After 14 years in business I've learned that there are ten steps that business owners must take in order to succeed in business.
Be passionate about your area of expertise and products
If you don't see the value that you bring to the organizations that you serve how will they see it? You have to be passionate about what you do, how you do it and who you work with. To be effective you have to know how your products and your expertise increase their businesses, reduce their costs, and make their world easier, more effective and more productive. You have to be so excited about their results because of your services that people are attracted to you!
Stretch yourself so that you are a little bit uncomfortable
You have to be willing to feel uncomfortable. You have to be willing to make the calls to the decision makers and invest in quality materials even if your insides are yelling "GO CHEAP save money". You have to be willing to negotiate for the best prices for the top quality services you are purchasing – this is about your wallet. You have to be willing to feel the butterflies in your tummy and push yourself to reach harder, ask the tough questions (of yourself, your clients and staff) and ask the right people for the business– the people who are the decision makers – the person that can say yes and get you paid.
If needed, are you willing to do whatever is necessary to grow your business? Note: I didn't say that you will have to do anything crazy but you have to know that you are willing. You can't worry "what they' will think of me?" – That thought will hold you back. You have to be willing to focus on what you think of yourself. In order to step up and go higher you have to be bold, be courageous and act fearlessly. Ask for the business, ask for the invitation, and ask for the help.
Have a daily action list that reflects your values and business plan
Your daily action plan have to have the topics that reflect your values and your business plan. Income producing activities, publicity/marketing activities, fiscal accountability, volunteer, family, relationship and your own physical health should all be on your daily list. You can download it for free Daily Action Plan at www.Pegine.com
Have a diverse network
If your current network looks like you, thinks like you and lives only in your area you are missing out on business and growth opportunities. Review quarterly your network to see who is missing then actively seek to engage new and different people. Go to different events. How many insurance planners go to the annual tattoo convention in town? Those business people are very successful and during slow times may be interested in hearing about your services.
Develop a master mind
Connecting on a scheduled basis with four to six aspirational people makes a world of difference in your accomplishments. A master mind groups allows you to explore yourself and your business while learning and hearing from others. You can't run your business alone. You need to learn from others and build a support system.
Think of the commercials you see from major companies, over and over and over again you see their ads, you read about them in magazines. Why do they do that? As consumers we already know what they sell – don't we? The truth is that when we are in the market to buy a car we are more prone to go to the dealer that advertises. I teach people the mantra:
"Out of Sight means Out of Mind.
I'll make sure they remember mine!"
Dealers promote themselves so you won't forget them in your time of need and you will buy their products. The same goes for you. You have to promote yourself, write articles, and speak to groups about what you do, do mailings, send emails and make calls. Promote, promote and promote some more – so people don't forget you!.
Ask Questions – Ask for Help
The more questions you ask the stronger you become. Ask questions and listen to the answers – there is wealth in those answers. Stop thinking that you know it all or that people will think you are dumb for asking – both points of view will strangle your business. You have to continually ask for advice, support and help The SBA, SBDC, SCORE, PTAC, the chamber of commerce and so many phenomenal business organizations who want you to succeed. Get over yourself and ask for help.
Read your business plan once a month
Your plan is your road map. Your plan is where your wealth lays, the investment of your time, creativity, research, planning and ideas are in your plan. Read it and know it. If you go off course (which you will) your plan will get you back on course. Stay focused. Read your plan and implement it.
Believe in yourself -THINK – about what you are thinking.
Build your confidence and believe in yourself. Listen to motivational messages. Read this blog. Read positive books. Think about what you are thinking – if it isn't uplifting and supportive change your thoughts. Take measures to ensure that you believe in you….if you don't who will?
Your success in business depends on your willingness to be feisty, fearless, focused and has fun at the same time. Congratulations – you are an entrepreneur.