Just starting a small business can be difficult, but making it successful can be even more problematic. Before we get to the tips we had planned to offer, a suggestion is to keep searching for tips for small business success. Out there on the internet are helpful sites and experts who will have tips for you that are applicable to your small business.

Just because your small business makes it past the start-up phase, does not mean that you should not stop trying new ways of making your small business more successful. Many entrepreneurs who have some success in their first small business will stop looking for tips and help. They think that if they have made it this much of a success, they can now rest and work on what they have learned along the way.

Tip 1: Don’t Stop Networking! Your next big break could come along while you are trying to help another small business owner. Too many small business owners assume that the only way to succeed using networking is to always be looking for a customer or the next sale. However, networking can be used in many ways, including to find a strategic partner or to learn from the business mistakes of others.

Tip 2: Reach out to mentors and peers! This is especially true if you are a “solopreneur” without support from family and friends. Build your own network of people who can mentor you and help you learn what they have learned from starting their own business – even if they are not in the same industry as you are. Competitors and others in your industry are not your enemies; they are or can be your friends too. Even getting together with those peers and competitors for coffee can help you keep up with what is going on in your industry, and what changes might be coming up.

Tip 3: Be where your customers are. Before you had started your small business, you would have identified who your primary and secondary target markets were. Now, you have to identify where those current and potential customers are on social media. Whether it is Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Twitter, communicate with your customers where they interact. Have profiles and pages on the various social sites, but also engage in groups and communities on these sites. This shows that you are there to participate and not just to promote your small business. It is important to engage those customers and not just shout out your message like someone with a bull horn. Reply to their messages and thoughts about your business or your products.

Tip 4: Use social media for market research. Even when you are not directly engaging your customers, follow your competitors and others that your customers follow. By using social media, you can listen to your competitors or customers – and they don’t even know you are listening. So when you make game-changing choices for the direction of your small business and the marketing of it, you can claim the inspiration as your own!

Tip 5: Stay positive in your thinking. Your mindset will influence how you react in your small Business. Remind yourself that it is not what you know, but rather how you deal with it. Beyond positive affects how you approach your small business challenges. It can also be felt by your customers and may even rub off on them by making them more loyal to your brand.

Again, these tips are just a few of the many general small business tips that are available on the internet. Your task is to not only find more, but to create some of your own from what you learn along the way. You also may not have to look for tips lists. Sometimes they will come to you when you ask questions in forums, groups, online communities and even from blogs. The more specific the question you need answers to, the more specific you should find a group that deals with the same problems.

While Telsec’s blogs often deal with answers and advice regarding office space and virtual office solutions, we often blog about other issues that affect small businesses. We have most recently created a blog post about free tax tips called More small business tax tips and links to where to find them, but we have also written blogs about Who you hire to do your small business marketing reflects on your image. We will continue to blog about small business office solutions and other issues surrounding small business success, but we always welcome questions that our blog and social media followers ask us.