Over the years I have been blessed to work with great clients and colleagues in various industries and backgrounds. Last week a new client asked me what are the five things that all small business owners need to know. I thought about the usually replies of a business plan, clear purpose, surround yourself with great professionals and employees, be well funded and know your customers. But the more I thought about it the real question he was asking is what is the secret sauce, or more importantly, the secret ingredients that make up a successful business.
Here are my tips for running a business.
- It’s all in the details. Understanding your financials is crucial to success. It can tell you what’s working and what’s not. Take the time to read them and apply it to your business.
- It’s a marathon race, not a sprint to the finish. A business is an entity all by itself. Over time, the company will experience challenges. When this happens, address the issue, formulate a plan, and implement it. If at first you do not succeed, try, try again until you get it right.
- Listen to your customers and never stop marketing. They can be a great resource and help you identify opportunities to diversify into other revenue streams or geographical locations. Multiple revenue streams or increased service area make companies less vulnerable to a single product or service.
- Always improve, adapt, create, change and repeat. Be aware that you will need to think on your feet and make changes quickly. Running a business is not a set it and forget it mentality. Great businesses understand that and are always improving.
- Tenacity! It is a 24/7 all-out assault to start, grow, and run a successful business. Business owners that are truly passionate about their business are in the best position to be successful.