Last week was National Small Business Week. Regardless of what you sell and how your company is structure, we have learned over the years that are common traits that all successful business owners possess.
1. Build Good Support Teams. Successful business owners have built two support teams to help them to continue to allow their business to be a success. One team is the employees the business owner has assembled to help the business owner operate their business. While it can be hard to assemble this team, successful business owners have found employees that care about the business and are actively trying to help the business succeed. The other team is the team of various experts that help to guide the business owners in other areas of their business that the business owner may not have knowledge or expertise in. These individuals are attorneys, accountants, business coaches, financial representatives, insurance providers, and banking institutions. These experts are trusted partners who want for business owners to succeed, serve as a reliable sounding board, and provide peace of mind to the business owner so they can concentrate on what they know best, the goods and/or services they provide.
2. Pivot. While it seems like a broken record to continue to bring up COVID 19, it has taught us some lessons, especially to business owners. Pivoting is one of those lessons. There will always be something throws a “wrench” in how a business owner has normally operated. Business owners that can change how they do business, like some restaurants offering to-go or delivery when they have not in the past or a business moving their operations to an online platform instead of in person, are more likely to succeed. In In some cases, this even means changing the type of goods or services that a business owner is offering.
3. Spend Money to Make Money. A successful business owner recognizes that success usually does not come “overnight” and it takes time and money for a business to grow. Especially when starting out, money must be spent to get systems and processes in place and establish inventory and tools for the business owner to provide their actual services or goods. As a business grows, money goes into a marketing budget, upgraded systems and processes, new technology and maybe even different facilities. A successful business owner is not afraid to spend the funds to help grow their business.
4. Continually Educate Themselves. Although many celebrate the end of school, it is important that a business owner never stops learning and finding better ways to make improvements to the overall operation of their business and themselves as leaders. This can be accomplished by taking various business classes, by relying on advice from others, or by providing opportunities for their employees to learn and grow.
5. Spend Time Networking. An early lesson for business owners is that it's not just about providing a quality service or product, it's who you know. The more trusted connections a business owner develops, the higher chance of more quality clients/customers and the more likelihood that those clients/consumers will serve as referral sources and repeat customers.
6. Ensure Their Legal House is in Order. While hiring an attorney can appear to be a daunting task, successful business owners recognize how essential it is to have their “legal house” in order. This means that the business has properly formed into an LLC, corporation or a partnership and that all their relationships with vendors/suppliers/clients/customers are governed by some sort of written document. This also means that the business owner is regularly having conversations with their trusted counsel regarding any major decisions related to the business or a decision that presents a certain amount of risk. While this can be an initial costly investment, individuals who take this step recognize the value of spending a little bit more money now for peace of mind and reduced risk of having costly legal issues in the future.
7. Organize Their Financial Affairs. A successful business owner recognizes the significance of having their financial affairs in order. “Financial affairs” can mean a variety of different things depending on the nature of each business but for the most part, this means that a business owner has taken the time to properly develop a budget for the business, has retained either a bookkeeper or bookkeeping software to help manage the day-to-day expenses and profits that the business receives and has retained an accountant to help manage the business’ taxes and take advantage of the various tax benefits. This provides the ever-needed peace of mind so a business owner can concentrate on doing what they do best - operating their business.
8. Protect Their Brand. A brand is the result of the hard work of a business owner to develop the goodwill that has become associated with their products or services. A successful business owner recognizes the amount of work that went into creating a brand and takes steps to protect it by filing for a trademark registration or copyright registration and pursuing those who try and profit of the brand or disparage the brand in some way.
9. Recognize Burn Out and Take a Break. Burn out may seem like an excuse individuals use to avoid going to work but as most people realized during COVID, burn out is not an excuse and can be debilitating enough to cause serious harm to the individual suffering from it. It can cause a business owner to lose their passion for the business they have started, so it is important for a business owner to recognize the signs of burnout and take steps to avoid it.
10. Have the Ability to Step Away from Their Business. A true sign of a successful business is when a business owner can step away from the business without the business stopping operations. A good business owner should be to take their business to a point in which they can confidently take some time away from the business and not suffer financially for taking that time away. This ability allows a business owner to take a necessary break and be rewarded for all the time and effort they have put into the business.
If you have questions regarding some of the traits of successful business owners or you need to get your legal house in order, we can help! Set up a time to speak with one of us today.