"Platform" is a term that has been buzzing through the small business community for quite some time.

There are a number of misconceptions about the word; some believe your "platform" is simply a website, like a blog or social media feed. Others think "platform" is a word solely for bloggers, writers, and publishers to get their name out there. A vast number of small business owners perhaps think "platform" has nothing to do with small business.

Contrary to these beliefs, your "platform" is one of the most integral, quintessential tools for developing a small business. In its simplest form, "platform" means the tool you use to reach your audience. That could mean anything - blogs, books, advertising, etc.

Let's talk about 3 easy steps to begin developing your small business platform.

1. Start With Awe and Amazement

To begin, your platform needs to have shine; it needs to make people say, "wow." You need to go above and beyond the market expectations - people can get an SEO link-building agency or contact any number of business consultants. What separates you?

This means not settling for anything less than "great." Imagine, if you will, a standard hotel lobby. The secretary will probably greet guests with a small smile and formal tone, and attempt to conduct business in the most efficient manner possible. There's probably coffee, semi-outdated magazines, and some couches.

That's the average. But what about a "great" hotel lobby? Why, the secretary would know you by name, and greet you with a brilliant smile and your favorite cappuccino. The couches would be unbelievably comfy, the magazines brand new, and the floor spotless. That's great.

Your business can't be average - it needs to be great.

2. Get Ready to Go Public

I don't mean creating stock shares and calculating IPO. Going public means setting up smooth, easy-to-understand business goals, pitches, and strategies. It means assembling a killer team of entrepreneurs ready to get their hands dirty. It means building yourself up to be "great" in the public's eyes.

Logistically, this means setting up a sharp online media toolkit and payment plans. If you're going to be conducting international business, you need to make sure you have integrated a money transfer service like Ria Money Transfer online. You want to make sure that when you hit the big red button, you're ready to hit the ground running in every area - branding, advertising, workload, brainstorming, finances...everything.

And finally...

3. Build Your Home Base to Expand

Once you've settled in and have become sustainable, it's time to expand. More importantly, it's time to prepare to expand. Expansion will come organically with superb, popular companies - it's the companies that are ready for the growth that can actually increase effectively.

Building a home base means getting locked in with your social media (excellent content, specialized marketing/advertising, creating interesting reasons for people to follow and engage with you) and utilizing your resources effectively. Learn common mistakes to avoid, like over-Tweeting and boring your audience with irrelevant content.

Developing a small business platform isn't easy, but for those businesses that can follow through, the results are limitless. Develop your platform with these 3 steps today.

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