about half of these businesses survive past five years. 

Figure Out Your Market

Even the best ideas for a product or a service will not succeed if there is not a market for them. It is important to validate an idea by figuring out whether or not it has a real potential to succeed in an existing marketplace, as well as being able to successfully ride out and stay on top of upcoming changes in it. Doing research can bring light to the reality of the challenges you might face while trying to start and run a small business. 

A very general rule of thumb for businesses to be successful is they need to solve a problem, fulfill a need, or provide something to a market that it is lacking. Depending on the kind of business you are trying to start, you may do research on your own, hire an individual or a company to do research for you, create focus groups, and accomplish your goals by trial and error.

Questions that are relevant to many people who are trying to start a small business include but are not limited to:

– Is there a need for your product or service?

– Who needs your product or service?

– What other of the same or similar products or services are available through other companies?

– What kind of business model are your (potential) competitors working from and what can you learn from them?

– How will your business fit into existing market?

These can be good questions to revisit even after your business has taken foot in the marketplace and begins to grow and evolve.