Looking back on what has made some of our clients successful, we’ve made a list of 7 behaviors all these successful small business owners have in common. This list probably isn’t all encompassing, but these behaviors all played an important role in making the different between successful business owners and unsuccessful ones. Whether you’re starting up your small business or looking for a revival, these tips are for you.
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1. Setting Reasonable Expectations
If there is one thing that we’ve learned in our 25 years in business, it’s that nothing will go exactly as it is expected. Yes, that’s right. I’ll guarantee you that something will go wrong. This is the key behavior to keep in mind to make a successful small business.
So, should you through up your hands and not build a plan? No. Instead, it is the opposite. It’s important to ask your where things could go wrong and put metrics in place to flag them early. If you accept the fact that not everything will go to plan, you ready when it doesn’t. Prepare for stress. You don’t waste time and energy in crisis mode. Instead, you get to work fixing. Learning requires mistakes. It’s a given. Knowing they’ll happen makes it easier to deal with them.
2. Know You Market & Where You Stand
Do you know your positioning within your market? All our most successful businesses do. Positioning is a fundamental tool in your toolkit. There are several different templates by different authors. This format is the one we like the most, when pitching your business but also when understanding your own standing:
[Problem insight]. Unlike [competitive set], [Company Name] is the only [market category] that provides [unique benefit]. That’s because we [support statement 1] and [support statement 2].
Here’s a simple example for a fictional electric car:
25% of people want to be green but unwilling to give up performance for emissions. Unlike traditional electric vehicles, Turbo X is the only electric car that provide performance level of combustion vehicle without the emissions. That’s because we have a patented engine design and improved fuel cells.
This is an internal document. It’s not for selling, but it for you to map out your territory.
3. Make Time for Planning
Yes, we’ve heard all the excuses. We’ve made them, too. But, the most successful small business owners make time for planning in their behavior. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day fire drills or operations. However, I promise you, if you take at least 1-2 hours a week to review your performance and refine your plans, you will be more successful.
4. Cultivate your Talent
There was an interesting article on LinkedIn that dispelled the myth that millennials and Gen Z’ers love job hopping. They don’t. They leave because they aren’t getting the training and exposure that they need. It’s been my belief for awhile that companies left their people, not the other way around. The most successful businesses cultivate their talent, as it much more expensive to hire and retrain than it is to invest in keeping the talent.
5. Provide the Right Incentives
Paychecks aren’t enough. Good talent can get a paycheck anywhere. The reason people stay is because they feel a part of something more. Every person has different motivations. But, humans are social creatures. We are more likely to stay with people to whom we feel connected. It’s often the non-financial rewards that keep people. That doesn’t mean that you completely forgo financial compensation. It means the most successful businesses do both within their corporate behavior.
6. Delegate, Please!!
We have written what feels like a thousand blog posts on delegation, so we’re not going to go into detail here. Suffice it to say, that successful businesses delegate, unsuccessful businesses do not.
7. Value Digital Visibility
It may seem odd in 2020 to say that digital visibility is important. However, it is. It’s surprising how many small businesses fail to realize the importance of being visible on-line. It’s the simple things like Google My Business, social media like LinkedIn, and a website. If you are invisible and only slightly visible where most people go to look for information, you will be overlooked, and that’s lost revenue.
Follow These Seven Behavior Tips, and You’ll Be Looking at a Successful Small Business
These seven behaviors of successful businesses aren’t exclusive, but they are those that we have seen come up most often in our work with our clients. There are others but improving in a few of these will definitely help move your business forward.
At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns. We’re designed to help give you the business support you need so you can focus on doing what you love. If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us.