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How to run a successful business
How to run a successful business (my tips)
How many times have people said to you "it must be great to run your own business". Don't get me wrong it is but there are so many hats that us business owners need to wear from finance, marketing, sales, to name a few. It takes a lot of confidence to start a business but pure determination, motivation and courage to keep a business going. Most small businesses fold after xx years.
Below, I share my tips on how to be successful in business. However, I want to point out that success means different things to different people.
Love what you do
They say love what you do and you'll never a work in your day. Which I believe is sort of true. When I'm working with clients or helping members of Social Wonderland Society I am literally in my element. I can't believe that I call it work. Then there are the moving parts of the business that doesn't give me the same feeling. But knowing that I get to help business owners with their social media keeps me going. I never get that dreading Monday feeling on a Sunday night because I love what I do and trust me it helps a lot when I'm having a bad day and want to give it all up (yes, that happens to all of us).
We can't like every aspect of running a business or be good at everything and that's ok. As your business grows, I highly recommend that you outsource the things that you hate doing or just aren't good at.
Outsourcing doesn't cost a fortune. Virtual assistants (VAs) are budget friendly for pretty much everyone. It must more flexible than hiring a staff member. Think of the time you could save by outsourcing some of the tasks that you hate (include the procrastination time) someone else will enjoy doing and be able to complete the task for you in probably a lot less time. Allowing you to have more time to work on your business that will bring you in clients or sales.
You may think that networking is a little dated but I'm not just talking about in person networking events where you have to stand up and say your name and tell everyone about your business. You can network online, yes, online from the comfort from your sofa, home office or even in your pj's.
Facebook Groups, Instagram, Linkedin and Twitter chats are great for networking, building connections and contacts. You can network with fellow business owners or bloggers, those who are in the same niche or industry as you or even in the same city/town.
It's so important to create relationships with people when building a business and it's also great because you'll be able to recommend people to others.
Know what the big end goals is for your business and focus on how you are going to get there. Start with writing down why you started you business (having this will also help you when you are feeling unmotivated or uninspired). Then create a business mission.
You can avoid any bright shiny objects by having this focus on the fore front of your mind so I suggest having why you started your business and your business mission in your diary or planner or on your desk.
Possibly the most under rated strategy in business. People talk about having a business plan but in my opinion the most important thing in your business is having goals. Goals help you measure how far you have come, keep you on track and give you clarity.
Harvard Business school did a study on goal setting in 1979, analysing a graduating class.
Prior to graduation, it was determined that:
84% of the entire class had set no goals at all
13% of the class had set written goals but had no concrete plans
3% of the class had both written goals and concrete plans
Ten years later, the thirteen percent of the class that had set written goals but had not created plans, were making twice as much money as the Eighty-four percent of the class that had set no goals at all. However, the three percent of the class that had both written goals and a plan, were making ten times as much as the rest of the Ninety-seven percent of the class. I think these results speak for themselves of how powerful goal setting can be. Source: Wanderlust Worker.
Know your numbers
I don't mean social media followers, I mean how much is going in and out of your business.
Jo Simpson of JK Business Services says " If you go on the internet there are quite a few online businesses that tell you how much income they make and how they make that income. But they are only telling you half the story. The important figure is how much profit they make. Making 6 or 7 figures has very little meaning if it all then goes on expenses. Profit is what I recommend my clients focus on. While income targets are good to have, it is just as important to have a profit target you are working to." Find out more about the amazing services that Jo and her team offer here>>>
Every day is a school day when you run a business. Whether is a product based business, service based or a blog, things change on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Like software, social media, techniques, rules and regulation etc. If your a solopreneur there will be things you have to learn that are outside your zone of genius as well. There are a million (I'm not sure actually how many) business books out there all offering a view or opinion which are a great source of learning as well as courses, blogs and videos. On top of that there are self development where you can learn about yourself, which I love to do.
This really should go without saying but there are so many keyboard warriors and hateful people out there.
Please be kind to fellow business owners and bloggers. We are all entitled to our opinion and we won't agree with everyone. So if you have a different opinion to someone, please express it with kindness. There is no need to correct people spelling or grammar in a nasty way in public, message them privately instead to let them know. I've had someone leave a comment on my post, saying that she would never buy from me because I made a spelling mistake. I actually hadn't, they didn't realise it was the English UK way of spelling that word. But that comment hurt my feelings, it came out of nowhere. Thankfully, I run my own business so I choose who I work with and guess what, it doesn't involve people who leave shitty comments like that!!
Other ways to be kind to fellow business owners or bloggers is to leave a comment on their social media post or blog. Recommend them to others who are in need of their service. Cite people, ideas and organisations that have helped you, you have enjoyed working with or they have inspired your work. Good manners should extend into business.
Thumper (from Bambi) was told by his father "If you cannot say anything nice, then do not say anything at all."
Boundaries should be put into place from day one of setting up your business. By boundaries I mean what is ok and not ok for your clients or potential clients to do or not do.
Decide when you are going to answer email and phones calls. If you start answering calls at 9pm then customers will think it's ok to call you. The same goes for emails, if you answer emails straight away then customers will expect a reply straight away all the time.
So set your boundaries in your business. When are you happy to be contacted? When will you reply to emails? When must people pay for your products or service by?
You need a tough skin to be in business. There are people that will troll you, leave nasty comments and generally be unpleasant. There will be times when you think that you aren't good enough (that's totally normal to feel like that, we all do), times when you want to give up. You may have blocks about money, up-levelling, self belief, how you look, sound, your accent. You name it, these things pop up and I want you to know that it's normal. You can however, overcome all of this by working on your mindset. It's a bit more than having a positive outlook on life. It's a bit like a muscle, you will need to work on it everyday. There are many mindset resources, my favourite are: Dr Wayne Dyer, Gabby Bernstein, Denise Dufffield-Thomas and Abraham Hicks.
So those are my tips on running a successful business. I hope you found them helpful and are inspired to implement some of them into your business. I would love to know what tip was your favourite by leaving a comment below.
Hello, I'm Katie.
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I help take away the confusion and overwhelm when it comes to social media.
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