Running a small business is hard!  According to the US Small Business Administration, about one-third of businesses fail before the 2-year mark and about half don’t make it past 5 years. This failure rate applies equally across industries and economic climate.

There are a lot of reasons why a small business might not make it. But what about the reasons why they do make it?

I’ve beat the odds, 4 times in fact, and you can too! I’ve started 4 companies, all of which have been successful, and I’ve sold one. But I’ll be completely honest with you, it wasn’t always easy. In fact, it still isn’t easy, even for someone who has done it 4 times. I’m building some new businesses from the ground up right now, and even after all I’ve learned and gleaned over the years, it’s still tough! Despite the hardships, you don’t have to feel like you’re alone in the challenge of owning and running a small business.

Intuit is has your back. As the makers of TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Mint, Intuit is committed to providing the financial tools that empower you to take control of your own prosperity. Check out their latest video to learn how they are powering prosperity.

In celebration of of this video, we wanted to share 3 simple and powerful pillars to starting and growing a successful business.

Leverage Technology

It’s no secret over here at smallbiztechnology.com that we wholeheartedly believe that technology is vital in order to grow a successful business. Keeping up with the latest tech trends can give your small business an edge over competitors. I was a technology consultant for several years and I have extensive hands-on experience in technologies across the board including social media, computer networks, mobile computing, online software and more. I’ve found that as I do the best I can to leverage technology from great partners such as

I can operate faster, smarter and more efficiently. Intuit is one of the leading brands helping small businesses succeed. A BIG company using their power to help us smaller businesses. I am an advocate and evangelist for these technologies for small businesses because I know from firsthand experience–they work!

Marketing

Without this fundamental strategy, your business isn’t going to make it very far. We’re not talking about billboards and sales flyers anymore. We’re talking about levering technology to draw more customers to engage with your business online. While traditional marking methods are still very much relevant and important, incorporating social media, video, and email campaigns can get your brand name out there. To grow a successful business, you need to keep the customers coming. Ignoring the importance of marketing an building a strong brand image could mean the difference between being in the 50% of small businesses who make it to 5 years or the 50% who don’t.

Financial Literacy

A key tenant of running a successful business is knowing how to manage money. It seems glaringly obvious, but so many small businesses get this wrong and never make it out of the red. You don’t have to have a PhD in Accounting to get your finances right. However, it is critical for business owners to understand the basics and to be able to read financial statements and understand the financial and tax implications of their business decisions. If you don’t already consider yourself financially literate, there’s no better time than now to get smart on small business financials. There are tons of resources, like Money Smart for Small Business provided by the FDIC, that can help get you up to speed for free.

If you’ve already got a handle on your business’s finances but are looking for some tools to make your life a little bit easier, partner with big businesses, like Intuit, who are committed to powering prosperity and helping small businesses grow. Intuit is powered by an “unrivaled set of small business data and sophisticated technology,” and they’re making these tools available to small business owners to “save them time, deliver more money and provide greater confidence in their financial decisions.” Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you have to operate in isolation because you’re not connected to the traditional financial system.  

Intuit has some amazing tools to help you and your small business excel financially:

  • TurboTax– Taxes can start to get really complicated as a small business owner. You’re probably not an expert in tax code, so let the pros at TurboTax help you navigate those murky waters.
  • QuickBooks– QuickBooks makes it so easy to keep your business accounts organized and in one place. It’s simple to use and you don’t have to be an accountant to figure it out. You can share it with your accountant though if you use one.
  • Mint- There is literally nothing to lose by using Mint. This free app allows you to link all of your accounts so you can track your spending, create budgets, and find new ways to save. Having your personal finances in order is the cornerstone to having successful business finances and Mint will make it easy for you to get and stay on track.