Spinning your wheels is no way to run a small business. If you’ve hit a tough spot and are struggling to reach the level of business success you crave, consider adopting these modern-day measures to get yourself in a better position.

  1. Find your niche.

    Don’t try to be everything to everyone.

    Many small businesses try to broaden their customer base by being as versatile as possible. A deck and patio expert might expand to fences, but then slowly realize the new venture is taking time away from the work she does best. Maybe she’s even received a few so-so online reviews related to fencing, and it’s dragging down her overall rating. In order to create a successful business, carve out a niche and focus on it. You’ll gain more business doing the things you excel at and be able to provide customers with your best work.

  2. Use technology to streamline communication.

    Don’t rely on paper records for bookkeeping.

    Before businesses entered the digital age, keeping a paper trail was a must. Nowadays, apps and software are available for entrepreneurs to organize their small businesses digitally. Some are skipping email in favor of newer communication and collaboration tools, like Slack and Asana. Take a close look at all of your systems — from email to invoicing — and make sure you’re operating with all of the efficiency that modern technology provides. Creating a checklist will help.

  3. Capitalize on word of mouth and organic growth.

    Don’t overspend on pricy marketing.

    You don’t need to shell out big bucks for a TV ad in order to gain traction locally. The best advertising comes directly from the people you work with every day. According to Nielsen, word of mouth recommendations are the most credible, and happy customers will likely tell their friends about you.

    If you are going to spend money on marketing efforts, put your dollars toward website development — and make sure your site can be viewed on a mobile device. If web designers are in short supply in your area, you can build an attractive website yourself with tools like Weebly and Wix.

    When it comes to building up your customer base online, turn to cost-effective tools like email and social media. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are popular and inexpensive ways for small businesses to reach customers. Another idea? Set up simple email campaigns with tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp. These platforms are designed to be easy to use: no marketing or coding expertise required.

  4. Spend your time cultivating “raving fans.”

    Don’t chase the customer that won’t be satisfied with your efforts.
  5. Spend your time cultivating “raving fans”— those who have positive things to say about your business and spread the word among their friends. Consider customer appreciation events for your best customers and sharing exclusive deals and incentives with your social media followers. Spend your time and energy engaging the people who will help your business be successful.

New to the entrepreneur scene? We have the business advice you may want to ignore.

There is a lot of advice out there for small business owners. Remember that every business is unique. The one thing they all have in common is the need for insurance. Protect what you have worked hard to build with business insurance. Your Farm Bureau agent can help you find the right level of coverage for your needs.