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The Small Business Bucket List

BY: ON September 13, 2012

The Bucket ListAll businesses eventually perish. Hopefully, you business doesn’t go belly-up any time soon, but the facts are indisputable. The average life expectancy of a Fortune 500 is between 40 and 50 years. The average life span of a family-owned business in the United States is only 24 years. Does your company have a “bucket list” of accomplishments you would like to achieve before the inevitable happens? Here are some idea starters:

  1. Be profitable. This has to be the #1 thing on your bucket list. Without it, you’ll be lucky to last one year, let alone 24. Scratch this off the bucket list first!
  2. Do something innovative. Will your company be remembered when it’s gone, or will people just shrug their shoulders when your close your doors? The Wright Brothers could have easily continued building bicycles, but they had bigger dreams.
  3. Fill your company with talented individuals. Marketing guru, David Oglivy, once said “surround yourself with people smarter than you are.” These people are your ambassadors. They should make your business proud.
  4. Create a healthy work environment. Make your business an enjoyable place to work. Foster teamwork, friendship, education, health, and safety. When people leave to work somewhere else, give them a reason to brag about how awesome it was to work for your business.
  5. Be everywhere. Your business will not grow unless people see and hear about it. There is a reason the Coca-Cola logo is so recognizable. Branding works!
  6. Know all your customers. Know their names, what they buy from you, ask their opinions, and act on them. Regularly have customer appreciation events.
  7. Get on the list. Just about every city has a “Fortune 500” list of successful businesses. Be recognized for your success and what it means to your city.
  8. Open up a second location, or even franchise your business. Colonel Harland Sanders waited until he was 65 to begin franchising Kentucky Fried Chicken.
  9. Be the expert. Answer questions for free on your website and social media, sit on panels, host trade shows, and be on local media every time an expert in your field is needed.
  10. Pay it forward. Once you are a profitable business, you should have the financial means to give back to the community. Be a good citizen.

These are just a few ideas. We would love to hear what is on your company’s bucket list!

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