8 habits of successful entrepreneurs
We all do it don’t we?
We look at those people or businesses who have ‘made it’ and we wonder what their secret is. We’ve all seen those ads claiming to be able to sell you some formula or other so that you too can be one of the successful ones, but the thing is, there really is no secret. There’s no special recipe when it comes to running a successful business. It’s a case of developing habits that over time, will help you to reach your goals faster and more efficiently. That’s it.
In this article, we’ll tell you what those habits are – completely free. We’re nice like that…
1) Set Daily Goals
Setting annual or even quarterly goals is all well and good, but there’s no urgency when you still have weeks, maybe months to achieve something. By setting yourself goals for each day, you’ll create momentum towards your larger business goals and ensure that your daily activities are focused towards achieving them.
Make sure your daily goals are specific. For example, your goal shouldn’t just be to ‘get more leads’ – how many more? Your daily goals should also be aligned with your overall business goals. It can be all too easy to become absorbed by an activity which feels productive but actually isn’t taking you any closer to your business objectives.
2) Review your Finances Regularly
A key factor in business success is doing your due diligence when it comes to your finances and being able to spot warning signs of getting into financial difficulties. A missed or late payment here or there may seem like nothing but can be an early indication of cash flow problems. By regularly reviewing your finances, you can spot these potential issues in plenty of time to take action.
A Business Credit Report is a great tool when it comes to monitoring other business’ financial stability. It allows you to assess If they’re a reliable business to work with and if they pose a potential risk to your business’ cash flow. Services like Experian’s Business Express, allow you to view another business’ report at any time to give you support in maintaining a healthy cash flow.
3) Review your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) daily
By setting daily goals, you stay focused on your business objectives and make sure you continue to move towards them. Reviewing your KPIs regularly ensures that the work you’re doing is having the desired affect and take appropriate action if it isn’t.
By regularly evaluating your performance so far, you are much better able to plan your future activities and to identify areas which may need improvement.
4) Plan ahead
As French writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupery wisely said, ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish’.
Setting goals gives you a clear vision of where you want to be and what you want to achieve, but in order to actually get there, you must have a plan!
Planning ahead allows you to identify any potential risks and to deal with them. It allows you to forecast your budget, your time and your resources.
Perhaps most importantly, planning ahead ensures that you stay focused on the activities that will take you towards your goals rather than those that are just distractions.
5) Schedule your time
Now, here is where a lot of people fall short. They set their goals. They even create a plan. BUT they forget to actually schedule in time to do it. Unless we pro-actively make time for those important activities which will take us closer to our goals, we end up spending all of our time in admin.
Your time should be split between those important admin activities which are necessary to run a business, those which are going to generate revenue and those which allow you to develop yourself and your business for the future. Each of these are important, but unless we specifically schedule that time in, it’s all too easy to spend it doing whatever catches our eye or attention at any particular moment.
6) Ask lots of questions
As a business owner, it can be easy to lose objectivity when it comes to your own business; it’s processes, its goals – even its purpose.
Getting into the habit of asking ‘why’ will allow you to view your business with fresh eyes and not to become complacent when it comes to questioning the way you do things and whether it is effective.
Being curious will encourage you to look at new ways of doing things so that your processes, your staff and your results don’t become stale.
7) Be consistent
Consistency is key! After all, isn’t that how we form all these other habits? By deciding to do something on a regular basis and then being consistent about it.
In a study by Cancer Research UK, they discovered that it takes 66 days to form a habit.(1) That is to say, it took this long on average for someone to reach a level of automaticity when performing a new task or behaviour. Automaticity comes with consistency.
Consistency matters to your customers too! Consistency of brand, of message and of service are all key in building strong customer relationships.
8) Never stop learning
This last habit can often be the one that gets pushed out. Why is it that so often, self-development isn’t seen as a priority? We get caught up in the day to day bustle of building our business and we don’t give time to build our own skills.
To quote Dr Seuss, ‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.’ To put it another way – what got you here, won’t get you there!
To continue to progress, you must continue to learn.