Small Business Saturday falls on November 30th this year. Originally promoted by American Express in 2010, the holiday takes place during the busiest shopping weekend of the year, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To compliment those two holidays, which focus on big box retail and e-commerce respectively, Small Business Saturday is designed to encourage shoppers to patronize small, local brick-and-mortar businesses.
Payza didn’t form out of a void. We haven’t always been the global e-commerce platform we are today, with offices around the world, and we didn’t become an award-winning, international enterprise overnight, either. We started out as a small business, with just a handful of people trying to meet an unfulfilled need in the marketplace, and remained that way for years.
What allowed us to thrive was our ability to sustain steady, gradual growth. A business which embraces rapid, explosive growth without building and maintaining the necessary infrastructure often ends in disaster. Too much growth has led many young companies to build their tower too high without fortifying their foundation – then when they hit their first patch of bad weather, the whole tower comes down.
It’s important to have the patience and perspective to maintain a manageable level of growth. This is especially true for entrepreneurs and small business owners, who risk not only the business when pushing for too much growth, but also their own personal wellbeing. Despite the conventional wisdom about starting a business, a relentless focus on closing deals, turning a profit and cleaning up messes can actually hurt the long-term success of the organization.
It’s okay to take a break – in fact, it’s a great chance to get some perspective on your business’s future. With Small Business Saturday coming up and the end of the year on the horizon, now is a good time to re-evaluate your approach to success. Here are a few points of advice that we think every entrepreneur and small business owner should consider:
- Slow down. What’s the hurry? If your business is doing well, that doesn’t mean you have to pour all the profits into expanding it. Sit back and let the growth happen naturally as demand increases. Don’t rush into a new market or new project just because you can. Make sure to strengthen your existing business before you start adding more.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks. When you are ready to start the next project or move into a new market, try to bring something new to the table. There are enough businesses out there taking the path of least resistance, so by doing things a bit differently you might find a whole new angle on your industry.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Unless you’re a market wizard or you’re just very lucky, keeping a policy of taking risks is going to result in some failures – but getting back up after a failure is an extremely valuable skill in today’s fickle economy. You can learn as much from a failed project as you can from a successful one.
- Choose the right people. Don’t just hire the people you need, hire the people you want. Now that you’ve started some new projects and you’re seeing some growth, your company will be doing some serious job creation, but make sure not to take hiring lightly. It’s easy to lose sight of each individual in your company as it expands, but a team is only as good as its worst player, so don’t rush it. Take all the time (and resources) necessary to find a perfect fit for every role.
- Keep doing what keeps working. Growth happens when you’re fulfilling a need. More and more consumers are using your product or service because they like what you’re doing. To change your approach now would be to change what is making you successful. Try to identify what it is that is working for you and maintain it as a priority.
- Stop doing what doesn’t work. Once you have identified what works, you can start cutting out what doesn’t. Identify any expenditures in your company which don’t cause any benefit and dedicate those resources to what is working, or to a new project.
It’s no wonder that Payza has a close relationship with small business. Long ago, we set out to provide freelancers, self-employed professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners with convenient and affordable tools for growing their business. We believe in small business and want to do what we can to help you improve the lives of the people you serve.
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