10 Rules for Success in Business

Wednesday, 18th October 2017


Rules for Success in Business

There is no one size fits all diagram for running a successful business and despite the misconception, you don’t have to become a business expert before your ribbon cutting. New businesses open every day and many do so without financial backing, without college degrees and without any knowledge of running a company! Following these ten rules will put you on the path to success whether you are just starting up your business or are looking to turn your business around and take your small business further.

1. Hard work forever pays

That should say work hard, then work harder, and just when you think you can’t work anymore, work even harder! You must be absolutely relentless in your pursuit to make your business successful. Sometimes, that means working until two in the morning and getting up at six to make a meeting. The good news is you will see the results, maybe not immediately, but you will eventually be rewarded for your efforts.

Self-discipline is at the heart of every successful business owner. There will be times when you want to quit and there will be times where you think you can push that work off until tomorrow but don’t. Learn meditation, learn strategic thinking, use affirmations, do whatever you need to, to focus the little bit of energy you have left into moving forward!

Remind yourself daily of why you started your own company and use that as a motivator to keep your energy up, so that you can keep up with the demands of running your own business and continue to motivate those working with and around you.

2. Be Confident

Being confident in yourself, your business, and your value, is vital to running a successful business. If you are unsure of the product or service you provide, how will you ever convince someone else of its benefits? Confidence (or a lack thereof), can make or break a deal. If you struggle with confidence try these simple techniques each day and before you know it you will start feeling and acting like there isn’t an unsure bone in your body.

Train your mind by thinking positively as much as you can, the main killer of confidence is negative thinking. Practice everything, whether you have a pitch to give, or a proposal to submit, practice what you will say throughout the day. Practice while you’re in the shower, driving, eating, cleaning, just keep practicing. Keep training and learning. Even if you’ve been in the same profession for ten years there is always something new to learn and the more knowledgeable you are on a subject the more confident you are.

Keep in mind that confidence is not static, the level of confidence you have will vary day to day but if you continue to think positively and find techniques to help you rebuild your confidence on the low-level days you will succeed. Mistakes are inevitable, don’t beat yourself up about them. Confidence does not mean you don’t make mistakes, confidence means you learn from them, grow from them and move on.

3. Ambition is Great

Ambition is that yearning to achieve something. A desire so strong to reach your goals, you persevere to work hard, even with a lack of sleep! You need ambition to be successful. Your ambition is what drives you when you want to quit, it keeps you fighting even when you are told ‘No’, and empowers you to keep moving forward.

When you are told that someone doesn’t want your product or service, allow your ambition to kick in. Don’t just accept it and go away, ask why!

4. Be a risk taker

Don’t get stuck in the status quo. Be bold and take some risks. Too often we find ourselves on the brink of something great and rather than jumping in feet first our vulnerabilities weigh us down like an anchor. Opportunities present themselves and we quickly talk ourselves out of them, more time than not because we overestimate the chance it could go wrong. Get out of that mindset and take some risks. A key to success in business, particularly small businesses, is sometimes you must go for it before you let insecurities talk you out of it. Train yourself to be more of a risk taker. When presented with a new opportunity sit back and ask yourself a few questions.

If someone else was presented this opportunity would I tell them to go for it? If you would but are still feeling nervous about your own leap of faith, then chances are you are seriously exaggerating what might happen if the opportunity is a failure. So, ask yourself, “If I take this opportunity and it is a failure what is the absolute worst case scenario?”. Now, step back and think about it for a while and then ask yourself again. Chances are that even if things go horribly awry, the worst-case scenario isn’t that bad and is more than likely something you could easily recover from. Finally, If I don’t take this opportunity will I regret it a year from now? You must learn to fear this feeling of regret. Feel it stronger than you feel the failure and your mind will instinctively begin to take more risks.

5. Be realistic

Set achievable goals for yourself. Don’t say you will be a Fortune 500 company within your first year, instead, find a company that you admire that has made the Fortune 500 and research some of their earlier milestones. Set one of these as your first-year goal. You want something attainable but you don’t want it to be too easy either. Choose goals that are plausible and tough. You want to be challenged but they must be reachable as well.

Be realistic in your skillset. Say you start a bookkeeping company and are presented the opportunity to teach business owners how to keep up with their accounting. After your presentation, you realize teaching others bookkeeping is something you are good at. Should you continue with your bookkeeping company or adapt it? The unrealistic side would say “I’m not a trainer, I’m just a bookkeeper.” However, if you are being realistic with yourself you would expand your company to not only offer bookkeeping services but training as well.

Being realistic doesn’t mean you can’t dream, it is more about being completely honest with yourself about what you can achieve and what may be beyond your scope. For example, you have a project deadline coming up but you also wanted to add a blog post to your website. Be realistic, is it more important for you to complete a project for a paying customer or write a blog?

Rules for Success in Business

6. Play the juggling act

We all wear multiple hats in life: business owner, mother/father, son/daughter, husband/wife, the list is endless and juggling the many responsibilities that come with these hats can be a difficult task to undertake. The keys to success are time management, organization, and finding the balance between our work, home and social lives.

Set two alarms on your phone, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, when the alarms sound, stop what you are doing and check your emails. Prioritize them and address those that are urgent immediately. Don’t continuously check your email all day as it will easily distract you from completing the multitude of duties you have on your plate. If you have a social media presence set aside an hour during the day to schedule posts, responds to followers, and once that hour is up, log off so you don’t waste time browsing your newsfeed. Get yourself a planner, use a bullet journal or utilize the mobile apps that are on the market to keep track of all ongoing projects and schedule out your days. Set a time to end your workday. If you have a 9 to 5 job work a 9 to 5 job, don’t bring work home with you unless absolutely necessary! As mentioned earlier building a business takes a lot of time but that doesn’t mean it needs to be 24 hours a day. Schedule yourself time off to eat dinner with your family or meet some friends for drinks.

7. Plan to Win

Having goals is superb. Goals keep you looking to the future and coupled with the aforementioned ambition, they push you to reach higher. However, having goals without a plan to achieve them is a waste of time and effort. Write your goals (for yourself and your small business), down and then develop a plan of action to achieve those goals. If your goal is to have 1000 followers on a social media platform by the end of the year, first create sub-goals of 100 followers a month. Now create your plan for each month. Will you create a blog to attract followers, develop a schedule for posts, create engaging content? Write the plan under each sub-goal and then create a list of each task you will need to complete. Breaking down each goal into manageable tasks and setting deadlines to get them done will keep you on a continuous path to success.

8. Learn the art of negotiation

Negotiation is a skill that most refuse to believe they possess when the truth is you engage in negotiations daily and probably never even knew it! Deciding where to eat for lunch with co-workers, what movie to watch with your significant other, and allowing your child to stay up half an hour longer because they took a nap, are all small negotiations we participate in daily. Whether negotiating a business deal, a purchase or a salary, the steps are the same.

Begin by understanding the issue from both sides. Have some foresight into what the other party is hoping to achieve and decide what it is you are hoping for. Prepare for the negotiations by making a list of common goals, the terms that are non-negotiable and the terms you are more lenient on. During the negotiation listen to the other party. Don’t listen to answer, but actively listen to what they are saying and the tone they are using. Communicate effectively keeping emotions out of the discussion. Clearly explain your terms so there is no room for confusion. Remain calm and composed and utilize your problem-solving skills to clear up any disagreements.

9. Grasp the bottom line

Keeping an eye on how each aspect of your business effects the bottom line is not only essential in managing financial aspects, it also increases effectiveness by focusing the attention on those tasks that will positively affect the company. Creating a detailed budget and developing strategies to adhere to, is the most effective way to stay focused on the bottom line.

From a financial standpoint, focusing on the bottom line means actively comparing cost-saving alternatives like switching the company’s internet provider to a less expensive competitor. Prioritizing projects by completing those that will provide the highest benefit to the company is another effective way of focusing on the bottom line rather than the short-term return. Keep employees abreast of the company’s finances and train them to understand the ways their actions affect the company financially. Teach employees that saving the company money will not only benefit the company, it will also benefit them by offering profit sharing or bonuses for being under budget. 

10. Communicate

Communicating effectively with business partners, customers, and employees is crucial to the success of your company. Problems arise that can be detrimental to your business when proper communication is lacking. Employees who don’t clearly understand what is expected of them tend to under-perform and deadlines will be missed. Potential customers will be lost if you cannot communicate the value of your product or service. Negotiations will become muddled and business partners may pull out of important deals if they feel they are being taken advantage of.

Excellent communication involves being a good listener by using eye contact and body language to show the other party you are interested and engaged in the discussion. Be clear and concise in your words as well as respectful.

You won’t find a successful business owner that doesn’t practice these ten rules. Remember to work hard but work smart as well, using time management and prioritizing tasks to focus on the bottom line. Develop communication and negotiation skills by building your confidence. Develop realistic goals and create strategies to achieve them and you will succeed. With these 10 tips, you can take your small business to the next level, inspire your team to achieve more, and develop your own self to become the business leader you always wanted to be!

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