Most of us set up our own business for similar reasons: we have a great idea, a fabulous product; we want to be our own boss to name just a few. However, it doesn’t take too long for us to learn, often the hard way, that there is much more to running a successful business than our initial motivation.
If we want to succeed in business, there are a number of fundamental things we need to do. The following pointers are solid basics that all successful entrepreneurs possess:
1. Have a strong administrative base.
Let’s begin with the least popular! None of us really enjoy spending our time on the paperwork side of our business, but it is vital to your success. Having a strong, dynamic business plan that is reviewed and revised regularly is a must. Followed closely by well organised systems and procedures. They will assist you in so many ways, not least in the amount of time and headaches they will save.
2. Build a strong inner circle.
We all need a core group of people who we can trust and rely on to bounce ideas and problems around with. Your inner circle should be filled with people who are successful in business and that understand you and the goals you want to achieve. I have always included at least one business mentor in my inner circle.
3. Know your vision, mission and purpose.
To run your business well you need to keep one eye on the bigger picture. But first, you need to know exactly what that bigger picture looks like. What is your vision for your business in a year, two years, five years? How are you going to get there? That is your mission, your roadmap to success. Most importantly of all, what is the purpose of your business? Why do you do what you do? What gives you enough passion to get you through the tough times? When you are really sure on your vision and purpose, share them! Make sure your team members know them and they share them.
4. Communicate well.
Many misunderstandings can be avoided with clear, positive communication. Too often employees feel as though they are out of the loop and don’t know what’s going on. Keep them updated, let them know that they are a valuable part of your team, even if they are remote or part time. It is important that others feel included as part of the team. You may well benefit from their insight and opinion.
5. Don’t be a perfectionist.
We lose so much time when we worry about the tiny details of every task. We also put a great deal of pressure on our staff. Chasing a standard of excellence rather than perfection is much more realistic. Leaders who have let go of perfectionism are also more comfortable in delegating work to others. They believe others can do the job nearly as well as they can. They’re happy to share the load and develop the skills of others.
6. Learn from mistakes and hold yourself accountable.
As a leader and business owner it is easy to hold others accountable. We need to hold ourselves to the same standards. We all make mistakes, it’s inevitable. What we do with the result of our errors is what counts. Learn from your mistakes and be sure you own them. Let your team know that you’ve made a mistake, they will respect you for it. How well you manage the consequences will also set an example of leadership and resilience for them.
7. Show gratitude.
We all respond well when we feel acknowledged and appreciated. Take the time to observe and thank others when you see them doing a good job. Let them know that you appreciate them and the contribution they make to your business.
8. Be committed to continuous improvement.
If you want your business to grow, then you need to be sure that you and your team are growing too. Upgrading your knowledge and skills is a wise investment. Always. The business world and wider community is constantly changing, as business owners we need to change right along with it.
When you consider the above eight points, how prepared for success are you?