When one thinks about the most common traits business owners should have, many will include things such as focused, driven, confident, budget-minded, risk taker, etc. Though successful business owners posses many of these traits, three things come to mind that new or existing business owners tend to overlook.
Master these three things, and you will turn your small business into an efficient money-making machine:
1. Manage Time Effectively: One of the most overlooked resources in any business, whether large or small, is a business owner’s time. This becomes more relevant the smaller your business is since reduced staffing creates gaps the business owner must fill. Business owners who can effectively manage their time each day and see it for its true value tend to be the most successful amongst their peers. Unfortunately, what is usually seen in the small business environment is that owners tend to spend the vast majority of their time on administrative tasks such as bookkeeping, HR and employee management, scheduling and payroll, and constantly putting out fires rather than focusing their time on running and growing their business.
A couple years ago going through the same struggles, I learned some of my best time management tactics from Grant Cardone, a self-made multi-millionaire and sales expert. His most important lesson: Start each day with a battle plan and stick to it! What he means by this is that you need to get up each morning, plan out your day by blocking things out on your calendar, and stick to the plan. If it is not on the calendar, well, looks like it will have to take a spot on the next day. Also, if at all possible, schedule any administrative tasks or appointments before or after you business hours, that way any time during your 9-5 is focused solely on growing that revenue.
2. Desire for Continuous Education: Continuing our education provides us with new perspectives and ideas about our business, not to mention keeps us abreast of always evolving industry standards. As a business owner there is always something to learn, and just because you cannot become an expert on a specific topic doesn’t mean learning about it won’t be valuable for your business.
When it comes to continuing education, many feel that unless the education is given through a classroom, professional seminar, or thick textbook it might not be worth learning. Another excuse that small business owners will use is the lack of time. I once was a believer of these same excuses until I realized there was actually a segment of time that goes wasted each day and is filled either with nonsense or information that is not relevant to my business. Once I realized that I had more than an hour a day of “Grade A” airtime during my commute and between my sales calls, I decided to turn my car into a mobile learning machine.
My platform of choice for filling my commuting airwaves was Audible. Through their monthly subscription I knew I would get at least get one audiobook a month to listen to in my car rides, which was usually filled with relevant content that pertains to my specific business or my industry. There are also many great no-cost options, such as podcasts, with a wide variety of content options. However, I prefer Audible because I am not only able to preview the book and see reviews, but I can get content that pertains to a specific topic rather than whatever is on the podcaster’s agenda for the day.
3. Ability to Ask for Help: If there is one thing that will destroy a business faster than anything else it’s a small business owner refusing to ask for help when they need it. What I’m referring to here has nothing to do with staffing, but rather partnering with the right people to help solve challenges in your business and answer the questions that have been hindering you. Many of us will procrastinate until our problem becomes an emergency, refuse to admit that we have a problem, or fear that we are appearing weak. But in reality, asking for help means that you have determined a problem and are actively working to fix it. As a small business owner, this trait shows that you are more focused on helping your business rather than trying to do everything yourself. One thing that many small business owners don’t realize is that having someone to help you and guide you is not a bad thing.
In my research, one of the most common traits I’ve seen with successful business people is that they all had a mentor or coach to help answer questions, hold them accountable, and make suggestions about their business. This includes the top CEOs of the largest businesses coming across the ticker on CNBC. They all had to have someone to teach and guide them along their career path. Remember, if you want to be a millionaire, hang out with millionaires. If you want to grow your business to a certain level, find business owners who have reached the levels you dreamed of and ask them to coach and mentor you.
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