These 10 action points to grow your business have been taken from an article by James Altucher. Many are valid through all stages of business. From start-up to maturity.
Write down your goals and deadlines
It may seem obvious, but studies have shown that the power of writing down your goals and dreams means you’ll be 42% more likely to achieve them.
Simply by writing them down on a regular basis.
Stay abreast of industry trends
The world is constantly changing, so it’s important to make sure you’re keeping your competitive edge. Subscribe to newsletters and reports on your industry. Join online communities or mastermind groups. Follow and connect with the industry influencers.
Watch your competition
Another way to stay abreast of what’s happening in your industry is by watching your competitors. What are they doing better than you? What are they doing poorly? And how can you use this information to improve your own services?
If you can afford to hire employees or contractors to delegate tasks, great! But not everyone can do that.
Tools and systems
Wherever possible utilize tools and build systems to streamline your processes so that you can focus on what you love. Can you implement an online bookkeeping system? Could your sales funnel be better optimized to bring in new clients?
Be responsive and embrace change
Most new businesses don’t succeed.
If you want to be one of the successful ones you’ve got to be open to new ideas and feedback. This is truer than ever in today’s economy, where we have no idea what the future holds. For instance, if you had a small business in hospitality or tourism, you’re probably feeling some hurt right now.
How can you adapt your business to meet the changing circumstances?
Consider the downside risk
Humans are afraid of risk. It’s in our DNA to fear the unknown. But starting a business is inherently risky. You have to be willing to take on a degree of uncertainty… but you don’t want to take on unnecessary risk. For every decision, consider whether the rewards outweigh the risk… and the likelihood of it paying off.
A lot of people are afraid to commit to their decisions out of fear they’ll be wrong. Entrepreneurs don’t have that luxury. You have to be able make decisions to move your business forward. And yes, you might make one that turns out to be the wrong one. But even if it doesn’t turn out as expected, every mistake provides an opportunity to learn and grow — so don’t let the fear hold you back.
Learn to handle failure and rejection
Everybody fails at some point. Or is rejected. It’s almost a certainty. Some people won’t like your business… some people won’t need your services… and some people will just hate you for no reason. As an entrepreneur, you need to be able to develop tough skin. It could take 1,000 rejections to get to a single “yes.”
But the “yes” is what’s important.
Try not to take it personally. Consider where you can improve next time — or, if you’re comfortable enough to do so — you could even ask for some constructive feedback. And remember: rejection isn’t always permanent. Maintaining positive relationships, even in the face of failure, can go a long way.
Hone your people skills
Having a great business idea doesn’t make an entrepreneur. Many skills are involved in creating a successful business — and one of the most important ones is being able to talk to people. Clients, employees, investors, partners… these relationships are what build a business.
A lot of people THINK they have great people skills, but I challenge you to consider how you could improve yours, like:
- Less talking, more listening
- Asking questions about / showing interest in the other person
- Using positive, friendly language — both verbal and nonverbal
- The basic skill of comfortable small talk
- Learning to communicate your points clearly and effectively
- Consider how other people might perceive your words / actions differently than you intended.
Running a business is tough at all times but applying these simple action points will certainly increase your chance of success.