Starting a small business can be a rollercoaster ride. Not only is there a lot on the line – money, livelihood, expectation – but it also requires daily blood and sweat just to keep the business going. But this shouldn’t stop owners from being optimistic about growing their business. Here are top tips for making your small business a big success:

1) Test the market and identify a gap that your business could fill. You might think that you have a game-changing idea for a new business, but an idea alone isn’t enough to succeed. Hundreds of hopefuls fail on Dragon’s Den because of one reason – a lack of necessity. The same is true of the real world. Without a market need for your proposition, it simply won’t sell.

2) Ensure you have the drive and tenacity required to run the business. Starting a small business is never easy, particularly if you have zero experience in the industry. As a result, you’ll need tenacity and self-confidence by the bucket-load, as well as a tolerance for an uncertain future and risk of failure.

3) Establish a clear vision and USP as early as possible. Operating in a crowded marketplace, you’ll need to identify what makes you different to your competitors. If there is nothing unique about your business model, your opponent with the more established following and reputation will always come out on top.

4) Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share your passion for the business. Once you’ve established your business, you may need to take on staff to share the workload. You should have a team that you trust in terms of judgement and advice – that includes suppliers, staff and friends who give them an honest audit of their ideas and overall direction.

5) Use online tools to optimise your business. We created business management platform, that allows owners to schedule appointments, track inventory, manage invoices and financial statements. It is available to all small business owners for free: