We’ve heard it before… running a business isn’t easy. You have to wear so many hats there isn’t any space left on your head. It’s an endless tug of war for your time and attention. It’s amazing how we are able to actually get work done, service our clients, and retain our sanity.
After doing this a few years, you learn a thing or two about running a business. Here are my top ten tips for business success.
1. Fail to plan, plan to fail. You have to plan for the things you want in life. You know they say, “a goal is just a dream until written down.” Take the time to write down what you want, why you want it, and how you think you’re going to get there. Review it daily. When you get off track (and you will) this plan will help you get back on.
2. Don’t get caught up in the minutiae. There are things that matter and things that don’t. You have to learn where your time is best spent and not let the trivial details consume you. *If the minutia is important to your customers then, by all means, focus on it. Odds are every little thing isn’t attention worthy.
3. Self-care. The best thing you can do as a business owner is to take time out for yourself. I know. I know. There are so many things to do, deadlines to meet, clients to serve, new programs to launch but if you aren’t 100%, aren’t you doing your clients a disservice? Grandma always told me, “you can’t give to anyone else what you don’t give to yourself.”
4. Know the details of your business. Build a team. Delegate. Outsource. This advice is spewed everywhere and I agree with it. It doesn’t absolve you, as the owner, of knowing how to run every area of your business. Even as your accountant, I’m still going to help you understand how and why your books are tracked they way they are.
5. Outsource to experts. There is no way you can be an expert in all things related to your business. It’s impossible to be an expert in accounting, taxes, marketing, advertising, planning, admin work, and so on. Once you understand how an area of your business operates, outsource it to a professional. Your expectations are set and you now have a baseline to track performance
6. Have your elevator speech at the ready. The key here is to be ready. Grant Cardone said “someone is always selling” and you need to make sure you are ready. Focus on how you improve your client’s lives. There’s a vast difference in saying ‘I’m an accountant’ versus ‘I simplify software, accounting, and taxes for online business owners by creating mess-free financials that drive massive growth.’
7. Quality over quantity. Consumers prefer quality products and services that solve their problems than a plethora of choices. Keep it simple and focus on quality in everything you do.
8. 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. You don’t need to be everywhere doing everything. You need to focus on the key areas that draw your perfect clients to you. I know, I know–splashy advertising can be enticing. Who doesn’t want to see their brand on a fancy ad? There are numerous ways to promote your business without breaking the bank. FB ads, anyone? Figure out where your target audience is spending the bulk of their time and start there. You should also take advantage of word-of-mouth advertising…it’s completely free and a great way to build the know, like, and trust factors with potential customers!
9. Always do your due diligence and keep everything. Ignorance of the law is not a defense. Make sure you research the requirements for your business and follow them. See #5. It’ll make your life and business easier in the long run.
10. Understand your ideal client. This might be my most important tip. I know it can be very tempting to take every client that comes your way, but I promise you, it will end in disaster. Be clear about who your ideal client is. Know when it’s a good fit, and when it’s not. And when it’s not, it’s okay to say no! When this happens to me, I try to always provide a referral to someone who can help them. Remember, when you talk to everyone you talk to no one.
As fellow entrepreneurs, what are some of your top business success tips?
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