6 Perspectives that Will Help Streamline your Small Business Operations

We love small business owners – we’re one of them. Small biz is the backbone of our economy and fun fact – businesses with fewer than 250 employees (that’s us small guys) accounted for more than half of the jobs created since 2010 (Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen’s, data says so).

If you’re a small business owner, take a pause and pat yourself on the back – we’re doing alright.

However, we do know that small business owners suffer some real struggles on a day-to-day (and on a month-to-month, and year-to-year) basis. So, for our fellow budget-strapped entrepreneurs out there we’ve compiled six perspectives we believe every owner should keep in mind to help get over some of the hang-ups that come with being a small business.

Small Marketing budgets competing with big ones.

Bigger companies have more staff, more connections, and deeper pockets. When it comes to marketing dollars, you’re not in the position to compete with them directly; however, when it comes to strategy – there’s no reason why you can’t be ahead of the curve.

There is an advantage to being the little guy, the underdog, because you have a greater ability to adapt and fine-tune new tactics.

Stay on top of trends in social media, conduct market research, always be innovating. Try out unproven strategies while seeing how you can improve on accepted methods. Get help from a digital marketing agency like Tribu. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

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Finding the right crew when you can’t necessarily pay their retirement fund and the other guys can.

Never forget the one thing that all the money in the world can’t buy is this:

Culture.

Create a culture that’s proud of being small, that sees the value of working in a company where real change can be affected and where the employees know and are “all in” with their boss. You have the intangible tools to empower people in ways the big guys can’t – use them. It’s easier than you think.

More than talent, leadership, or vision – you need people you absolutely trust working for you. A big part of building trust is transparency. When you’re open and honest about who you are and the work you do it becomes contagious; it creates an environment free from judgment and one where simple thoughts grow into big ideas.

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Stop trying to do everything yourself. Learn to put a value on your time. Opportunity cost is a real thing. Delegate.

Along with being the boss, you probably wear many different hats at any given time. This behavior is typically the product of necessity – especially early on in the life of a new business. However, if you’re a business owner, eventually you need to remove yourself from the day-to-day dynamics of doing business, so you can concentrate on something even more important – growing it.

Time is money and time is of the essence. Your challenges of streamlining efficiency, reducing expenses, and investing revenue are too important to ignore. Let go of any hang-ups you might have about not having your hands in every facet of the business. See the big picture, with you at the center – directing, delegating, and watching things get done.

Don’t let lack of capital stop you from a big idea, or the “next phase” of your growth. By the same token, learn to be smart with your funds.

What holds us back often isn’t lack of inspiration or ideas, but lack of capital.

It takes cash to run a business, and if your profits aren’t helping fund your growth, you will be in position where taking advantage of opportunity will be difficult.

Fortunately, new financial services are available that help businesses take steps toward genuine growth in a responsible way. Kabbage is one of them – helping small businesses gain access to funds that supplement their cash flow and overall financial health. Kabbage works by cutting out the middleman – the bank – and let’s businesses find out instantly if they’re approved for loans as high as $100,000.

Remember, cash flow is just as important, if not more important than accounts receivable. Apply for a Kabbage insta-loan today and find out how a cash loan can help when it comes to growing a healthy business.

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It’s ok to be day-to-day, but you have to make time to think big picture and long term.

How do you keep the ‘big picture’ at the center of it all when there are so many details to take care of?

Realize you are not so powerless as a “little guy” – that you can compete and even beat the big guys. Invest in people who crave culture – not cash. Treat your time as an irreplaceable commodity. Accept that sometimes getting your business to that “next level” means you need more dollars – not just ideas.

By constantly cultivating these 6 perspectives, you’ll be able to successfully make strategic decisions that will help streamline your business for months and years to come – not just from day to day.

Need some more fresh marketing perspective? Let’s talk.

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Sources

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/the-fed-says-small-businesses-drive-job-growweth-but-do-they/

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230945

http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/marketing/marketing-strategy/cost-effective-marketing/how-to-compete-with-bigger-rivals

http://www.pge.com/en/mybusiness/save/smbblog/article/top-pain-points-for-small-businesses-and-proven-cures.page

http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/growing-your-business/is-your-business-growth-stagnant-assess-these-5-areas-for-a-solution

The 6 Step Process For Designing a Killer Logo

We are often called upon to design logos for a wide range of clients differing in brand, product, service and size. This time we had the honor of branding a unique client; an intellectual property attorney. So being the kind and awesome person I am; I decided to share with you our design process on this project.

Designing a logo:

Step 1

First we have a meeting with the client to get all the information we can about him, his business and his industry. Then we go deeper, conceptualizing his brand and how he would like it to be portrayed. For this, we use a design questionnaire with all kinds of obscure & crazy questions to help us get to know every detail we can possibly think of about the clients idea, brand, product or service. (The questionnaire itself is a whole other blog)

Step 2

We then get everything organized and come up with as many words associated with the data we collected from our meeting in a 10 minute session (cake). This helps get rid of bad ideas as well as find those gems in the early stages before we even start sketching.

Step 3

We take the new, condensed data and start designing visuals with sketches. Sketching it out is the best way to start the visual side of any project. So we sketch, sketch and sketch, sleep, sketch, freakout for a moment, and sketch some more. Once we have a some concepts we’re proud of and a great representation of the brand, we move forward in the process. This is when we draw out what the final logo options will look like in digital format without color. If your logo can’t stand alone in black and white then it’s not worth sh*t. (or not as powerful as it should be)

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Step 4

So now we have our best logo options drawn out in some sort of “final” version with layout, font, and graphic. This is when we bring the idea into Illustrator. Now depending on the graphic you have, you might want to use the pen tool to trace it but if it’s something simple you could just use the drawings as reference. Every situation is different, so at this point it’s up to you to use your best design judgement on how the logo will be blasted into vector form.

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Step 5

Now that everything is in vector format, we can add some color if needed. Usually I will stick to no more than 3 colors for a logo- 2 or even 1 will work in my opinion. But, that being said sometimes the client just can’t live without that pepto pink and we’ll have to bite the bullet and carry on. Once we have a great color palette for the various logos and have a few options to show the client, it’s time for the mock-ups.

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Step 6

Throw it on any media platform relevant to their business. Business cards (obvious), signage, t-shirts, stationary, anything to give the client a visual of how their logo is going to look and feel in the real world (no harm done if you decide to mock all of them up). After your awesome presentation of the client’s kick ass new brand and their sheer delight and entertainment, head to the airport, because it’s time for coronas and beaches. Once you come back to reality, have a beer and repeat process. Life is sweet for graphic designers.

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Designing killer logos is a passion of ours. What’s your passion?

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