11 Tips on How to Become a Successful Business Owner
Although every business starts small, the ultimate goal is to scale your business by growing a customer base and hiring individuals to manage the different aspects of the business. Depending on the business owner, they may want to keep the business small and keep a personal connection with their customers. However, many times they simply do not know the most basic of steps to expand their business.
If you are a small business owner who is looking for direction to better yourself and your business, consider the following tips graciously. After you read a business tip, use the following open-ended questions to analyze and understand what your strengths and weaknesses are.
1) How have I done this well/ lousy in the past?
2) How do I currently do this to better my business?
3) What can I do tomorrow to start implementing this into my daily functions, helping my business grow?
Now, let’s explore what points need improvements!
Meeting business professionals is beneficial in the aspect that both parties have each other as a reference for the future. An example where it can be beneficial is if your client expresses that they need help selling a real estate property and you refer them to Bill, your new realtor friend. All three parties are left satisfied. If you use the people you meet to your advantage, then later your new friend will think of you when they see a resemblance with an opportunity and your line of business.
When you come across other business professionals, you don’t always only have to be acquaintances. If you have great trust and overall connection with individuals, visualize whether you would want to have them work with you, based on what they have to offer. If you can see them as being an asset to your business, go on and ask them what their future goals are, find connections on how you can help them achieve it, and finally offer them a position. Although they may not accept the position immediately, you can still inform them of your business plan, aspirations, and what you could offer them. Leaving them food for thought will bring a more definite decision. Once you build your team with individuals you admire and enjoy working with, this support network will help you complete your business goals.
#2: Control both Business and Personal Finances
A business requires a lot of funding and spends a lot of money to function. Opportunities and emergencies also cost money. Be sure to save enough to cover at least 6 months of payroll and expenses in an emergency fund, and adjust this amount quarterly as these costs rise. Although investing in business opportunities can produce a high ROI, be careful with what you choose to invest in. Do your research, ask questions, assess the program, take the opinions of others, and make an informed decision. It is more advisable to make a composed decision than to dump your money into a bad investment leaving you and your entire team disappointed and short on cash!
A business owner’s personal finances also need to be situated and controlled. If you are just beginning your business, you may want to consider living on a budget so that the most amount of money gets invested in your business to get it running. However, as your business grows high in profit, do not allow yourself to use your business as a piggy bank. You should avoid getting in the habit of bailing yourself out of personal financial distress with the funding from the business. Taking funding from your own business will not help you now or in the long run. If you choose to invest a majority of your salary in the business, stick to it because it will be invested better within the business.
#3: Maintain an Online Presence
Social media is booming nowadays, and frankly, if you do not have some sort of an online presence, your business is extremely behind in its marketing. Take time now to make social media business accounts and personal professional accounts. Offering information about your business to the public online will help you build potential customers. If you make frequent posts, you will achieve brand recognition, causing consumers to trust your business.
LinkedIn is a great way to network and has a source of communication with business professionals you meet in the journey of your career. Keeping your website updated and stylish will attract your customers and potential customers to do more business with you. With that, having a Google My Business listing will allow the public to view your business information quickly and provide them with means of contact. For many organizations, website design, SEO, branding, and accessibility will determine whether you will get a client through a simple click onto the company website or through expensive marketing.
The ability to negotiate is a powerful thing. To be a successful business owner, you must have a firm and compelling approach to business. You should carry yourself with a steady ego but also have the ability to make changes in your initial decisions if it will be beneficial to you and your business. If you are looking to purchase tangible or intangible things, you should never buy for the first price you see. Do your research so that you can negotiate strategically to get a price reduction or future favor from the selling party.
It is recommended that you study the art of negotiation, a skill that will get you through tough conversations and help build relationships. The hardest part of negotiating is finding a way to make the other party understand the value of your business and how it will provide for them specifically. Negotiating will allow you to learn how to convince someone different than what they may have initially believed. Once you learn it, you need to practice it every opportunity you get. It takes years of experience to become a great negotiator, but when you get it down you will save your business a lot of money. Other business professionals will take you seriously when you speak with power and intention.
#5: Establish Customer Systemization
Customers like to give their service to businesses that will get them the results they need the first time. Customers desire quick and easy processing in interactions regarding their matters. If the business is not able to train their employees well enough to practice procedures efficiently, the customer will take their business to someplace that will. When a potential customer reaches out to your business, their questions should be answered and their needs have to be met promptly to earn their business.
Having a follow-up system installed into your operational functions will allow your employees to reach out to prospects for updates and current clients for further information more systematically. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) help outline and define what an employee should be doing and how to do it. Through repetition, employees will learn and be able to teach new employees quickly and smoothly. SOP’s will make the business more predictable and will allow for easier alterations to be done in procedures if needed.
#6: Keeping a Set Schedule
No one knows you better than you do. You know what you need to do to be effective, whether you make a daily to-do list or get things done as soon as they come to mind. You also know what times of day you are most productive. If you work well at night, then work at night and come into work later in the morning with tasks and business ideas to show you did work overtime. Everyone has preferences as to when they’d rather meet with customers, clients, employees, or have meetings, so build your schedule to reflect them.
It is okay to have preferences with your schedule and time allocation, but the catch is: if you decide a schedule structure, you must stick to it! If you don’t know why you have a hard time sticking to your schedule, backtrack until you find a source to the problem. Make changes to your schedule as needed to help you be more productive. Changing your schedule too much at once can cause a lapse in your efficiency, which you are trying to avoid in the first place. Furthermore, it can confuse your employees and mess up their set schedules also.
#7: Explore Risky Business Ventures
To be a successful entrepreneur, you must initiate ways to bring in new business and cash flow. Based on the type of business that you manage, you are likely to have a target market or a variety of possible audiences. To explore additional target markets, to reach them, and then to maintain the sourcing of potential clients is absolutely necessary for business success.
Knowing when to take a risk and when to refrain from action is a difficult learning experience due to one’s default feeling to avoid risk. Funding is usually required to initiate marketing campaigns and business ventures. Adapting a new business venture may cause a giant dip in the business’s funding, but if your business needs improvement, it may be worth the investment. Consider how many more customers you may get from successfully acting on the business venture to decide whether you should go through with it. If the profits outweigh the costs, do it!
#8: Revisit Goals
Becoming a business owner is a life-changing decision. You no longer have to work a day job and instead, you have complete control of what happens in your business ventures. To go through with such a decision, you have to have specific goals and aspirations that line up with your passion. Review your personal motives frequently, so that you never feel unmotivated to go to ‘work’. Also, be sure to review the business’s mission statement with your team members weekly to reinforce the purpose of them coming into work every day.
If you want to convert yourself from being a successful small business owner to something greater, something bigger, you need to revisit your motives and inspirations. Put your motives on a piece of paper on your bedroom and office wall so that you look at it every morning and night. As time passes, the attainment of these goals will become more meaningful to your purpose. As you accomplish your goals more frequently, you will view the ability to reach your next goal as more attainable.
#9: Put in the Time
Starting a business is not easy for someone with no experience. However, as long as the prospering business owner has a passion for their line of business, they will work to scale the business to be more than just small. You’ve heard it a million times, and you’ve learned it the hard way that there is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes a lot of time to systemize your business, build a procedure for interactions with clients, hire and train employees, adapt business ventures, build personal development for both you and your team, and to grow a client base. So much effort goes into the foundations and structure of a business. You know that, so put the time in!
If you come in late and leave early every day, you should not be surprised to find that there are multiple functions of your business that are lacking. You are the owner, so it is your job to delegate and manage the business. Your time will always be very tight, so you should put the time in now to work with your employees to fix the imperfections in your business’s functions. It will be less favorable to save this for a later date when your time becomes even more expensive and limited.
#10: Listen to Customer Concerns
Keeping your customers happy should be your main goal. If you do not have happy customers, you will have a hard time running a profitable business. All your customers will not always be 100% satisfied, which is okay as long as you make an effort to find the sources of unhappiness. Using customer satisfaction surveys are a great way to recognize your business’s weaknesses so that improvements can be made.
Customer satisfaction surveys can further express to your customers that you care about the quality of service they receive. The fact that you are allowing them to express their experience with your business is a great way to keep the clients engaged in the improvement of your business. Collect data from these surveys and present it to your team frequently to remind them of the quality of work the organization promises to its clients in reflection to what they are receiving. This will also allow you to identify the weak link individuals that may need more improvements than others.
#11: Set the Company Culture
For your business to function as a unit, your employees need to feel appreciated and heard. Without your awesome employees and future employees, your business will not be able to reach its true potential. With various social media platforms and lines of communication, negative employee experiences can travel quickly via the Internet and detriment your brand. To keep the company culture upbeat and involved you must encourage your employees to have a great attitude when communicating with coworkers and customers.
If employees can work together without animosity and further portray their positive experience with the organization to the customers, both the customer and employees will have a more positive experience when interacting. Listen to the concerns of your employees, attend to their needs, and have employee surveys to identify what areas of your company culture may need some improvements.
Here’s an additional secret tip: read this article again to review and improve your understanding of what steps you must take to better yourself as a business owner. Every additional day that your business is open, the more opportunity that it has to prosper and grow. Work on the changes you promise to make stated in your answers to the reflection question #3 stated at the beginning of the article.
Once a month has passed since you read this article, you must have already attempted to implement changes in your organization from every single one of these business tips. As every additional month goes by, adjust your promises. Do not make excuses for why your business can’t be the best that you’ve dreamed it to be. It is up to you, the business owner, to put in hard work to make positive changes if you want to reach your goals.
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