7 Fundamental Principles of Small Business Success

  1. Learning New Tricks – As a small business owner, you wear many hats. The emergence of the internet as a major platform for all types of interactions has changed the way that our society does business—at a rapid pace, which continues to accelerate. It is challenging to keep up, even with a big team of workers. It is not possible for a small business owner to know everything. So, commit to learning new skills and updating old ones as much as possible. Utilizing the offers online for both free and paid business courses is a boon that small businesses often ignore to their detriment.

  2. No Man Is An Island – Failure to delegate is the reason many small businesses cannot grow past the 'mom and pop' stage. In most instances, the owner refuses to relinquish control of any aspect of the business. This is especially true when he/she started out solo. But, every owner who plans to grow must practice delegating responsibilities to others. For new owners of small business, a lack of experience in hiring, training, and managing others leads to a consequent lack of confidence in those hired. A successful business requires an ability to identify, hire, and trust qualified professionals to do their work better than you can.

  3. The Buck Stops With You – For the small business owner, all roads lead back to you. You are responsible for the business's successes and failures, and almost all problems are your fault! Taking responsibility does not mean you are a failure; neither does it mean that you should give up. When something does not work, you have the chance to do it again and avoid the missteps of the previous attempt. Blaming others means that you lack maturity to take responsibility. This is a poor display of good leadership qualities. Ultimately, you are the captain of the ship.

  4. Make Your Presence Known – Marketing is the life force of your business. It is all about reaching your customers where they are and alerting them to your products and services as well as your company’s character, culture, and mission. Without clients, you have no business; they are essential to your survival and success.

  5. Reputation is Everything – A disciplined and consistent approach to the way you run your business, and the quality service and products offered is fundamental to building customer confidence. Cutting corners; allowing challenges to affect attitude; or hiking prices to compensate for low or slow turnover will impact long-term viability and longevity of the company. Most importantly, it will lead to a decline or total loss of customer confidence in company and customer service. Just as word of mouth can increase output/outcomes, it can do the reverse and undermine your bottom line.

  6. Follow the Money – It is important to understand the company’s finance and closely monitor where and how money is being spent. The devil is in the detail; so, only having a vague or broad overview is not efficient—especially when your business is new or growth has slowed. The majority of businesses fail due to financial challenges. Understanding and monitoring income and expenditure is key to preemptive and pro-active money management.

  7. Balance Work and Family Life – It is extremely difficult to have an acceptable balance when you are just starting your business. In fact, a year or two later you may still be devoting every spare moment to growing the enterprise. Make sure that your significant others are fully aware and in agreement with the start-up and development of the business. There will be inevitable sacrifices, both personal and familial. Try to schedule quality time and be present in the moment with family and friends. Quality will win over quantity in this case. As soon as you are able, return to spending sensible time with your loved ones.

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