5 Survival Questions for Small Business Owners

December 14, 2018 | Blog, Work Life

Tips for small business owners from Chris Foerster, digital marketer at Fremont College & founder of the website My News Tips


As rewarding as an entrepreneurial career is, let’s face it, being a business owner is hard work.  If you are a new business owner, or if you’re having trouble keeping up with a constantly changing industry, it might feel almost impossible to keep afloat at the time.  While there are many things that might need your attention, not all of them are equally important.  If you want to survive as an entrepreneur there are certain questions you may need to answer to ensure your success.  In my opinion, the below are an important list of questions that can help ground your company and help move your business in a positive direction.

Who is my customer?


Do you know your customer?  No really, if I were to ask you to describe them how would that look.  How many males vs female customers use your service or buy your products? What is the average age? Do they prefer to shop online or in person? How much of their income do they spend on products or services like yours?  Are they willing to pay more? Why do they choose your company?

What does my customer want?


Learning your customer’s core values is important.  What do they expect/want when they make a purchase? While this can become complicated listing out Gen Xers, Gen Z, Millennials, etc. the simple and short answer is that people work hard for their money and they want to make sure that when they spend it on a product or service they are getting what they felt they were paying for.  Make sure you know what that expectation is and exceed it.

Are you Relevant?


When I say relevant I mean, do you make a difference and add value?  What if you left the market. Where would your customers go and would they have a better experience with someone else?Providing your customers with perceived value is important for your reputation, repeat customers, and growth.

Where Are Your Customers?


Markets are forever changing.  If you grew up in the 80s you would have never thought that people would be shopping for products and services using their phones.  But here we are in a digital age where more and more people are using their phones to capture photos, videos, play video games, text, call, email, and purchase products and services.

If you’re going to survive you need to make sure that you know where your customers are now.  While advertising in the yellow pages may have been effective 20 or 30 years ago, it might not cut it today.

Can Your Customers Find You?


You need to know where your customers are going to take a look to see if you’re visible.  If they are all using Instagram for example, are they going to be able to find and engage with you within this community?  Is it easy to find your company? Are you advertising there and/or working with Instagram influencers?

Getting Help


When it comes to running the marketing for your business there are a number of routes you can take.  Hiring a marketing agency, getting your online Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Program, or implementing a hybrid/blend of in-house and agency resources are all good options.



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