Andy WoodView Profile
Whether you’ve just started out or have been in business for years, you will always be making sure your business doesn’t fail. Business owners know anything that has the potential to prevent your business from failing is worth trying.
With that in mind if you are thinking of starting up or need some business advice, we have put together 20 characteristics found in some of the best business owners. From the big to the small, these tips should help stop your business from failure.
Be a good leader
To run a successful business, you need to be a good leader. Good business leaders are driven and hard working as well as being able to inspire and motivate their staff. You should be committed to succeeding in your business to be able to have any real business success. If you are not a good leader, your staff and customers will not follow you making it difficult to succeed.
As a business, you should be striving to create something new and different to really stand out in your market. Create something people have never seen before or put a little twist on an everyday item to give yourself a unique edge in the marketplace.
- Don’t settle for second best or what you already have
Many business owners may tell you that although they have achieved a lot, it is still not good enough for them. Always striving for more, gives you and your business something to focus on. Settling for what you have right now is not a bad thing if it is working for you, but for many they’re always looking for the next milestone.
Be in control
Like I mentioned earlier, to make your business successful you should be a good leader. That means taking control of your business and making the decisions on a day to day basis. They are not always going to be easy decisions but if you pass off responsibility to someone else, you are not truly in control of your own business.
Look after investments such as assets
Keep a close eye on the assets in your company. Especially if it is worth a lot of money like property and expensive machinery, however be aware machinery tends to depreciate in value over time. They can be sold off, if surplus, to make extra cash for your business. However, if they are required by the business, you can refinance them. Know how much assets are worth and look after them, you may end up reaping the rewards from these investments.
Plan for the future
As a business owner, you should always plan for the future and have a goal to aim towards. Always have something to focus on for the future as this will help you create strategies, keep you motivated and see the potential next stage of your business’ life.
But don’t neglect the present, especially if there are issues
Planning for the future is important, but don’t ignore what is happening right now. Keep track of what is happening in your business at this moment and if there are issues, then you should not be ignorant to them. Address them as and when they occur to stop them spiralling out of control.
Remember it is difficult to get your voice heard but keep trying
As a small business, it can be difficult to be seen and heard in a crowded marketplace. Don’t get disheartened; keep marketing your products/services and keep working on ideas. Building up a solid customer base is just as important as being a household name.
Employ great people
Employing skilled people for the job will benefit your business greatly to accomplish the goals you want to achieve. Find the best people and keep hold of them by rewarding them for their great work. As business leaders like Richard Branson say; look after your employees and they will look after you and the business.
Keep track of cash and get help as soon as you need it
You should always have an eye on the cash in your business. You may employ an accountant to do your tax return but you should make sure the numbers add up. Money issues should be dealt with as quickly as possible as tackling them early can help your business stay afloat.
Plan for bad times
It may not be something you want to think about, but there are always going to be bad times for your business. It may be a problem with your business or an external factor, such as a recession, but you should always be prepared. Having a plan in place will help you to act appropriately when the bad times do hit.
Have a good budget for marketers
Many may disagree but marketers are extremely valuable to businesses. If marketers don’t have the budget to create effective, innovative campaigns, they will always fall short of reaching and capturing audiences. Spending a little extra on the marketing budget can see you reap rewards for your business over the years.
Be visible and approachable
Be the kind of director people can see, this makes staff feel much more at ease and happier in their work. It can be difficult the bigger the company, but you should still visit the office(s). Make a point to talk to your staff and have a relationship with them. After all happy staff are productive staff.
Look after customers, especially loyal ones
Treat your customers as the important people they are with great customer service, vouchers to use on their next purchase etc. This sort of treatment really can make a difference. By looking after your customers, you are much more likely to keep hold of them. A little extra effort can become some great success for your business and never forget, they pay your wages!
Do your research
Research your market and your customer base, get to know what your competitors are doing, whether your product will be well received or not, who your customers are and what they will engage with. Knowing this information makes product development and marketing strategies all the more successful in the long run.
The internet is extremely important for all businesses these days. Engaging with customers through your website, a blog or social media will help you reach them easily as well as reaching new audiences you may not have had the chance to target before. This engagement shows you as personable and approachable to clients and customers too.
Listen to what your customers and employees are saying, it is always important to take feedback on board. If customers are not happy with products/services or employees are unhappy with their work, this should be addressed and dealt with as soon as possible for the benefit of all.
Don’t expect fame or fortune overnight
It may sound obvious, but you are not going to become the biggest brand name or the richest business owner in the world overnight. Building up a business takes time and hard work so make sure you celebrate the small successes and keep focussing on the bigger picture.
Be time efficient
Make sure you get the most out of every day and work as hard as you can to make projects happen. Some businesses put into place systems of best practice, whereas others are happy to let people work to how best suits them. As long as you are achieving results, your staff are happy and you’re paying the bills that should see you on the road to success.
Set up in a good location
If you are opening a shop, make sure you open in a good location, in a popular part of town to attract people to your store. Rents on main shopping thoroughfares are very expensive due to high footfall. As a result, many side streets off main shopping streets have become popular with small businesses. It is a cheaper rent which is more affordable but you have to work hard to attract customers through offers, special shopping days or having a great USP (Unique Selling Point).
There are many other things you can do and it is all down to individual preference of how you want to run your business. However, we hope the 20 tips above help you if you need some assistance with your business and how to run it.