What are the good habits that make a business successful?
What are the bad habits?
How do you eliminate bad habits and embrace the good ones?
Many of these may be obvious, but we all need constant reminders on what habits can make or break any business. The habits to follow are applicable to any kind of business whether big or small, online, retail, service, or any other.
While entrepreneurship is promising, a lot of start-ups and even established businesses fail along the way. Thus, it is good to step back regularly and evaluate the way business was done in the past in order to make the necessary adjustments, if any.
Here are some areas where business performance may be evaluated.
Businesses, no matter how informed, must always take risks. It’s a risk to start a business, a risk to add a product, a risk to improve a product, a risk to diversify. Business growth is impossible without taking risks. Of course, one can manage risks through using a well-developed business plan, but there are always going to be things beyond your control like natural disasters, crime, and economic downturns. Business owners need to have persistence to achieve significant results. Good planning will help to minimize these risks.
Planning and research
These are key components of any business. Having a set plan brings not only focus, but also ease in implementing your business strategy. It’s a guide not only for the owner, but for the employees. A plan allows your business to be pro-active by making use of up-to-date information vis-à-vis the business goals. It’s then easier to amend the short or long term plans in response to new trends or opportunities that may arise. Your plan helps you manage time as it provides a measure to evaluate whether the business is doing well. You should create both a short and a long-term plan to direct your company’s growth.
It’s true that a business owner has to take care of a myriad of functions. However, it’s counter-productive to try to do all sorts of things at the same time. Micro-managing your business takes away valuable time that may be used instead for big-ticket items such as strategizing or planning. The truth is, most people are not designed to multi-task. It’s more efficient to do one task at a time, while sufficiently dividing your time in a whole day to do a fair amount of work for every urgent task. The key is planning, which determines what tasks are urgent and significant compared to non-urgent and simple ones.
Furthermore, it’s always good to inspire employees, train them and then delegate tasks to them so that you can focus on keeping the company profitable and competitive instead. More heads are always better than just one. Assigning tasks to other employees empowers them by making them aware of the trust given to them by their boss. Moreover, not all decisions should be made by just one person. That’s not only a waste of time for the business-owner, but that set-up is also prone to delaying operational tasks.
Start-ups can sometimes over promise things and go too far out of their way for the customers. With proper research and planning, you can understand your business’ capabilities to know what to highlight and sell to the customers, without over-selling or over-delivering. You can market something and be convincing, but miserably fail when the customer buys a product or a service and discovers the description was embellished. Businesses must remain realistic in offering solutions appropriate and necessary to their chosen niche. Only promise what you can delivery.
Business owners invest not just money but their own tears, sweat, and blood into putting up a business. Nevertheless, your business is not the be-all and end-all. It’s good to give it a high level of priority but not to the extent of wasting away your health or family life. Happy people tend to be more productive. Stressing too much on the job may even lessen your efficiency, which is bad for the business and your health.
Data, data, data
We’re at an age where there’s a huge amount of information available. It’s every business owner’s responsibility to make use of available data to guide business decisions. Businesses are geared more towards being algorithmic; that is having a formulaic method of approaching the business with readily available data. Information is now more accessible and more affordable to process because of the numerous interconnections between businesses and consumers nowadays. Learn where to locate your data so you can harness the important feedback it gives you, and build your business around what it’s telling you.
Most businesses are now online and interconnected. At times, security is given a low priority and budget because the benefits are not as tangible as, say, a products’ new packaging. However, the benefits of data security should be seen in the light of cost savings in preventing very expensive data breaches, avoidance of damage to business reputation, and the trust gained from customers. In this Information Age, cybercriminals are likewise expanding operations and gaining more knowledge. It’s imperative for all businesses to focus on security.
What can we add to the list? Tell us in the comments.