Small Business Virtues
It takes a certain breed to be an entrepreneur. The personality and behavioral traits associated with success are what I like to call “small business virtues”. They are not necessarily traits you have to possess, but they are something to strive for to make yourself and your business succeed.
The “Will-Do” Attitude
Attitude is a very important part of success. If you believe you can do something, then you probably will. It is not simply about attitude, though. In a business, you cannot just believe you can do something, you have to do it. The success of your company depends on your ability to implement a plan that leads to a completed project
Optimism is a double-edged sword, though. Too much can be just as detrimental as too little. Set realistic goals for your company and work to achieve them. It helps to arrange the goals in a step system where the short term goals lead into the long term. By doing so, you can build a strong foundation that leads to your future success.
A defining factor that can make or break a small business is management. Of course having a strong managerial staff is important, but I am referring to how you allocate your resources.
There are only 24 hours in a day, so a good business owner needs to have a good idea of how their time is being spent. Keep track of how long you spend each day performing certain tasks. From there, you can determine how to most effectively use your time on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Of course your schedule is going to vary depending on the situation, but try to allocate a sufficient amount of to get done what you need to. If one task is taking up too much time and other parts of your day are suffering for it, then enlist the help of a staff member to ease the burden.
An important part of managing your time is being able to realize what should take precedence. Don’t ignore any part of the business process, but distinguish between what needs to be done and what needs to be done now. If you can use your time efficiently to take care of the immediate issues in a timely manner, then you can shift your focus to the long term goals.
The other part of management is how you manage your money. If you don’t know where your money is going at all times, then it sure is not going into your pocket. A well-organized set of books is essential to business success. Keep close track of when you have payments coming in or going out. Write down the days when payments are to be made to your employees and suppliers, and also when you are going to be receiving payments from clients. This will help you to arrange your monthly calendar so you don’t find yourself in a pocket pinch near the end of the month.
Talk may be cheap, but it is going to cost you a whole lot more if you don’t know how to communicate properly. I don’t mean that you should just tell your clients and employees what they want to hear. They may not always like it, but it helps to be up front and honest with employees and clients. They will respect you more for it.
If you can address issues and concerns in a direct manner, then you have made the leap towards a productive working relationship. Communication is a two-way street, though. You have to be willing to listen if you want it to work. At the end of a project, whether or not you met the client’s expectations are going to determine if you get a repeat customer. Listen to what they want and give it to them to the best of your abilities.
The Want to Grow
If you are going to succeed in the future, you have to want to grow both your business and as a person. Being stagnant can be extremely detrimental to the success of your venture. Be aware of what can be done to improve and work towards it. This is not only healthy for your business, it is also healthy for your mentality. A good set of personal goals can be extremely helpful in keeping a positive attitude about your business. Like I said in the beginning, a good attitude can make all the difference in the world.