One article on business owners lists ten signs that you are not cut out for the job. Not being able to make decisions, not keeping your word and having money as the only motivation were among the ten. This may come as a surprise to many who think that being a good business person is about competitiveness and aggression in pursuit of the dollar.
Perhaps the most important trait of a business owner is to have a crystal clear vision of what their business is about. A friend once walked into a space advertised as a second-hand book shop to find the books were sorted by the colour of their spines. The owner couldn’t tell her if a particular book was on the shelves because she didn’t know what colour it was! After half an hour of searching, my friend found the book (white spine), but felt so irritated by the experience that she didn’t buy it. The real business of the shop turned out to be the café that was attached to it.
You need to know what your business is about and make sure you communicate that to your customers. Once you know what it is you are selling, here are some techniques to improve your success as a business owner.
1. Get the right cloud infrastructure in place
You can’t make the big decisions if you don’t take care of the small ones first. There’s no point taking a giant step by winning a contract with a department store in New York if you don’t have the basic communication network established to do the job, namely Skype, a fax machine and a cloud-based phone service to answer those 2am calls.
Two of these are internet based – but you can make it a clean sweep, giving yourself an efficiency boost in the process. Online faxing works by turning your PC into a fax machine. It does this by using email to fax, where you attach documents to emails then address them to a fax number. When receiving faxes from a fax machine, the fax converts into an email attachment at your end. You can even send large files over the internet at the touch of a button using this same technology.
2. Successful business owners like to exercise
It’s paradoxical that exercising – using up energy – actually makes you feel as if you have more energy. Studies show that engaging in light physical activity – walking, jogging, swimming – decreases fatigue by 65% and boosts energy levels. Exercise improves mental health too. A Dutch study found that staying active reduced the risk of developing a mood or anxiety disorder over a three-year period. Having more energy and the ability to think more positively are both pluses for business owners.
3. Making a wrong decision is better than procrastinating
Procrastination gives the impression that somebody either doesn’t know where they are heading, or are unsure of their ability to make the right decision. There are subtle differences between the two, but they both create an aura of uncertainty around your business. Not making a decision means other people might make it for you, and it’s better to make a wrong decision than to simply put it off indefinitely. The key to making a decision is to accept that you might make the wrong one. Just think of it this way – even if you make the wrong move, another decision will come up very soon and give you another chance to get it right!
The truth is, you need to be driven by a passion for your business and have a clear vision for it. If you have that, your enthusiasm will spill over to your customers, and they will become as inspired as you are.