Five Things Successful Small Businesses Do

What makes one business more successful than another? At TELUS, we wondered the same thing and decided to launch the #MyBusinessTip video series to find out. Over the last two years, we’ve collected nearly fifty pieces of advice from Canada’s top small business owners and entrepreneurs. These individuals have shared a number of lessons with us, including a few that you won’t learn in business school.

As the saying goes, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Smart companies adopt and adapt strategies that other successful organizations have proven. Below are five tried-and-true tips that will help small businesses achieve long-lasting success, including a tip of my own.


As an entrepreneur, you might feel like you need to have all the answers, but it’s hard for a single person, or even a group of managers, to have the knowledge to consistently make the right business decisions. The most successful entrepreneurs seek advice from outside of their organization and aren’t afraid to reach out to their friends and colleagues for advice.


Honesty is the best policy, especially in business. Show your customers exactly how far their dollar will go. If you truly understand your client’s needs, they’ll see value in your offerings and will happily do business with you. The bottom line is: people want to do business with credible, trustworthy companies.


Good customer service goes a long way for small businesses. You’ve probably heard that positive experiences create loyal customers who are quick to make recommendations to friends and family. What you might not have considered is how beneficial this can be for small businesses with small marketing budgets. When cash flow is limited, word-of-mouth marketing is invaluable.


Meaningful customer relationships are as important online as they are offline. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide inexpensive ways for companies to develop connections with their customers, as well as conduct market research and communicate brand values.

15_00243-SubHead-Blog02-700x250-5Small businesses face unique challenges when looking for financing because the funding options available to them can be limited. With a great deal of competition out there, it’s more important than ever for entrepreneurs to quickly and effectively capture the interest of potential investors. One way to communicate the value of your business opportunity is through a perfect pitch. Be sure to take the time to understand what the investor really wants and make it the focus of your presentation.

Speaking of funding, here’s a potential source – The Small Business Challenge – our annual contest with The Globe and Mail that helps Canadian small businesses overcome hurdles and reach their full potential.  From now until June 1, we’re asking small businesses to submit their biggest challenge and explain how $100,000 would help them overcome it. Sound like a contest for you or someone you know? Click here for more information.