The born entrepreneur’s guide to start small but dream big

From little acorns…

Every business starts small. But they can grow very big, very fast when they seize the advantage of new innovations and technology.

Online and offline, we research, make purchases and even review our experiences on phones, tablets, laptops and yes, very often in person too – which in turn impacts on how businesses operate. As a business owner, we need to embrace this new consumer behaviour by using Smart solutions  with today’s technology that are easy to use, intuitive and seamless. They can really help born entrepreneurs on their path to business success.

Is size an issue ?

Starting small is no obstacle to future growth.

Facebook was born in a student dormitory. Ingvar Kamprad (founder of IKEA) started off selling matches. According to European Union statistics microbusiness totals more than 90% of all enterprises. Something don’t grow from nothing.

Indeed, the case can be made that we’re in the Age of Microbusiness, as starting a business is more accessible than ever with better marketing solutions, new channels to reach customers, and smart software solutions.

Constantly test your idea

First things first. Rigorously test your business idea.

Are you offering something that :

  • Solves a problem ?
  • People want or need?
  • Does not already exist?
  • They will pay for and keep paying for?

Seek out all the advice you can. A mentor is invaluable at this stage. Find out if there are any available through local business schemes.

Elevate your elevator pitch

Nail your ‘elevator pitch’ before using it on banks and potential investors. Explain the unique selling point of your business in one sentence with the word ‘only’ to help identify your unique selling point (USP), e.g. “We are the only café in Rotterdam to open 24/7”.

Be social

Target your customers carefully. Social media is invaluable – cost-effective and easily-accessible – for reaching your audience but you need to be authentic and try not to over-sell your business. A microbusiness is on a microbudget. Every cent counts. But partnering up with the right technology provider from the outset can be a huge asset, enabling you to know exactly what goes on in your business in a timely fashion.

Now let’s look into 3 skills you need in your microbusiness

  1. Negotiation – Put a reminder in your diary to renegotiate with suppliers every six months to get the best deals.
  2. Resiliency – As part of a small (or non-existent team), resiliency is key to growth. Being a micro business comes with its own unique stresses, so be prepared to meet them head-on.
  3. Digital marketing – Get your digital strategy right. Make your website Google-friendly and use Search Engine Optimisation. If you have a physical store, become a 5 star “Near by me store”.  Ecommerce interactions with customers also present a great marketing opportunity. And know your social media options. Facebook is good for selling directly to consumers. But if you’re B2B, LinkedIn is usually king. Snapchat is great for younger audiences and Instagram ‘kills it’ in visual businesses like beauty, interiors, travel and food .

And… avoid the 3 most common mistakes microbusiness often make

  • Mistake #1: Not putting a value on your own time
  • Solution: Outsource functions like bookkeeping where possible to free you up.
  • Mistake #2. Overspending
  • Solution: Stick to your financial plan. If you have a big budget for stationary, fine, spend it. If not, make do – or shop around. There are plenty of cracking deals online – for everything!
  • Mistake #3. Pretending you are big.
  • Solution: Don’t. Instead emphasise the benefits of your small size: “we’re small but personal – and proud!”

“The question I ask myself almost every day is, “Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?’” – Mark Zuckerberg, Co-founder of Facebook.

 You have a vision and the perseverance to follow it through.

Your key takeaways to move to the next level:

  • Microbusiness owners and managers do everything themselves. They have to. But you have to let go as you scale. Failure to delegate is one of the biggest business mistakes small business owners make.
  • Your customers mean everything to you. They are the lifeblood of your business.
  • Most shoppers want a variety of easy payment options – mobile, online, in-store – with a flexible returns policy..
  • Choose a technology partner to future-proof your business from the beginning.

CCV is the entrepreneurs’ friend. Your nerve and drive deserves support, now and in the future.

Phone us on +31 (0)88 228 9911, or send us an email with your question to:

Download the full e-book here – the born entrepeneur’s guide to grow your business.