Small Business Association, over 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first five years. No one wants to be among that 50 percent when they pursue their small-business opportunity, but sometimes it happens. Below are 10 habits that can help you fall into the other 50 percent and carry your business plan into the realm of longevity and success:
- Constant and continuing education – In the business world, there is no such thing as knowing too much. A small business owner that does not believe in failure will learn about anything and everything related to running a small business, as well as the focus of the business itself. Get into the habit of continuing your education, and encourage your staff to do the same.
- Networking – Everywhere you go is an opportunity to network. If you’ve started a carpet-cleaning business, your next client could be standing in front of you in the grocery store. Avoid badgering innocent bystanders, but if you see someone purchasing store-bought rug cleaner, you’ve been presented with an opportunity to discuss why your methods are better. In addition, make sure that you, or part of your staff, can be present at every carpet-cleaning expo or other related conventions in the area and beyond. A business can’t be run without customers, so embrace every chance to network that presents itself.
- Remaining organized – There is nothing worse than losing the phone number of a potential client that seems to really want your business. Successful entrepreneurs know where to locate important information at a moment’s notice. Get in the habit of meticulously organizing your files and information. If you start organizing correctly from the start, this isn’t something you’ll need to do often.
- Positive thinking – More than a habit, positive thinking needs to be at the forefront of your mind at all times. There is no time to feel sorry for yourself if your small business opportunity isn’t immediately heading in the direction you had planned. Take a moment to breathe, and then use the step backwards as a learning experience to step forward again.
- Sizing up the competition – Competition is always around every corner, and part of your job is to be aware of what others in your field are up to. Make it a habit to check on your competitors to make sure you are still ahead of the game.
- Not taking “no” for an answer – If you accept every “no” that comes your way, your business has no shot at success. Instead, make it a habit to think of the word “no” as an exciting challenge or a suggestion to try harder and give it another shot.
- Checking in with employees – There are times when you are going to be extremely busy, but you can’t forget that your partners and staff members are the lifeblood of the business. Successful entrepreneurs take the time to pause and check in to make sure that employees are updated and happy. Also, your staff might have helpful ideas they want to share.
- Enjoying outside interests – Thinking about your business every moment of every day will drive you crazy. Take up a sport, go for a workout or give yoga a try. Anything you can do to relax and clear your mind for an hour a day will help you in the end.
- Listening to client needs – Regardless of how successful your business is at the start, you must make it a habit to listen to what your clients are saying. They are the ones that are buying your product or service, which means you must regularly make sure your business is still giving them what they need.
- Always going the extra mile – Not all of the habits above need to occur daily, but going the extra mile should be one that is incorporated into your mindset. As the founder of the business, others will look to you as an example. It is your responsibility to always go the extra mile and put forth an extra effort. Clients and employees alike will respect this, and it will encourage your staff to do the same, thus increasing the productivity of your business.
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