The interesting thing about working with other entrepreneurs is you get to observe and learn from other people’s businesses. Whether this is about operational procedures, technology and software or hiring practises, each business has its own take on the best solution. Here are 4 common traits I have observed in successful business owners.
Be a good leader
- A good leader can make or break a business. Having worked with multiple bosses in the small business arena, I’ve always appreciated it when I worked with bosses who were able to bring out the best in me. The only way this was possible was for them to get to know me and understand my strengths and weaknesses. This meant they knew how to give me work that I could do well and efficiently plus allow me to explore new territory when the opportunity arose.
- Pro Tip: Take time to get to know the people who work for you. It creates loyalty, it makes people more productive and it adds value to the business. Every business needs to treat their employees right so that they are working at peak performance.
Be adaptable to change
- The world is changing at an ever escalating pace. If the business is not able to adapt to the changes, it ends up dying when new technology or products/services come on the market. Another danger is only having 1 product. This makes for a very vulnerable business because it is hard to recover should an innovation come out that makes the product obsolete. Think of digital cameras and how they have replaced film cameras almost entirely.
- Pro Tip: Stay up to date with the latest news in your industry and continually look to improve and expand your product offerings.
Be a big fish in a small pond
- The importance of micro-niching is covered extensively in Daniel Priestley’s book The Key Person of Influence. What it really means is trying to do too much means you are sending mixed signals to the world about what you really represent. Focus so that it is easy for people to know who you are and what your business does or sells.
- Pro Tip: Profile your best clients and figure out the similarities so you can get your micro niche.
- The only way to get consistent and good sales is to be reputable. If no one thinks your business can be relied upon, there will be no referrals or repeat customers. Word of mouth is really important for small businesses because you normally don’t have the big budget to spend on advertising. So your clients are your best source of leads. Make use of this by always delivering the best to your clients. At the same time, always deliver your best so that your customers will become repeat customers. There is significantly less effort and cost involved in getting repeat business because there is already an element of trust there.
- Pro Tip: Remember the 3 Rs – Reliability = Referrals and Repeats.