by Nicola Tapson, December 4, 2017
As we approach 2018, small businesses everywhere need to take stock of the year and make final plans for the new year.
At this time, it is always good to revisit your business and adopt some key tips, strategies or reminders for the year ahead:
Don’t be afraid to make big mistakes
The best things that happen in a business most often happen on the heels of failure. Don’t be afraid to fail; it’s proof that you are meant to be a successful entrepreneur. The only difference between people who are hugely successful and those who aren’t is the time it takes them to get back up after being knocked down.
Little companies always move faster
The big guy may have the corner on money but the little guy usually has the corner on creativity. Take some time to sit down and figure out how your big rival is promoting their brand and plan something smarter and more creative for yours.
Take full advantage of all the free social media out there
Before you go out and blow money on advertising, capitalise on the free online access that leads you directly to your customers. Blog, tweet with humour, and make as many friends as you can on Facebook. You can quickly build a huge following of customers willing to try your new product without spending anything on advertising.
Choose only really good people
Make sure you pick good people to build your business with, as they’ll determine 80% of your success. The best people are honest and have lots of enthusiasm. Don’t worry too much about their level of experience when you’re interviewing, as the right attitude always delivers much more than just experience.
Focus on what’s already working for you and do more of it
When you look for ways to expand your business, the real pot of gold is usually the same stuff that’s already proven successful. So, before you move on to the next exciting project or a new strategy, slow down. Do a lot more of what’s already working and then do the new stuff.
Never stop networking
Never stop pushing, never stop networking. Keep looking for business or providing the best service. It’s hard to always believe, but as a self-employed person, you simply have no choice. Never stop.
Stop putting it off
Procrastination is the enemy of success. The time you waste on stalling breeds guilt, and guilt deflates energy and sometimes even leads to depression. When you feel stuck and can’t seem to move ahead, always remember that you don’t have to get it right, you must just get it going.
Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. Instead of seeking the impossible, efficient decision makers tend to leap without all the answers and trust that they’ll be able to build their wings on the way down.
Make sure you know what not to do
Everyone should have their own ‘Not to Do’ list. I sit down regularly and make a list of all the things I have spent time on that have amounted to nothing. It’s smart to post your ‘Not to Do’ list where you’re bound to see it so you’re reminded to do more productive things that give a better return on the time you spend at work.
Shoot the dogs early
If you spot a complainer and if you have the authority to do it, fire them right away. Complainers are like thieves, robbing you and your company of its good energy. Your whole team’s outlook will shine brighter once you’re rid of them.
Don’t do it alone
You need a support system when building a business. There are organisations such as the NSBC who can help with advice and inspiration, as well as quality networking opportunities. When you’re starting a business, experienced guidance is the best support system of all.
Challenge the status quo, get out of your comfort zone, do things differently and stretch your abilities. Stretching your abilities will make you great.
- This article was originally posted on nsbc.org.za