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Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

The Foundation of SMB Success

No company can keep the doors open and the lights on without the right foundation. But, what does that foundation consist of? What does it take to start and grow a successful small or medium-sized business (SMB)? We wanted to find out, so we asked the Twitter community to weigh in during an Oracle SMB Tweetchat, The Foundation of SMB Success.

Continue reading to see the interesting answers we received.

What do you think is the foundation for success for SMBs?

#1 Synchronized leadership who understand digital transformation. #2 Digital readiness to seize growth opportunities by exploiting enabling technologies, like the cloud. #3 A platform of elastic and scalable systems and processes to close the performance gap, the rate of change, and ability to respond. #4 Commitment to adopting modern best practices.
– Jim Lein (@JimLein), Oracle, Senior Director of Cloud Applications

A good foundation in business will help you get past the tough times and navigate uncharted waters.
– Brian Moran (@BrianMoran), Award-winning Business Advisor

The right product + market + fit + talent = initial success. Then wash, rinse, repeat.
– Julie Zisman (@JulieZisman)

What do you believe are the biggest obstacles to SMB success?

One obstacle to the pillars of success in business: limited operational budget, preventing the hiring of enough team members.
– Sonia Harris (@Harrisonia)

Scarcity of talent is a major obstacle to success. Great story about @BeTheMatch: bit.ly/2mD6GbJ. Not knowing where to start with digital transformation often keeps SMBs from acting.
– Jim Lein (@JimLein), Oracle, Senior Director of Cloud Applications

Not using data. If you can’t see how you are performing, then you can’t monitor your progress.
– Julie Zisman (@JulieZisman)

Lack of focus and inability to transition from entrepreneur to business leader. Growth demands leadership. Also being able to prioritize the skills you need when you need them. Don’t expect a jack-of-all-trades for every position.
– Christiane Soto (@ChristianeSoto)

Why do so many SMBs struggle with seeing the big picture in their business? What is your advice to them?

In my opinion, business owners spend too much time in the “weeds” of their business and not enough time in the “clouds.” When you only focus on day to day problems, you keep putting out the same fires. Find the root cause and put out THAT fire. Looking at the big picture in business allows you to see where you want to go in 6, 9, 12 months (even further).
– Brian Moran (@BrianMoran), Award-winning Business Advisor

If they just focus on staying ahead of their customers and stop worrying about keeping up with competitors, they will be fine.
– Bryan Eisenberg (@TheGrok), Best-selling Author

Leadership stays too tactical; busy doing business, they don’t take time to step back, take a deep breath and see the strategic view. Lack of actionable insight due to a performance gap between rate of change and ability to response.
– Jim Lein (@JimLein), Oracle, Senior Director of Cloud Applications

Many SMBs struggle with seeing the big picture because they want rapid success without enough patience.
– Sonia Harris (@Harrisonia)

How often should companies meet to look at the big picture in their business to ensure they’re still on the right path?

If everyone’s goals are aligned and aligned with the customers, the big picture should be really clear to everyone daily. This is why I love how parent company of 800-Got-Junk, @O2EBrands, does their daily huddle.
– Bryan Eisenberg (@TheGrok), Best-selling Author

Manage your KPIs. A lot of companies use only 3. Understand how often each needs to be measured. Some daily, some monthly.
– Julie Zisman (@JulieZisman)

Even at Oracle, we never forget our SMB and entrepreneurial roots. We constantly reassess.
– Jim Lein (@JimLein), Oracle, Senior Director of Cloud Applications

My advice is (1) Know your pillars of success (2) Make sure your employees know the pillars (3) Review them regularly.
– Brian Moran (@BrianMoran), Award-winning Business Advisor

How does your SMBs future look?

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