Here is a roundup and checklist of Success tips. Work your way through them and decide what action you need to take to build them into your business life.
You need Customers –lots of them! How will you attract them?
Focus-and know your limitations, don’t try to do too much. If you try to ride two horses at once, switching from one to the other, you won’t win the race.
Consider whether you will be better working in partnership, or do you need to work on your own? If you decide on a partnership, choose your partners carefully.
Learn to say no, and protect your time for what you want to use it for. If you are focused and talented there will be many calls on your time “If you want something done, ask a busy person.”
Invest in yourself. If you are the key person in the business it is vital that your skills and knowledge are kept up to date, and that you network with the people who are at the top of your industry. Take courses online, read self-help books, look at coaching websites online.
If you can, work in markets and products that you understand and have experience of. That way you can anticipate and prevent problems, keep things on track, and recognise when something is starting to go wrong.
Outsource expert help and experience when you need it. You can’t be expert at everything, and it will save you time and money in the long run.
Follow up. Have a system to check that you have followed through with people. Make notes in your diary when you need to have received a reply from people you sent queries to. Make things happen.
Consider how much maintenance your business will need. Ideally you want something that you can build and leave to run with the minimum of fuss – The original “make money while you sleep” idea. You want either low maintenance or something you can delegate to others to do for you.
If you lose business, find out why. Contact the client and offer to correct any problem and ask for the business back.
Look for creative offers for your customers, ideally one that keeps them coming back-loyalty points, discount off next purchase.
Know what your marketing budget is spent on, and how productive every penny of that budget is.
Capture information on a database and use it to keep in touch with your clients. Remind them of your existence and ask for their business.
Keep moving or you stand still, in terms of your product, offer, and your own knowledge.
Set up several income streams, ideally one that will cover your overheads (residual income) and doesn’t require you to actually undertake work to earn it. E.g. a maintenance fee for a boiler system, which is essentially an insurance policy. Or a subscription for gym membership. You are aiming for an income stream which you can rely on coming in every month.
Constantly test your purchasing prices to ensure you and your team are getting the best deal.
Keep a close eye on your competition, and test your selling prices too. Always be aware how your pricing compares to the competition. Keep a sharp eye on the pricing of your products to clients, and remember that it harms the products just as much if it is too cheap as if it is too expensive.
Think about offering a premium price
Follow up -and follow up. How many contacts are needed?
Things will go wrong. See it as a learning opportunity. Mistakes are OK as long as they are owned up to and corrected, and lessons are learnt to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Set Smart targets. Milestones and deadlines.
Keep a close eye on the shop floor .Standards slip – no-one cares like you do. You need to keep putting staff back on track and reinforcing standards.
Get the best out of your people. They relish the challenge, give them an opportunity to create and shape things. Give them responsibility. Sometimes if you step back you will be surprised at how good your people are.
Balance whether you hire for attitude or experience. You can give them experience, it is much harder to change attitude. But you do need some experts on board.
Try to create an energetic atmosphere, and a positive culture .This usually improves productivity, reduces sick time taken, increases staff retention, and helps to attract the best people to work with you.
Try to create a family friendly culture, and offer support to staff who are having personal problems or difficulties. E.g. By allowing time off for family crises. Especially if you call on them for support when you need them to work extra hours.
Look for ways to motivate staff. Different people are motivated by different things, not everyone is motivated by money.
Make sure every member of the team knows the strategic plan, the direction of travel, what the focus is, and what their targets are. They should also clearly understand their own role in achievement of team targets.