How to Make a Small Business Successful

by Neal Frankle, CFP ®

How would your life change if you found small business success? That is what Bob from ChristianPF.com told me this past Tuesday when I interviewed him on Wealth Pilgrim Radio. Bob left his corporate gig a few years ago to become a full-time blogger. Now, he makes more money blogging than he did as an employee.

His work is an extension of his values and he’s having a lot of fun. Not only is Bob a wonderful guy, he’s smart, helpful, giving and…oh…full of successful entrepreneurial ideas. Bob gave listeners three crucial ideas you can use to start or grow your own business – even if it’s not in the blogging field.

1. Even if your job is stable, it’s always a good idea to have something on the side – just in case.

Bob started blogging at a time when his full-time job was very secure – at least he thought it was. Little did he know that he’d be out in the cold due to corporate “restructuring” a short 12 months later. He was fortunate in that he had already built the infrastructure for his second job during that year. His advice to us was to start now. Build the ark before the rain clouds appear. Look for something to build into a business now – before you are forced to.

2. Find a way to turn your passion into profits.

At first, Bob started blogging because it was his passion. Over time, he learned how to monetize his passion. For a full report on how he did it, I encourage you to visit his site and download his report on “How I Make a Living Blogging.”

Bob is a big believer in information products. He encouraged listeners to consider what they are especially good at and monetize that expertise. Are you an excellent cook? Create tutorials and sell them. Do you know how to fix leaky sinks and toilets? Show us how…and charge us less than a plumber would. What is it that you do better than anybody else? What do you know that others don’t but need to?

I’ll ask you one question and you’ll get my drift: what is Groupon? It’s a small business idea that somebody who was really skilled at couponing had. Now it’s huge.

It may seem daunting for you to create an information product. I understand that. I am in the middle of that process right now. But I can tell you that if you break it down, it doesn’t seem all that tough. Get yourself a Flip camera and start recording your tutorials. Read Tim Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Work Week for a great step-by-step explanation on how to market your creations. You don’t need much more.

3. Be clear on your mission.

Know who your audience/market is. Don’t try to sell everyone. Be selective. Bob’s blog uses the word “Christian” even though that word might alienate some potential readers. But Bob never thought twice about using “Christian” in his business name because he was clear on what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it. (Even though I’m not Christian, I still love his blog and get a lot out of it.) Bob said that business owners should be very clear on their mission so they can make decisions that are consistent. This makes a lot of sense to me.

As an added bonus, Bob discussed the issue of discipline. He mentioned that being self-employed, he really wears two hats. Bob the boss and Bob the employee. Once Bob the boss makes a decision, Bob the employee executes it. He doesn’t second-guess himself. Bob attributes his discipline with much of the success he’s enjoyed.

Bob strikes me as a fellow who is always learning and experimenting with his business. He’s eager to help others and genuinely happy to see others succeed. I believe these attributes can’t help but draw success to him like a magnet.

Have you used these three ideas on your small business? What other critical success strategies would you suggest?

So use these three ideas. I guarantee you will find yourself saying, “That’s how I made my small business successful.”


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