Running a successful business does not just happen! I have often said that if you do something you like, you will be good at it. If you are really good at it, you should work for yourself. Successful people have characteristics that separate them from the rest of us. Do you need to have all these characteristics or traits to succeed? No, but it helps if you do!
Many people start businesses for a variety of reasons, the first being independence. Successful business owners also have common characteristics; the most important is doing something you enjoy. This is true for any career or profession. Can you imagine doing something you do not like and be successful? I can’t! Can you learn some of the skills? Of course, but successful business owners are still different from most of us. Real difference has become rare in business!
Small business, career, or goals all require a plan. Successful businesses commit to a plan; it may be a business plan, strategic or long range plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So many people fail to set goals or create a plan for success. You know them; they are the happy go lucky people who think they are spontaneous. Business needs planning; it is what anchors it in success. Planning means you are not letting things happen, but anticipating problems.
Hire the Best
Surround yourself with people better than you. You hire them or keep them as close advisors. You are the decision maker; you get to hire the best people. A successful business should sustain itself and live beyond the founder. Doesn’t’ that mean it is a sellable asset? Now that you hired the best, you need to keep them with incentives of authority, profit sharing, stock options or other rewards.
Business is local! Local is where your customers are! When I owned a restaurant, the customers were employees of the local businesses or residents in the area. Join the local chamber of commerce, community organizations and get involved with the schools in the area. The more visible you are, the more likely you will generate loyalty. It is far easier to say no to anonymous organizations than to someone you know.
Take the Pulse
When I owned my restaurant, I talked to my customers almost daily. I made sure I got to know them by name and I let them know it. I tried to make the experience personal and that made them feel important. It reminds me of the show Cheers, where everyone knows your name. Talk to your customers to find out what they like or don’t like. Respond to complaints as if your business lives or dies on it. Very few people will complain or write a letter, each one represents many people and should be taken seriously. Most people will just never come back.
Stay on Top
Businesses change daily/weekly/monthly! A business changes because of poor procedures or management. You want to change because something you do, not what you are not doing. In the restaurant business, your customers are fickle. You will lose them for poor service, a menu change, new trends, health issues or a new place opens nearby. Competition or price reductions contribute to change too. You must stay on top of these changes to navigate through it successfully.
When you make that leap to start a business, you want to make it a success. It takes a lot to make it successful such as drive, motivation, vision, being self starter and many other traits. A great start is developing a business plan, hire good people, make connections and ask questions of your customers. Being a business owner means you have to be proactive and a problem solver. Owning a business requires a tremendous effort to make it successful and keep it successful. I wish you all have a successful business or career.
Photo by betsyweber
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I wish you all have a successful business or career.