Running an SMB is tough! And when I say tough, I mean tough!
There’s hurdles you need to jump, obstacles you need to avoid and mountains you need to climb. But its days like today that let me know I’m not alone, I can do it and there’s support where I need it.
I had the opportunity to attend a Small Business Network Breakfast today, run by Microsoft at their flagship store on Pitt Street, Sydney. What a refreshing morning and a great opportunity to be in the room with other business owners, entrepreneurs and dreamers like me.
Here are the key take lessons I took away while enjoying a sneaky free breakfast – and I narrowed it down to three.
Find your people
One of the biggest things that stuck with me after the event was that you need the right people with you. You need to find the people that help you grow and develop as a person and business owner so that you can succeed.
Guest speaker, Janine Garner put it wonderfully in her talk to us, stating that you must have four types of people in your network:
- The Promoter – they talk you up! They don’t stop raving about you, they love you, and they open doors for you and your business.
- The Pit Crew – the people that keep you grounded and help you get the job done. They’re there to ensure the business is doing what it needs to.
- The Teacher – the one with the knowledge. We all like to think we know it all, but you need someone to make you realise you don’t and that you can lean off for insight.
- The Butt-kicker – the one keeping you on track! We all get distracted, especially running a small business where “the new shiny thing” will always be there. The butt-kicker is there to keep your focus where it needs to be.
These people aren’t your family or friends, or even your employees or business partners. These four people can be anyone in your professional network that fits the profile and helps you succeed. After leaving the event, I find myself thinking “wow, I think I only have one of those!” So now is my chance to change that.
I think this is a point that struck a chord with me because I related with this so well. This is what I strive to do every day and is what I believe A Corp Computers is.
Entrepreneur Melissa Browne spoke to us about knowing where our niche is and making that remarkable. What’s the point in being average to every customer that comes knocking, when you can be remarkable to a critically selected target market? It is possible to be the best at what you do with this approach.
That really resonates with me and the team because we are focused on our SMB market in such a way that we can ensure every customer’s IT is the best it can be.
How to Transform
The final point I’ll touch on here, is the lesson passed on from Dr Ross McKenzie. The world economy is changing constantly and at a very rapid pace. New industries are emerging practically overnight and others disappearing just as quick! The story of his experience during the Global Financial Crisis was empowering, as he told us about the company he was consulting with just shut up shop overnight. In small business, you need to be able to navigate the changes to come from the outside world.
New technology has been key to success for many companies such as Alibaba, Airbnb and Uber. Why can’t technology work the same for your business? Technology can enable so many possibilities and having the foresight to see the coming changes in AI, Robotics and Automation is key for many businesses, even SMBs.
As A Corp grows, the above points are what I will be focusing on as the forces that will be driving change in the business. We’re here to make sure our customers are taken care of and we’re here to ensure that the end-to-end IT is working for our customers, not just present in their business. Your computers, your software and your connection to the outside world are all critical in helping your business succeed.