There are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States.
If you own one of them, you know that the odds of small business success are against you. You know that you’re likely to close your doors within the first five years.
And that was before the coronavirus pandemic. Now the odds of failure are even greater.
Here’s the thing, though. You can overcome the odds by doing a few simple things very well.
1. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
A smart business owner knows what they do well, and what they find challenging. For some business owners, they excel at sales, but they have a hard time managing money. Others may be programmers, but they know nothing about marketing.
You have to make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. You need to look at this from the perspective of a business leader and as a person managing the operations of your business.
You want to build a business where you can emphasize your strengths. For things that don’t fit with your strengths, you can take the time to learn about them or you can hand them off for others to do.
For example, if you need to fix a Mac hosts file, you need some programming know-how. You could do learn to do it on your own or you could find someone to take care of it for you.
2. Manage Your Finances Properly
If you want to be successful in business, you have to learn to manage finances. This is one of these things that you can hand off to a bookkeeper or accountant to do.
It’s also your responsibility to learn as much as you can about business finances. The more you know and understand, the easier it will be to make smart business decisions. You’ll know when to invest in your business and when to hold off for tax reasons.
3. Build Your Network
Business owners know that referrals are the cornerstone of their business. It’s not building funnels or other slick marketing tactics. It’s by showing up to business group meetings and making yourself known in the community.
You’ll build your network over time. You want to get to the point where you have so many people in your network, you’re the go-to person for help. You can help a friend get business through referrals. That will eventually turn into referrals for your business because you were helpful.
4. Don’t Look for Someone to Blame
The worst thing that a business owner can do is blame someone or something else for their woes. You can’t always blame others for your problems. That’s how you’ll have a business that develops a bad reputation.
For example, if a customer has a bad experience at your business and writes a bad review, you can’t blame the customer for it. You need to step up and take responsibility for the bad experience.
If you have employees, you can’t blame them for things that are your fault. That’s the fastest way to create high turnover at your company. If an employee makes a mistake, work with them to fix it and learn from it.
5. Think Long Term
A lot of the time, people start a business because they want to do something they’re passionate about.
What usually happens is that the small business owner gets pulled away from the work that they love so they can keep the business afloat.
They need to do marketing, operations, accounting, and manage people.
You want to be able to scale your business up so you can delegate tasks to other people. You also want to be able to leave the business so you can take a well-earned vacation.
You can’t do that if the business is run entirely by you. If you stop, then so does the business. It’s essential to think about the long term plan of the business so you can step away or even sell it and walk away.
6. Create Systems for Repeatable Tasks
Time is the best resource at your disposal. How you utilize your time can determine your success as an entrepreneur. The most successful businesses do the most with the time that they have.
They do that by using automation and systems so time isn’t wasted doing the same task 100 times. You want to know which tasks take up the most time, if they can be repeated, and how you can systematize them to do them.
7. Always Focus on the Positive
Entrepreneurs are naturally optimistic people. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get depressed when things go wrong. Entrepreneurs are prone to depression because it can be isolating.
Your family won’t understand what you do or why. They’re probably asking when you’ll get a real job. That can make it hard to get support when you need someone to talk to.
You can help yourself by focusing on the things that are going right. You can help your own mindset and help those around you. You should also have a few close people you can talk to when you need to let off steam.
Your Business Success Depends on You
You don’t go into business thinking that you’ll fail. However, you can work against yourself in many ways without realizing it. You can bring morale down by not taking responsibility for your mistakes. You could burn yourself out by taking on too much and not creating systems to ease your burden.
These business success tips will get you to think about your business differently. Putting some of them in place will put you on the road to a thriving business.