A successful small business owner is facing some challenges every day and has to come over them. If you want to do the same, then you’re at the right place!
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of internet commerce, thousands of individuals have chased their dreams of owning their businesses. Every successful business started with an individual with a dream, and the will and skillset to chase that dream.
A thriving and growing business begins with excellent top-end leadership. Being an aspiring entrepreneur is much different than a traditional day job and requires a variety of traits to successfully grow the business. According to Investopedia, quoting the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of small businesses fail within the first two years and 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years.
Before embarking on your entrepreneurial journey, it is important to understand what traits and habits separate small businesses from being successful or being part of the 50% that do not make it past five years.
Surround Yourself with the Right Team
Most small businesses begin with one employee, the owner. It is easy to lose touch with other like-minded people or small business owners, but it is crucial to be building a diverse network in the larger business community. Not only will this allow you to learn from the mistakes of others and prevent yourself from making the same mistake, but it is an excellent method to reinforce or criticize any strategies or ideas you may have for your business.
As you do begin to expand your employee base, it is important to avoid surrounding yourself with “yes men.” Hearing all sides of an argument can be the difference between a crucial mistake and an excellent business decision. Growing businesses, especially when being run by a single individual, can only benefit from hearing an employee’s honest opinion on any given matter, regardless of what they think you want to hear.
A good team will also be there for you through failure. It is easy to be discouraged when things don’t pan out as you planned, but your support team should be there to remind you of the big picture.
Your support system does not always mean employees on your payroll. From family to friends, anyone who understands your passion and hopes for your success can be an asset to a small business owner to fall back on for encouragement.
It is no secret that millions of people go to a job they do not like every day. For these individuals, their lack of passion does not automatically mean they do not succeed in their field. Small business owners are not granted this luxury.
Successful small business owners carry a great passion for the mission of their business. Being passionate about the product or service you provide drastically increases your business’s chances of success, and the absence of passion for your product will inevitably lead to failure. After all, a growing business will become a part of your everyday life. You are expected to run your business each day with an eagerness to improve and a willingness to support your customer base.
Before ever starting a business, make sure you are passionate about the product or service you are looking to provide your customers.
Once you have found the field your passion lies in, never give up. Persistence is a trait found in every single successful business owner, regardless of scale. Failure is inevitable, especially when running a business. Rather than be discouraged by failure, find the lessons present in discouragement. Own your mistakes and take the lessons they offer.
An easy way to remind yourself to stay positive and remove discouragement is to fall forward, and never fall back. If you make a mistake, work that much harder to improve. Temporary failures represent inevitable obstacles, and the ability to work through those obstacles with a positive and open mind separates successful small business owners from the rest of the pack.
A common theme amongst new entrepreneurs is the dream to start a business without understanding all the different tasks and processes involved. From marketing strategies to tax filing, owning a small business is not as cut and dry as making a product or service and selling it to customers.
Having a plan for as many things as possible is the most efficient way to avoid surprises or failures within a small business. A good plan begins with establishing a goal. Goals can be distinguished by time. For example, many business owners have weekly goals, quarterly goals, annual goals, and long-term goals.
The importance of establishing proper goals in a business is understanding the reasoning behind every action and decision made in the business. Rather than making decisions based on a guess that this will grow the business, make decisions based on the notion that this decision will take you closer to your business’s various goals.
Your customers and clients have now become your new boss. Goals should be centered around improving the product or service, or any process that creates the product or service, in the eyes of your customer base.
Find What Works and Run
It is easy for new business owners to get stuck trying to do too much. Sometimes diversifying is not the best strategy, especially for new business owners. Finding what works for you, and continually improving that niche, is one of the most effective strategies for growing a small business. Rather than trying to be everything to all clients, find what you’re best at and run with it.
Successful entrepreneur Mark Cuban, best known as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a shark on the show Shark Tank, says the quote below about diversification :
“Diversification is for idiots, because you never diversify enough to know what you’re doing”
This situation applies in the context where you actively manage your activities. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or anyone else trying to generate cash flow aggressively, then you need to focus on adding value and delegate the rest. By establishing several pillars focused on your added value, you will succeed in partially diversifying yourself in the long term. On the other hand, the words of Mark Cuban apply especially to small business owners.
Certainly, this quote is not definitive in all situations. For example, in the context of passive management of an investment portfolio, diversification is an essential asset.
Thus, this quotation must act as a framework of thought which makes it possible to guide the person who wishes to undertake in an aggressive way to unearth market shares of an industry.
Prioritize Important Tasks
The “80/20 rule” is the idea that 80% of your productivity will come from 20% of your activities. For example, 20% of the things you put in place will represent 80% of the income you will generate. It’s called the Pareto principle and it’s used by millions of profitable businesses.
In traditional jobs, it is easy to spend half of the day completing busy work or different random tasks. Business owners should focus on what matters; what will improve the business’s bottom line. In other words, the bottom line is called the profitability of a company. The activities that produce positive incomes for the growth of your business should be what you mainly focus your time and energy on.
Delegate Whenever Possible
This closely relates to prioritizing important tasks. As a business owner, it is important to focus your time and energy on the tasks that matter. Anything that cannot be automated, meaning anything that cannot be completed by another person, should be the focus of your workdays.
Even if you are the only employee at your business, look for any ways to outsource work that does not require your brain power or opinion. This can mean anything from outsourcing an online bookkeeper to run your books or hiring an overnight janitor to clean up your store or headquarters.
Overall, the most common traits of successful business owners are the drive to keep going and the knowledge to put your business in the right position to succeed.