There is no doubt that the last few years have been a tough time for most businesses of any size, but for small business owners in particular, times have been hard. But even during this period, there are some small businesses in every market that are still doing very well. So why is it that some businesses can thrive in tough times when the majority struggle? What do these businesses do differently?Well there are probably a number of reasons why they do better and we will discuss some of them now.To begin with, the really successful entrepreneurs are very customer focused and will go out of their way to deliver more value with their products and services than their competitors do. They know that if they over deliver on what their clients expect, their client will use them again.They also know that by providing as much value as possible they will be able to charge premium prices because they have differentiated their service in a way that allows them to. More often than not, struggling companies are positioned in the lower end of the pricing model. Small businesses will never make money competing on price, only larger companies who have economies of scale on their side can compete in this way. If you are a small business owner using your low prices as your main selling point, stop now, you will always be working hard for very little reward.If you want your small business to succeed, compete based on customer service excellence so that you can avoid price wars.Another trait of successful small businesses is that their owner has goals and plans for their achievement. In most cases, success does not happen by accident, it is a result of someone taking specific action to achieve it. The moment you set goals and write them down you move a large step closer to achieving them. Without plans and goals, businesses stagnate and fail to grow. Goals maintain momentum and open business owners’ eyes to opportunities that come along.Finally once you become a business owner, you stop being a plumber or electrician, instead you become a marketer. Yet most small businessmen do not consider themselves to be marketers, and it is this failure that limits the growth potential of their business. Successful businesses are always exploring new ways to attract new clients and better ways to add value to the service they provide them. If you want your business to grow, you need to become an expert in small business marketing, and sooner rather than later!