Today, I’d like to share with you my top ten business tips for business owners and entrepreneurs, and how you can ensure the success of your business from the get-go.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of businesses fail within their first year, and 50% fail within their fifth year. There is always a broad variety of reasons why this occurs, from poor planning to poor financial management and more.
Throughout the article, remember that the single most important thing is “feeling the fear, and doing it anyway” (As Susan Jeffers would put it).
Fear has killed more dreams than failure ever will. And interviews with elderly people have shown us that regret occurs more so because of the things we have NOT done as opposed to the things we HAVE done.
If anything, this should inspire you to take action, and manage a little risk. Doing so will pay dividends in the long run! Being a successful business owner is not easy, but I guarantee it is rewarding!
Ultimately, with the following 10 tips, you will be able to gain perspective on the nature of business, competition, and what success truly means! So, let’s dive into it.
Tip #1: Stick with your niche.
I know too many entrepreneurs and business owners who will try to reach a particular market only to give up on a particular niche, and then follow the same cycle over and over again. Trust me, I know what this looks like because I was one of them.
When I first started my business I wanted to be a coach for those who needed help, when I realized that I wasn’t reaching my goals, I switched to leadership consulting, When I failed to get a client, I switched to change management consulting.
Over and over again I would sway this way and that way and never actually succeed in any one thing I was trying. This is because my focus was not directed in any single area consistently.
To be a successful business owner, you need to learn to be more proactive than reactive. You can’t afford to switch your goals or your target market when things don’t work out. you need to learn how to MAKE them work out.
Tip #2: Get rid of distractions.
If there is one thing that disrupts a creative “zone” it is a meaningless distraction. The bad news is, meaningless distraction is ALL OVER the place nowadays.
Cell phones, television, calls, advertisements, and even people in some instances can be a great distraction to you and your work. Don’t fall into the trap of consuming these things. They are very dangerous when they become habitual.
Bruce Lee once said, “It is not the daily increase, but the daily decrease. Hack away the unessential.”
The key here is to focus on only those things which are going to help you reach your goals. And everything else that is going to hinder you must be kept aside and/or ignored while you are working.
Turn off the cell phone, get rid of your t.v., lock the door, whatever needs to happen to force you to focus should happen. It is far to easy to become distracted and thrown off course.
Tip #3: Take full accountability of failure.
Probably one of the most difficult keys to success is choosing beforehand to take full accountability for failure. By doing this, you inadvertently choose to be the sole factor behind your organization’s success, and in doing so, you likely take action on a scale that you normally wouldn’t.
This tip is all about providing you motivation. more specifically, a motivation not to fail. When things get difficult, and they inevitably will, are you going to fail and become comfortable blaming others, or take accountability and ensure you don’t fail to begin with?
Blame is all about victimhood, and a victimhood mindset is completely dangerous and self-debilitating. In victimhood, you become comfortable letting others control your life and actions and avoid taking the responsibility and power that you have to change.
Don’t be a victim. Decide that you are going to do everything in your power to succeed and make it happen!
Tip #4: Be Solution-Oriented.
We have all heard a boss or manager say something along the lines of “Don’t bring me problems, bring me SOLUTIONS!”.
Well, they might have had a point there. Don’t be a “problem” person. By consistently bringing up problems, you are focusing only on the negatives and will avoid focusing on the power you have to actually change the situation.
Solution-oriented people are those who can see a problem and, before talking about it, think of the potential solutions and resources they have to resolve the issue themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, it is always acceptable to ask for help if you need it, but you should always be searching for a solution and not focusing solely on the problems you have. Without searching for a solution, you become stuck in the habit of overwhelming yourself with issues as opposed to tackling problems with action.
You can do this with ideas too. Instead of thinking about how hard an idea will be to get off the ground, consider the value and solution your idea provides to others. Balance that with the difficulty or success parameters.
Tip #5: K.I.S.S
A famous acronym, K.I.S.S stands for “Keep it stupid simple.” or “Keep it simple, stupid.” Choose your favorite.
The point is, complexity is just a way to make the potential for failure higher. This is because there are just too many moving parts and too many things that have the potential to go wrong and harm your business.
Keeping it simple is all about streamlining processes, and making sure that there is clarity and understanding from you and your team. Billionaire Warren Buffett always says “If I don’t understand an industry, I don’t invest in it.”
The point he is trying to make is that, if you can’t justify or understand the moving parts of your business, you will have a hard time controlling and adapting them when need be.
You should understand the purpose and function of everything you and your business does, so if things must be adapted, you know exactly where to start and how to resolve issues.
Tip #6: Learn, Learn, LEARN.
Honestly, ask ANY successful entrepreneur and they will tell you the key to amazing growth and success is to constantly learn and adapt.
We’ve all seen the famous Tai Lopez advertisements where he says “You know what I love more than my Lamborghini? Knowledge.” And as corny as it sounds, he is probably right.
Knowledge is worth far more than anyone gives it credit for. With just a little bit of knowledge, and a bit of courage, you can make most of your dreams come true with few problems along the way.
There is a reason why the most successful entrepreneurs, business owners, and CEOs read an average of 52 books a year. It is this thirst for knowledge and improvement that gets them ahead in life and in their respective professions.
Learning doesn’t have to be as tedious as it sounds, it could be as simple as picking up a new book or talking to a person who is in the shoes that you WANT to be in.
Tip #7: Take some time each day for yourself.
Back when I was just a retail worker, I noticed a sign on the wall of the break-room that surprised me when I read it. The sign mentioned that taking breaks made a person overall MORE efficient (and got more done) than if they were to continue working straight through the day.
After a little independent research, I found that taking a moment to recharge and gain perspective over the minutiae of everyday tasks is a great way to focus on what matters most.
In the same way that you can’t see the forest through the trees, you can’t grab a hold of and maintain the purpose of the organization without stepping back from tedious operational duties on occasion.
Be sure to take just a little time, it could be as little as 30 minutes, to do nothing but think creatively and to yourself. Limit the distractions as we mentioned earlier.
After all, there is a reason that numerous benefits surrounding meditation have been studied and discovered by successful entrepreneurs across the globe.
Tip #8: Don’t multitask.
Despite what many may believe, multitasking is just a way for you to get LESS work done as well as sacrifice the quality of the work in the first place.
By multitasking, you are splitting your mental, and often physical, capacity into at least two separate directions. By doing so, you are limiting the ability for you to focus and optimize your performance for each one of those things.
Because you are splitting your focus, it actually takes longer to achieve both things due to the amount of time and effort required to break off of one and focus on another. Each time you multitask, you are actually giving into distraction in some form or another.
Focus on just one thing at a time, by doing this, you will not only limit the disruptions and increase focus, but you will also be able to give your full attention and mental fortitude towards that one thing that must be accomplished. Once it is, you can move on and accomplish much more!
Tip #9: Take advantage of the 80/20 rule.
The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, and the law of the relevant few, is a great way to decide how to invest your time wisely as an entrepreneur.
After a while, a growing business will require other people to take care of the remedial operational duties. This frees the entrepreneur up to pursue things that are worth the limited time that they have. It, therefore, goes to reason that they should focus on only the things that make the BIGGEST difference in terms of their success.
The 80/20 rule states that only 20% of the causes result in 80% of the effects. In other words, only 20% of the actions that you take as an entrepreneur will be directly responsible for 80% of your success.
This means you should continue focusing on only the narrow 20% margin of actions that make the biggest difference. This is the power of focus. If you can identify and make good use of that 20%, you can achieve much more and in much less time.
Tip #10: Promote Autonomy.
There is this bizarre, and often non-sensical, concept in business called micromanagement. The reason this is nonsensical is that micromanagement, quite literally, does NO GOOD FOR ANYBODY.
A micromanager is one who likes to have a hand in every cookie jar. The reasons this is non-beneficial are many. Here are just a few:
The issue with micromanagement:
1. Reduced trust among teams.
2. Multitasking reduces the quality AND quantity of output.
3. Less time to focus on the 20% that makes the difference.
4. Unsatisfactory work environment.
5, Unsatisfied employees.
6. Poor waste of training and management.
You see, with micromanagement, everyone loses.
What managers and entrepreneurs should really focus on is autonomy. That is to say, creating systems in place that DO NOT require your direct input or influence. What is the point of training employees when you are going to hold their hands the entire time anyway?
Promote autonomy and you will see a surge of employee satisfaction, performance, quality, AND FREE TIME. You can do this by providing good quality training and leaving your employees alone.
Overall, let’s see these 10 tips again so you can keep them fresh in your mind. Hopefully, they’ve been able to shed perspective on the nature of good business and entrepreneurship!
1. Stick with your niche.
2. Get rid of distractions.
3. Take full accountability.
4. Be solution-oriented.
6. Learn, Learn, LEARN.
7. Take some time for yourself each day.
8. Don’t Multitask.
9. Take advantage of the 80/20 rule.
10. Promote Autonomy.
Thanks for reading!
Work With Austin
-Austin Denison is a management consultant and coach from Southern California and founder/CEO of Denison Success Systems LLC. He is the author of The Essential Change Management Guidebook: Master The Art of Organizational Change as well as The Potential Dichotomy: The Philosophy of a Fulfilling Life.