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(StatePoint) With most Americans employed by small businesses, the success of these operations is crucial to drive the economy and grow the job market. But there are some obvious and not so obvious factors that can help small business owners and their employees thrive.
When most people think of critical issues for business success, they gravitate to areas like improving marketing efforts or adopting new technologies. However, here are three surprising elements that can contribute to growing the bottom lines of small businesses in the U.S., according to market analysts.
A Smaller Focus
Most small businesses think they need to do lots of things well to succeed. A smaller focus may be more beneficial, experts say. The most successful small businesses and start-ups are those that focus first on a single key performance indicator (KPI) before expanding their scope. It's about identifying the key metric that is most important (such as selling your main product to one sector, adding subscribers, selling service plans, etc.).
And once you have identified your metric, accurate measurement is critical. Quantify your success in this key area and be laser focused on driving this one KPI. Once you succeed in this crucial area, you can add additional KPIs in other areas to expand your business.
A staggering 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside America's borders. So, raising the standard of living in other countries and expanding their middle classes is crucial to growing the market for products made in America.
"When it comes to boosting the American economy, never forget strengthening the State Department and America's international assistance programs. It's just that simple -- American investments in global development and diplomacy open new markets for our nation's companies and create jobs right here at home," said Liz Schrayer president and CEO of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, which recently issued a new report exploring this issue, entitled "America's Global Economic Leadership: A Strategic Return on U.S. Investments."
Each time the U.S. helps to expand access to a new market overseas, the USGLC points out, exports can soar, and America benefits -- especially small and medium sized businesses, U.S. workers, and state and local economies. And with millions of American jobs directly tied to exports, it's easy to see how strong economies abroad can directly affect livelihoods and businesses in the U.S.
Faster Internet Elsewhere
Most small businesses are familiar with their need for high speed Internet connectivity to efficiently tackle daily activities. But many may not realize that increased broadband penetration in other areas -- urban, suburban and rural parts of America -- can also assist them since this will help their customers to transact.
For example, according to a recent report, the rural broadband industry contributed $24.1 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015, with 66 percent of that activity benefitting urban, rather than rural communities.
When small business owners and employees contemplate the things they need to thrive, it's important to consider both domestic and international factors that drive U.S. sales and jobs, say experts.