Why is it some small businesses thrive and others fail? As a CPA specializing in financial strategies such as accounting, cash management, budget/forecasts, bookkeeping and more, I have gained some insight on why some companies thrive and others are forced to close their doors. While the dynamics of each organization may vary, there are a few principles that all small business owners can use to increase their chances of success. These five success principles include:

• Confidence
• Perseverance
• Consistency
• A Little Luck

Here are a few tips on how to succeed in any small business.


Meet as many people as you possibly can. Give your new-found friend a brief introduction to what you do. Exchange business cards. I have a hard time remembering people’s names. I try to associate their face and name with a favorite actor or actress. Write the actor or actresses name (in pencil) on their business card). It may sound crazy, but this system works for me. I carry all my contact business cards with me at all times. If I am attending a meeting, I review all my cards. Be prepared - you may come across a familiar face.


Have a 30-second marketing speech prepared and memorized. Put positive body language behind your marketing speech and practice in front of a mirror. If you are consistent with your message, people will likely understand what you do and “get it”. Even though you think you know what you do, you don’t want to be struggling for words when someone inquires about your occupation. By practicing and honing your speech you will feel more comfortable in business and social settings and your confidence will shine through.


Do not become discouraged by setbacks. Learn from your mistakes and go out and try again. The inventor Thomas Edison is reported to have tried more than 10,000 different filaments before he found the right material for the light bulb. When questioned about his unsuccessful attempts he is said to have replied, “"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." People in sales know you need to hear approximately 10 rejections before you hear a “yes.” To keep your spirits up just tell yourself with each rejection that you are one step closer to a positive result. The ONLY sure way to fail is to stop trying – so persevere.


Be confident and consistent with your message. No one can solve everyone’s problems. Rather than trying to take on a project you are ill suited to do, refer them to someone else. It is best to do what you do best and if you love it, people will find out about you. Also, do not let someone try to talk you into doing something you would deem as unethical or unfair. If your contacts know your values, you will attract the right kinds of clients. The same is true of products and services. While your product line or list of services may change, the quality should remain consistent. A Big Mac may not taste as yummy as a filet mignon, but whether it is purchased in Hong Kong or Toledo, people go to McDonald’s because they know to expect. Consistency counts.

A Little Luck

Have a master list of network contacts in an email database. You can use Outlook or Google. I like to group together my contacts by some commonality. I usually use the name of the event for our first meeting. It is always good to follow up with your contacts once every few months. Do they know anyone who can use your services? Situations change and what might have seemed like a dead end in the past could provide an opportunity in the future. A positive mindset is also helpful. Expect a little luck and chances are good you will find some.

Author's Bio: 

Denise Black, CPA, is an expert on financial strategies for small business owners. Sally Marks is a freelance writer. To visit Denise's website go to www.adroitfinancialsolutions.info/#!contact/