Advertising
Advertising

Five Ways to Sprint to the Top in Business Before 2018

Five Ways to Sprint to the Top in Business Before 2018

It’s a new week and a new year, which means if you haven’t done so already now is the perfect time to plot the way forward, as a business owner. Here are a few strategies to implement to ensure that your business is where you want it to be by the end of 2017.

Take the time to analyze the field

If you have been in business for a while, always make sure to take the time to analyze new trends in the field. You never want to become set in your ways, no matter how successful you have been; new trends can threaten to overtake your business at any time.

As a business owner, you should continually keep your eye open for emerging products, methods, and businesses. You can examine these trends and incorporate them into your own business to stay up to date in a competitive field.

Advertising

Take particular note of up-and-coming businesses in your field. What types of products are these competitors offering? What new business models are they using? You can learn much from the competition. So, use this knowledge to incorporate products and methods that will keep your business up to date.

There’s more than one way to do it, by the way. For example, you could keep an eye on your competitors’ social media accounts, paying close attention to interactions between them and their customers. Or, you could go the old-school route and place an order with them to get a better idea of what their customers experience. Doing so can provide powerful insight into what separates you from the rest of the field.

Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks

Very few businesses succeed without taking active risks. Just the action of starting a business is a risky proposition given that the majority of businesses end in failure. To get ahead and to position your company as a competitor, you must establish original products or ideas that can help you stand out and attract clients.

Advertising

Since each new product or idea has the potential to end in failure, new ideas can be classified as risks. Each risk you take should be fully calculated and researched. You took your biggest risk, starting your business because you felt that your idea had a place in the market and would be successful. You performed research and laid out a business plan that you knew couldn’t fail. The same should go for any product(s) you launch or new methods you incorporate into your operation.

A practical way to take a calculated risk is to do what some call a beta launch, which is a limited pre-launch of your offerings. Often beta launches are introduced to smaller segments of your audience. The purpose of a pre-release is to get feedback from your audience. Positive feedback could mean that you should proceed with a full-scale launch while lukewarm responses could tell you what to improve upon before launching.

Practice effective time management

Proper time management is the ultimate tool for getting ahead. If you spend too much time on matters other than moving your business forward, then this is time wasted. Of course, there will always be day-to-day tasks that come with the territory of being a business owner; many of these items are not specifically related to business growth.

Advertising

You still need to make sure to dedicate the necessary time to growth.To make this easier for you, delegate some aspects to your staff or make sure to schedule in enough time to deal with important matters.

Getting too bogged down in the mundane will cause you to lose sight of what you should truly be doing, which is focusing on growth.

A practical way to focus on growth would be to plan weekly strategy sessions to ensure everyone is on the same page; this can energize your staff by keeping them focused and making them feel a part of the team.

Advertising

Set concrete goals and plans to reach them

What are the specific goals that need to be reached for your business to be considered a success? Mapping out your plans early on gives you a blueprint that you can consult at any time going forward to see how well you are progressing toward your goals throughout the year.

Want to put this strategy into action? Take some time to sit and devise a set of concrete goals that you’d like to accomplish in 2017. For each that you come up with, you can also outline a series of subtasks that will help you achieve your larger objectives.

Armed with these strategies, you’re ready to put your plans in motion. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go out and conquer 2017!

Featured photo credit: www.unsplash.com via unsplash.com

More by this author

Why should Small Business Owners shift to Cloud-Based Accounting Software? New Girl Has Broken Sitcom Stereotypes How American TV Show New Girl Has Broken Sitcom Stereotypes Startup's first office space 6 critical considerations for your startup’s first office space Are you a Boss or a Leader? Are You A Boss Or A Leader? And One Is Definitely Better Than The Other Five Ways to Sprint to the Top in Business Before 2018

Trending in Entrepreneur

1 Feel like Giving Up? 16 Way to Help Entrepreneurs Stay Motivated 2 15 Stellar Startup Business Ideas for the Burgeoning Entrepreneur 3 How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur (15 Powerful Actions to Take Today) 4 8 Life-Changing Skills You Can Learn in Less Than 6 Months 5 10 Websites To Learn Something New In 30 Minutes A Day

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

Advertising

2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

Advertising

After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

Advertising

As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

Advertising

8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next