Image by: kev-shine
By Michael Sterling
According to the SBA, the 23 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales. In today’s cultural mindset, consumers are finding private companies more trusting than corporations. With so much media coverage on environmental issues and health needs, the American public is constantly searching for a hero. And small businesses answer that call.
But what do America’s most promising small companies have in common? First and foremost they’re a voice for the people. Small companies are this country’s backbone, and it’s through their vision we have a chance at restoring our well-being. Here are a few ideas we all can learn from:
The small business sector is growing rapidly. While corporate America has been “downsizing,” the rate of small business “startups” are continuing to grow, and the rate for small business failures have declined, says SBA. The secret isn’t to focus on profit, but to keep the entrepreneurship model to high standard. It’s all in the image, so you might as well make it a genuine one.
#1) Our Problems Are Your Problems
One of the most important philosophies any entrepreneur can have in growing a business is the idea of fixing a problem. We’re all human, and we all share common adversities. Once we grasp the concept that our experience is virtually the same, business ventures become less about blue prints and more about common sense.
Evolent Health, for example, is putting their talents where their mouths are. By setting up hospitals with platforms and software to control their, in essence they’re helping them collect enough data for their patients to bring costs down to sane levels. This strategy, as predicted by Forbes, will eventually turn hospitals into health insurers. That’s something we’d all like to see.
We can’t all rise to the occasion and solve our nation’s healthcare problem, but what we can do is use our talents to help troubled systems, i.e. health insurance companies. This will always get attention because intuitively we want to help others who help others. Evolunt Health has already made millions of dollars not by inventing, but through assisting.
#2) The Newest Age Is The Best Age
Look at Hirevue, a promising company ranked by Forbes. The concept of their company is to help employers screen potential employees for jobs by helping candidates interact through video. Companies like Nike and JP Morgan are among many of their big clients.
This is a problem most employers face, but Hirevue solved it by staying true to the age we’re in: digital. According to studies, 85% of adults are always online. With digital age vastly growing, it became a no brainer to connect employers and candidates through video screening rather than written applications.
As a business owner, use the technology around you as a springboard to further problem solving. Otherwise by the time your concept enters fruition, your brilliant idea will be weighted down by better technology.
#3) Don’t Look For Opportunity, Be An Opportunity
The more time you look for opportunities, the less time you’ll have in making your own. Nowadays it’s nearly impossible for a company to survive without becoming an opportunity for consumers and other companies alike, i.e. through advertising or cross promotion. When other businesses see you as a chance to gain more exposure, they’ll line up out the door to get their hands on you.
Fuhu did just that. Often cited as one of the most promising companies this year, their goal was to create tablets with an educational purpose for children. Now that they’ve grown to hugely successful, they’ve gained an additional $50 million by joining forces with Dreamworks, who will be implementing their characters as “teachers” in their new features. Now that’s a partnership.