How To Run A Successful Small Business – Step By Step Guide

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Last Updated on September 26, 2022

How To Run A Successful Small Business

Are you a young entrepreneur who wants to run a successful small business? Or that small business you established has crashed for some reasons? This article will therefore give you guides on how you can revive your business and as well run it successfully.

Starting a business is one thing but to maintain the start up and overcome the obstacles by observing some measures that will help it grow until it’s successful is another thing. Yes, anyone can start up a business with whether big or small capital but the question, how able are you to maintain or run the business, is one thing that needs to be fought. Most small scale businesses don’t grow because they failed to understand the scope in the business and lay the right principles for an amazing business boost.  

It is more like a woman who gives birth to a baby and leaves the baby on his/ her own to grow and another who gives birth but chooses not to abandon yet guides the child with advises on the DOs and DON’Ts of life, laying right principles, all of these put together with discipline for a perfect growth in moral and otherwise of the child. so is business.

Though the early years in business can be terribly stressful, but they will be overcome if you apply a perfect strategy as it will require time and commitment.

So, before we go into the guides on how to run a successful small business, first you need to know what business is, understand the nature of the type of business you want to establish and there after know the right structures to apply so as to keep it going smoothly without any cause of loss or crash.


Business is a specific commercial enterprise or establishment. In a wider term, it is referred as an enterprising entity or organization that carries out professional activities. Such as; commercial, industrial, and others. For-profit business entities do business to earn a profit, while non-profit ones do it for a charitable mission. Businesses can be small-scale, medium-scale or large-scale.

In this article we’ll be looking at small businesses. So the question, what is small business?

 Small businesses are companies where small owners (an individual or a small group) operate. For instance, family restaurants, clothing companies, home-based companies, and publishing companies. In this type of business, the profits are not that high but just enough to continue the business operations.


Before starting a business, there are some steps one needs to take for a perfect outcome.

First, conduct market research and then develop a business plan. The next step is to seek capital or other funding and select a location and business structure. It is also important to pick the right name, complete the registration process, and get the tax documents and essential permits. A bank account is a must before starting a business for savings and otherwise.


This is where we’ll be showing you the steps on how to run a successful small business having known the things to do before starting a business. But first, you need to know why other small businesses don’t grow successfully or in other words crash so as to take necessary precautions.

So, small businesses don’t grow because;

  • They had a bad business plan and lack of strategies to keep the business running.
  • Lack of money management; you mismanage  money without thinking about your business if you are running in profit or loss. You loss finances which you might not recover therefore leading you into borrowing.
  • Over dependence on a few big customer whereas you can bring or attract more to your business without necessarily having to depend on the few you had acquired.
  • Weak leadership; you probably depend on other people’s idea that might not be in favour to your business because of lack of decisions.

Having known these illnesses in business growth, hence we’ll proceed with the necessary steps to follow for a perfect guide;


Before you start up a business, you need a good business plan to map up your business. Of course starting and growing a business is a complicated affair. So create a business plan to lay out your operations and the steps you need to take to achieve your goal. Most importantly the plan will keep you organized without having to run helter skelter when issues arises.

Before a banker or investor writes you a check, they’ll want to see your business description and financial projections. A business plan generally includes those two sections, along with identifying the principal executives of the business and the legal structure that the business operates under.


You’ll need some financing to start your business as well as periodic infusions during slow periods or when your company is growing.

How do you finance your small business?

Follow these steps;

  • Cultivate sources of capital, such as friends and relatives, and develop relationships with banks.
  • There aren’t any right or wrong answers as to the right amount of capital to put up, but you’ll be well-positioned if you have a clear sense of how much you’re willing to invest, and of how you’ll regroup financially if things don’t go as planned.
  • It is not bad to borrow to start up  business but you must plan for pay back.

So Lay out a schedule, and understand how much your business must earn to succeed the refund so as to avoid complications.

Having financed your business, the next step is to market and advertise your business.


One of the most important aspects of how to run a successful business centers on marketing. Your advertising strategy can make or break you since it can determine how visible you are to your target audience and whether your business’s message is conveyed clearly.

Advertise and market your products to possible customers around you first and thereafter proceed outside your neighborhood or surrounding.

Online and digital marketing are particularly important as more people shop online. Americans spent almost $250 billion online in the first quarter of 2022, according to Census Bureau estimates.3

Some of the ways you can expand your marketing and advertising strategies are;

  • Run giveaways or contests.
  • Run digital ads on social media platforms where your target audience is likely to spend time.
  • Partner with social media influencers.
  • Develop partnerships and doing cross-promotion with complementary businesses.
  • Participate in highly visible promotions
  • Create a content marketing with a website.
  • Offer free  classes, if applicable to your business products and services.


Knowing your customer is key for any business endeavor. Successful business owners understand what their customers want and the most effective way of making their product or service available. Once you have this knowledge, you can use it to persuade potential and existing customers that buying from you is in their best interests.

Therefore you need to know who they are, what they do, why they buy, when they buy, what makes them feel good about buying, what they expect of you.

You won’t persuade anyone that they want or need to buy what you’re offering unless you clearly understand what it is your customers really want.

For example you sell raw food stuffs like, rice, beans, plantain, yam, potatoes, palm oil, vegetable oil and you notice that most of your customers buy rice, beans and vegetable oil. What you do is restock them when they’re almost sold out so as not to leave your customers stranded. Then you’ll say you’ve discovered their need.

Or do you sell shoes from different companies?  it is therefore for you to know which brand will they or do they like. Could it be snickers where we have; adidas, Nike, puma and so on or leather shoes made in Italy, Germany, Spain, France and others. You might not please or convince  your customers to buy what they don’t need or perhaps satisfy your them if their need is not available.

 You can possibly ask customers to complete a survey to help you better understand their needs and as well reward your customers with discounts.

Know your customer’s need for quality as this is very important.


This is another common characteristic of successful small businesses which is management of cash flow. To make your business thrive, you’ll need to stick to your budget, keep cash in reserve, and make sure your business only takes on good debt.

How do you manage your money? Here are some guides that will help you avoid running into borrowing and getting your self into debt you can’t come out of.


If you haven’t reviewed your business budget lately, consider what you can cut. For example, you might be able to eliminate unnecessary subscription services or find a cheaper supplier for product materials. Downsizing to a smaller space can be more drastic, but it could be a significant money-saver.


You also need to  consider how you can improve your cash flow. For example, if you have customers who frequently pay late, you might consider imposing a late-payment penalty to encourage them to pay on time. You could also expand the range of payment options you accept to make it easier for customers to pay so you’re not waiting around for money to arrive.


 Keep your business legal to avoid some nuisance.

So you need to get all the licenses needed to run a business in your city and state, as well as any permits you may need for your specific industry.

Choose a business structure that makes sense for your ownership arrangement. So if you’re starting your business with a friend you need to a lawyer to keep documents and records.

Atmost, you need to follow the rules and regulations for operating your business, and pay your taxes.


Knowing how to run a successful business is applying the right strategies which imply good marketing and advertisement.  You need to understand the nature of the business you want to venture into, set out a business plan with possible finances to accomplish the task. Your customer is your priority; therefore know your customers and what they need. Avoid unnecessary cost so as not to crash your business and for your business to be safer if you are in partnership with someone, keep it legal. Then you can see that your small business will run successfully.

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