Business owners who have been at it for a long time often wish they knew what they know now when they started. After running their businesses for several years, many of these business owners learn lots of lessons on how to run successful businesses. Below, we are going to look at some success tips gleaned from successful business owners.
Learn to Listen
Listening is an invaluable skill but, unfortunately, it is a skill that many people do not have. Listening to employees, team members, customers, investors and others is critical for a successful business. However, listening does not mean that you have to act upon the information you get. It means hearing what other people have to say, getting different perspectives from a diverse array of people and sifting through all the information you get to find the hidden gems. Active listening can help you make your business better and more successful as long as you know how to handle and what to do with all the information you receive.
Build a Strong Team
Even when running a small business, you might need to hire a few people who have skills you might not have. For example, you might require an accountant with tax consolidation skills or a marketer with social media marketing skills. It is important to ensure that they are a great fit not only for their positions, but also for your overall business. If they share the same values as other employees, understand your expectations, and can fit into your team, new hires can help ensure they work towards the same goals as you. Also, hiring the right people makes it easier to trust them.
Learn to Delegate
A business owner is rarely able to do everything required to keep the business alive. In addition to hiring the right people as discussed above, a business owner must also learn how to delegate. If you trust the people you hire, it gets easier to delegate tasks to them. This can leave you with enough time and space to handle other aspects of your business.
Also, delegating tasks might lead you to discover that you have been handling tasks that you are pretty bad at. A general rule is that you should only do what you are sure you can do really well and hire the right people to delegate the rest to.
Build a Support Network
Many business owners feel isolated because many of them eventually lose touch with other business owners. Having a support network is beneficial in many ways. For example, having someone to talk to can help you find solutions to a problem you may be having. It can help you make tough decisions or even see opportunities that you never saw before.
If you do not have a network of business owners close to you, there are lots of support groups online that you can join that would be invaluable to you and your business.
Develop Management and Leadership Skills
Whether you are just getting started or your business has existed for a number of years, you need to learn how to take charge, inspire and motivate your team. Doing so requires the right leadership skills. Depending on your
business, there are several leadership techniques and management styles that could apply and work best in your business.
If you already have a business degree, you might already know what some of these techniques and skills are.
However, if you do not have a firm grasp of what they are and how you can use them in your degree, this is a knowledge gap that you will need to plug. Fortunately, there are online MBA courses offered by Aston University that teach the management and leadership skills you require. Once you enrol in and complete one of these online MBA courses, you will learn the necessary leadership skills that will help you to:
- Bolster communication between you and your employees
- Motivate employees to improve productivity
- Better understand your employees
Learn to Deal with Fear
Fear breeds indecisiveness, and this can stifle your business. It is understandable to be fearful about the future or your business’s future because fear can be a motivating factor. However, letting fear stop you from seeking opportunities and take calculated risks is a negative.
Learning to deal with and get rid of fear does not come naturally to everyone. If you are in this category, engaging the services of a leadership coach can teach you the skills you need to deal with fear and use it to your advantage.
Set Very Specific Goals
Specific goals are easier to handle than broad goals.
Setting specific goals often starts with breaking down bigger goals into smaller attainable goals. Once this is done, you should also deal with how you are going to achieve each of these goals. Each of these goals should also be measurable so you always know if you are making progress or not.
Ideally, you should also have short-term goals that build into medium-term goals that also grow into long-term goals. This way, you have a cohesive path to follow, with each step of the process measurable and verifiable to always know where your business stands.
Decrease Overhead Costs
High overhead costs can decrease the money you have left over to handle other aspects of your business, such as marketing or hiring an extra employee. Some of the common overhead costs that you can cut include ditching the office and going virtual, ditching your servers for a cloud option or switching to VOIP.
Reducing your overhead costs not only leaves you with more money to put into the operations of the business, but it also leaves you with some flexibility for revenue shortfalls when the market is not performing as expected.
Running a successful business is often about learning what works for you and what does not, as well as learning from the lessons of other business owners. Many of the challenges business owners face can be solved by looking at what other business owners did in similar situations.