Over the years, we have worked with thousands of New Zealand small business owners. As we get to know them, we have noticed trends for what successful business owners consistently do well and wanted to put this cheat sheet together for you.
1. They own their niche
A successful business doesn’t try to serve everyone. They design their niche and live and breathe it. If you become clear about what your niche is, the market place will be clear about it too and your ideal clients will find you more easily.
2. They capitalise on their strengths
Instead of trying to be a Jack of all trades, successful business owners identify their strengths and focus on those and outsource what they aren’t so good at.
Maybe your forte is sales or accounting, take the lead in those areas and put others in place for the areas you are weaker at.
3. They rely on others
In tandem with the previous point, strong business owners empower people to use their strengths. No one person can do it all, and a good leader isn’t threatened by others being strong. Letting others use their strengths makes your business even more powerful.
4. They measure twice, cut once
Planning, preparation, measuring and refining processes along the way allows for pivots and refinement where necessary.
5. They have a working understanding of all aspects of their business
Successful business owners don’t wait til EOFY to find out how their business performed financially, they know the key metrics year round. They are across what marketing initiatives are in place. They know what their competitors are doing. It’s important to deliver your energy where your strengths lie, but equally important, you need to understand the different facets of your business to be able to take prompt, informed action when changes need to be made.
6. They plan and prepare
Successful business owners don’t wait for luck to happen to them, they have solid road maps to where the lucky path lies. They have clear forecasts, plans and policies for how the business is going to perform, and measure and adapt in order to stay in line with the plan.
7. They lean toward new information
Successful people aren’t afraid of new information. They seek it out. Being informed means being able to make smarter decisions.
8. They surround themselves with the right people
Successful business people surround themselves with people who lift them up. Being self employed takes a certain level of resilience. It’s a whole lot easier if your peers are those who have done it themselves or those who are doing it currently. People who haven’t walked in your shoes find it much harder to relate and offer tangible emotional support.
9. Their drive is about more than money
Don’t get us wrong, a profitable company is an important component, but that’s not what keeps you going when it gets tough. Successful people get out of bed in the morning with purpose. They enjoy the work they do. They are passionate about the product or service and this keeps them dedicated during the challenges.
10. They ask for feedback
It’s not possible to see yourself from every angle. Successful people ask for feedback and use it to their advantage where applicable.
11. They aim for quality interpersonal relationships
One of my favourite sayings is “People do business with people, not business”. Show up authentically wherever you go. Let people get to know you and it will allow them to show you who they are too. Those relationships will lead to success, both personally and in business.
12. They build a team of trusted advisers
Successful business owners know the value of building a quality team of advisers they can call on for trusted advice. This will include people like your accountant, lawyer, business loan broker, personal trainer and so on. Each one of these people is invested in your success and wellbeing and their value can’t be overlooked.
We would love to know what you would add to the list!