The Really Big Guide Of Small Business Success Tips

Posted: May 22, 2012 at 2:16 pm

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In business, sizedoes matter, especially if that size is small. Independent businesses with fewer than 500 employees represent 99.7% of all employer firms, according to the SBAs Office of Advocacy. They employ about half of all private sector employees,which make up about 43% of the countrys private payroll. And more than half are based out of an owners home. Incidentally, dont knock the domicile as a business incubator. After all, thats where Apple, Hersheys, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and Ford started.

With numbers like that, its not hard to see why small businesses are often called the backboneof the U.S. economy. But did you know that these little companies are also responsible for hiring 43% of high-tech workers and produce 16.5 times more patents per employee than large firms? Or that small business accounted for 65% of the 15 million new jobs created between 1993 and 2009? No wonder President Obama is leaning on Congress to pass legislation that would give income tax credits and allow deductions on the full value of investments made this year.

Staggering stats aside, there are plenty of great ideas that dont ever make it off the table or shutter just beyond the starting gate. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates that only about half of small business survive past the five-year mark.

So in the spirit of helping more startups and growing enterprises succeed, Fast Company is kicking off National Small Business Week with a compendium of wisdom we've gleaned over the years.

Take a Risk

Though his signature style is rife with cynical wit and wry wisdom, novelist Mark Twain offered this tidbit which is helpful for anyone pondering the leap to entrepreneurism: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Kim Jordan, cofounder of New Belgium Brewing Company, says taking the plunge is fine--after youve assessed the market.

Is Your Idea Good Enough?

Adam Goldstein, the 22-year-old founder of Hipmunks online air travel booking platform, boldly claimed he was out to build the best travel site on the web. "And by 'best,' I mean the site that helps people find what they're looking for with a minimum of agony." Goldstein had a simple litmus test for launching: "The way that I knew it was good enough to build a company around was that it was built around a problem that I actually had.

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The Really Big Guide Of Small Business Success Tips

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May 22nd, 2012 at 2:16 pm

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