August 19, 2014 | Jennifer Goodwyn
No entrepreneur has ever achieved success without first developing a successful mindset. This mindset builds character, forms positive habits and can eventually help you create success. Success comes in many shapes and forms – for some it can mean running a successful start-up from the ground up, and for others it can mean making enough money to live comfortably and travel around the world. Regardless of what your own personal definition of ‘success' may be, here's a few of the most common traits most successful small business owners seem to have in common.
Love What You Do (& Take It Seriously!)
What you “get out” of your business in terms of satisfaction, financial gain, and enjoyment will be the sum of what you put into your business. If you don't enjoy what you're doing, it's safe to assume this will be reflected in the success of your business. In fact, most entrepreneurs would agree – if you don't enjoy what you're doing, chances are you won't succeed. Additionally, you can't expect to run a successful business if you don't truly believe in it. Many entrepreneurs work anywhere from 55-60 hours per week, which translates into 12+ hour days. If you don't truly love what you do, you won't want to put in the effort to turn your business into a success.
Manage Money Wisely
The lifeblood of any business endeavor is cash flow. You'll need cash to pay for inventory, office space or virtual office services, marketing and promotion, equipment repairs, employees, insurance, so on and so forth. All successful business owners must become wise money managers and ensure there's more money coming in than is going out. Although this isn't a skill many entrepreneurs go into business already having, managing money wisely is something that can be learned over time. If you're unsure about how to handle the finances of your business, consider hiring a CFO or having a professional financial planner on call at all times. In time, you should be able to understand the complexities of financial management more fully.
Get to Know Your Customers
One of the biggest edges a smaller business has over its larger competitors is the ability to offer personalized attention. Whether it's hi-tech backlash or enjoying attention to detail, customers are tired of dealing with automated answering services and feeling like just another number. The small business owner has the luxury of making things more personal – whether it's answering phone calls themselves, sending personalized thank-you cards, or taking the time to ask how a customer's day is going, personalized attention is much appreciated. In most cases, 80 percent of a company's business comes from repeat customers- so keep your customers happy and you'll give yourself a competitive edge.
Immerse Yourself in Technology
Although you should avoid getting overly caught up in the complexities of a hi-tech world, you should know how to take advantage of beneficial technologies. One of the most amazing aspects of the digital world is the fact that a two-person team operating from a home office can have a superior website, excellent customer service, and can create a façade of an extremely successful corporation with hundreds of employees and multiple offices. Whether it's using professional freelance networks or taking advantage of social media analytics software, technology was created to make your life easier.