Having spent the last two decades fully engulfed in the small business environment, I tend to see some of the same factors that play a part in the ability to achieve small business success. While some of these are personality traits, many are just simply ways of doing things. Here are the ten common keys to achieving small business success that you can explore to take your business to the next level.
#1: Dream Big
If you can dream it you can achieve it. No entrepreneur ever became a millionaire by limiting their dreams. After all, dreams are free, right?
There’s nothing wrong with making big plans, even if you can’t see right now how you will accomplish them. As they say, aim for the moon. There’s nothing wrong with hitting a star if you miss!
#2. Remain Accountable for Achieving Your Goals
A big key to achieving small business success is remaining accountable for achieving your goals. That means YOU need to take responsibility for accomplishing your goals and for your own mistakes.
You have no one to blame but yourself if you don’t reach your mark, so make sure you’re taking the necessary actions to move toward your objectives. And when you make a mistake, acknowledge it and learn from it. However, the worst thing you can do is dwell on it, so just keep it moving.
#3. Raise the Bar
You’re not working for a boss anymore, so the only expectations you need to meet are your own.
Make sure you set the bar high enough so that you continue to grow over time. While there’s a confidence boost in accomplishing things, if you’re not challenging yourself, it’s a false sense of accomplishment.
You must grow yourself to grow your business.
#4. Be a Person of Action
Things don’t get done in business by talking about them. Be a person of action. If you say you’re going to follow up with someone, do so promptly. Keep lists of projects you need to work on and set deadlines for yourself.
Overall, just make sure you’re in the habit of taking action where you need to.
#5. Visualize Your Success
Those that can visualize what their business will look like in 1year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, tend to have greater small business success.
Create a vision board of what you want your company to look like at these various stages. The process can go a long way to making it a reality. Will your company still be just you running it, or will you have employees in a few years or a few locations? How many clients will you have?
Seeing this picture can help you plan for it. Put the vision board on your wall so that you can remind yourself why you work so hard.
#6. Associate with Other Successful Business Owners
Who we associate with says something about ourselves. Surround yourself with other successful business owners and people of action. When you hang out with successful people, a little of that magic rubs off on you.
Look around on your various networks and see who you want to influence you. Who do you admire? Who has a business that has achieved the type of success you want? Follow them and connect with them… it matters.
#7. Give Back to Get
Becoming your own boss isn’t just about your own financial success. It’s about giving back to your community, usually through your time, money, and influence…or all three.
If you grew up in a community where entrepreneurship wasn’t encouraged, just think of the influence you could spread by actively working to develop new small business programs in your local school, sponsoring a little league team, or mentoring students.
When you give back, the universe always seems to pay back tenfold.
#8. Don’t Fear Change… Embrace It!
As much as we dislike it, change is a part of entrepreneurship. Not only is technology changing how we market and run our businesses every day, but your industry is changing too.
To remain relevant in your space, stay on top of industry trends. You’ve got to roll with those changes and be ready to adapt at a moment’s notice so that your business stays relevant.
#9. Love the Process
Running a business is a process. The trick is that you must figure out what you don’t know about running a business if you want to achieve small business success.
You’ll have tedious times that will test your patience, and you’ll have others where you’re flying high. Enjoy the roller coaster you’re on and know that everything is an opportunity to learn.
#10. Have Faith
Part of loving that process is appreciating the hard times as much as the good ones. It’s about having faith that even if things seem to be falling apart at this moment, they’ll soon get better.
Trouble is temporary. The less you let the negative affect you, the easier it will be to rise above it.