Being a business owner is a challenging and enriching experience. It’s a role that requires hard work, resilience, planning and critical thinking. So how do you know if you have what it takes?
Successful business owners, regardless of their industry, share common crucial traits. They leverage these traits to turn business ideas into sustainable, profitable and successful companies. Business success starts with a firm belief in yourself, a clear plan of action and an understanding of what it takes to start, run and grow your own business.
The following guidelines breakdown some habits of successful business owners that will help you increase your chances of founding a successful enterprise or help get your existing business back on track.
Define your purpose
To get your business up and running, you need a clear and well-defined purpose. It needs to be more than just a desire to “make lots of money”.
Businesses born from a passion and desire to solve a problem are the ones that have the substance needed to create long-lasting success.
Understand your customer
Before you get started, take the time to explore your market with solid, detailed research. As well as researching your particular industry, get to know who your ideal customers are, what they need, and how you can give them what they need in a superior way to your rivals. Consider, describe, and dissect who your ideal client is: why they need your product or service, what motivates them, how you can reach them, and what aren’t they getting from your competitors?.
Speaking of competitors, who are they? Studying your rivals can be a very insightful undertaking. Find out what they are doing well and what they are doing poorly. What do they offer, and what have they missed? How do they communicate with their customers? What is their message? By closely examining their business models and processes, you can learn how they are succeeding and identify areas that you can improve on.
How can you enhance your customer’s experience, making it more accessible, more efficient, more personal and superior?
Identify what you should outsource as a business
While it’s natural to be protective of your business and oversee every little detail, your natural skill set will only take you so far.
For most businesses to thrive, there comes a time when you need to let go of tasks that take you away from your business. A time comes when you need to delegate some responsibilities to industry experts.
Outsourcing critical tasks such as accounting and bookkeeping services to qualified professionals will ensure your business is fully prepared and primed for success. Professionals like NumbleTM ensure critical areas such as payroll, BAS lodgement, cash flow, budgeting and forecasting are prepared accurately, lodged on time and kept up to date. Not only will this free up your time, but it will provide a solid financial base on which you can build your successful venture.
Set your business KPIs
A successful business owner doesn’t play guessing games with their business financials. They will set goals and regularly monitor and measure their progress.
Using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will allow you to measure the progress of the goals against your actual performance. KPIs are extremely valuable to business owners as they give a continuing overview of how the business is performing and provide a pathway to success. Your bookkeeper, accountant or CFO can monitor and report your KPI progress. They can raise issues, challenges and opportunities as they arise, rather than you being shocked or alarmed by unexpected results.
One of the qualities of a good business person is resilience. Resilience is a combination of being steadfast, resourceful, and optimistic; it’s a must-have trait to effectively start and run a business.
Turning negative challenges into positive opportunities is an essential attribute for building a successful business. Knowledge comes from adversity. You learn more from failure than you ever will from success.
Don’t be disheartened if your ideas are rejected. Knowing what not to do, is as important as knowing what you need to do. Dealing with instability along the way and having the patience to bounce back from adversity are critical attributes in creating and sustaining your success as a business entrepreneur.
Make genuine connections with your employees, customers and vendors. Even competitors are important associates. They can provide advice, support and opportunities to pass on business that you can’t manage. Reciprocally, they may give you extra business that they can’t handle.
The more employees like and respect you, the stronger their camaraderie is within the team and loyalty to your business. You can’t do everything alone so, at the end of the day, it’s your team who will make or break your business.
Similarly, your customers don’t just make purchasing decisions based on a product. They engage with what your brand represents and how you make them feel. A positive and friendly attitude will help your customers associate your friendly demeanour with your product or service.
Adapt and evolve
Small business owners need to be prepared to adapt to the ever-evolving changes within their industry. Keep up to date with your industry, technology, and your customers’ changing needs.
Markets are constantly shifting, so it’s essential to stay updated and relevant with your products and services. Getting stuck in a set and forget routine is a sure-fire way to fall behind or, worse still, lose your business for good.
By breaking down what makes a successful business owner and following these guidelines, learning from your mistakes, and embracing your successes, you will be perfectly primed to reach your full potential as a business owner and achieve even greater levels of success than you thought possible.