When you start a new business, the unknowns are great, but you’re excited for what the future holds. You’ve got the passion, but you must also have a comfort level with ambiguity, challenges, and uncertainty.
Despite those gloomy facts, a select number of small businesses do make it. And have great success. So what separates those companies from the rest? What do they do differently that boosts their organizations to success?
They have a well-defined vision
Every company leader must have vision. The idea for a company starts with a vision, along with dreams of what the business could become.
“This is a skill or gift that every company leader needs in order to cross the finish line,” Tanya Prive, leader at CoFounderLab.com, blogged on Forbes.com. “It will be the major force behind an entrepreneur’s success and will serve as a compass in tough times.”
Small business owners must have a vision for what the business will look like, but most importantly how to monetize the business idea before the first dollar is earned.
Getting things done is top priority
Successful business founders simply know how to get things done. They’re productive and efficiency is on the top of their list. The ability to do your work in a timely manner is vital to why your company reaches its goals and milestones.
It’s important that you set a date to launch and stick to it. Move at a faster pace than your competition. Do the hard work necessary to get tasks done right and done on time. Productive people know how to make the most of their time. Further, employing knowledgeable people in your industry also helps accelerate business. They can help troubleshoot when things go wrong and mistakes are made. Not to mention, they can quickly hone in on problem areas and improve your products or services as a result.
They master their budgets
Face it: money will always be a challenge, especially as the new business on the “block.”
In fact, nearly half of small business owners say making profits is a challenge (46 percent), while 39 percent add that generating revenue is a big hurdle to overcome, according to the State of Small Business Report.
Perhaps you have some capital from investors, a business loan, or have also made a little money along the way. Running a lean operation is a key to success. An efficient financial manager will have every angle covered, with a budget assigned. And, of course, unnecessary spending should be avoided.
Establish what is absolutely necessary to reach milestones within your budget. At any stage of your business, doing more with less is an important practice to adopt.
Networking is important to them
The old adage is true: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Networking is a key to small business and startup success.
“A founding team that knows powerful and influential people in the business is completely priceless and can open the doors to partnerships and to find angel investors in a New York minute,” Tanya Prive said.
To go a step further, Prive added that the best startup businesses have a CEO with incredible social skills. She says those CEOs are “able to work his or her way into any organization.” This skill can bring in influencers or experts that can support you in various aspects of business.
Conversely, within the business, need to be inspirational and make people want to follow them, especially since starting a business comes with a lot of uncertainties. New ventures potentially come with cuts in salary, no benefits, and long hours, to name a few sacrifices that may need made.
An obvious benefit of networking is referrals, with the promise of new business. And most of the time those referrals you get through networking are high-quality and even pre-qualified to fit your business.
Leaders keep high standards and push positivity
Discipline is the result of self-control and strong personal standards. If your leadership and employees aren’t disciplines, you will fail, even in the best economy. When you are self-disciplined, it will lead to positive work ethic, and work ethic leads to a more effective and efficient work environment. You need to set the example to get your team members aligned and working together to accomplish your goals.
They invest in the right processes and systems
You won’t have the capacity to process orders, pick/pack/ship, or even serve your customers with excellence without the right technology. The first system you need is inventory management. Your inventory is literally cash sitting on your shelves. Wouldn’t you want to track piles of cash? Then why don’t you track your inventory? When you don’t control your inventory, you will eventually experience the pain of over or understocking. Either one ends up with lost revenue through write-offs or unhappy customers who end up shopping elsewhere. The Profit’s Marcus Lemonis stated, “If you have inventory just sitting around for years, it’s just like burning money.”
According to the 2017 State of Small Business Report, 43 percent of SMBs use manual processes, like spreadsheets, to track inventory … or don’t track inventory at all. Don’t become a statistic because you were unwilling to invest in an important piece to your business operations.