Are you ready to start your own business? Or perhaps you already have one and are looking to take it to the next level. Regardless, you already know reaching your business goals will take time, effort and money. But what you may not know, is that there’s a set of skills that will ultimately have the greatest impact on your success. These skills are common among the world’s most successful business people. Those without these skills will likely have to work harder and in many cases, have their success decided more by luck and good fortune.
But not to worry. Even if you do not possess these skills, they can be self taught. And with a little bit of practice and commitment, you too can have the basic essential skills needed to have your business prosper.
A successful journey is defined by reaching your destination. In business this is called having goals, both long and short term. Not having goals can lead to complacency and stagnated growth. Creating a set of goals is easy. They can be based on anything you want – company growth, new product development, or just making money. Writing these goals down and keeping them in plain sight will motivate you, keep you focused and as a result you will naturally start making decisions that will help you reach them. The key is to keep them specific. Instead of having a goal to “increase sales”, make it read “have annual sales of one million dollars.”
Finding time to do everything often leads to nothing getting done. Understand that no one can work 24 hours a day. Some things will get done, some will get put off, and others will never get started. That’s life. What’s important is to categorize tasks by both time and importance. Unless you’re a paramedic, there’s a good chance timing is not as crucial as you think. Make lists of what needs to be done. Categorize tasks by importance and time needed to accomplish them. And be sure to place a daily cap on your working hours, otherwise you’ll be putting in 16 hour days everyday. If the number of tasks are becoming overwhelming, perhaps you need to read the next required skill.
The Ability To Let Go/Delegate
Business owners are notorious for doing everything themselves – sales, purchasing, marketing, book keeping. This is usually due to the fact that they don’t have the financial resources to have others do these things for them. For others, it’s simply because they are control freaks who believe no one can do as good a job as they can. The fact is that no one can specialize in everything. Almost every well known business owner has attributed their success to surrounding themselves with experts in their respective fields. Remember that Henry Ford did not really know that much about cars, and Steve Jobs was not a design engineer or programmer. Do not view outside resources as an expense, but as an investment.
Dealing With Rejection
Between you and me, we both know how great your products and services are. Any customer would be a fool to buy elsewhere, right? Regretfully not everyone will share our opinion. And for that reason you will face rejection. No matter what you’re selling there will be people who choose to buy from some where else, or not at all. The most successful business owners I know do not care. They are too busy working on the next deal. They don’t have time to deal with others who don’t understand or see the benefits of dealing with them. Believe me, I know how it feels to lose a contract to an inferior competitor. But to prevent yourself from becoming dejected and miserable, you have to come to terms with three important points: first, if the customer is only focused on price, is that a customer you really want? Second, just because they leave doesn’t mean they won’t be back. If your products and services are that good, and customers appreciate that, then they will eventually return. And third, there’s lots of other potential customers out there.
Now get out and grow that business!
Marc Gordon is a professional speaker and marketing consultant based in Toronto, Ontario. His firm, Fourword Marketing, specializes in helping businesses create a brand identity and developing effective marketing campaigns. Marc can be reached at (416) 238-7811 or visit www.marcgordon.ca