7 Key Habits Of Successful Business Owners

Face it. Good habits are not just for nuns. As business owners, we wear a lot of hats, but in the process may lose sight of the very hat that can mean the difference between growing a business and having it wilt on the vine. So, try this “habit” on for size and see how it works for you.

Here are seven key steps you want to practice, starting immediately, to grow your business:

1. Broaden Your Vision

Ever see a horse with blinders on? Granted blinders are great for keeping the horse on course, but business owners wearing blinders are going to be blind-sided by things they didn’t anticipate happening. To broaden your vision:

  • Keep on top of new trends happening within your industry
  • Actively seek creative solutions to growing your business
  • Network with like-minded (and maybe even some non-like-minded) individuals and hear their ideas

2. Start Thinking Outside the Sox

Yeah, you read that right. If you’re like me, the phrase “Outside the box” has run its course, but outside the sox means thinking quickly on your feet. This doesn’t mean making rash decisions, but it does mean mastering some critical thinking skills. To do that: Don’t automatically follow convention. Look at problem areas from their roots (ask, “Where did the problem originate”) and attack the problem not the people connected with the problem.Don’t answer the questions, question the answers. This forces you to challenge things others might believe are “set in stone”. Recognize the painful realization that you may be biased, and work to weed out the dated, prejudicial ideas you may or members of your team may be carrying.

3. Strategize

Having sound systems and strategies in place are not desired, they’re a necessity. To develop effective systems: Determine what in your company can be automated and take the time to put those automated systems into place.Determine whether your training tools and manuals need a facelift. How can you make them more effective?Encourage your team to get on board with your vision and mission (which means revisiting both to make sure they are clear. Test and Measure everything. If you haven’t already, start somewhere to get a base number and build from there.

4. Decision, decision, decision

Recognize that one of the toughest roles you will have to play as business owner is being the decision maker, and that often once you make the decision, things fall into place.Recognize that all decision-making requires defining what the true challenge is and defining that so that everyone is on the same page with correcting it.Remember to balance your need to get to the results fast with quality and your team’s ability to reach that goal.

5. Remember WIIFT

Yes, “T” for them, not “M” for me. The “them” in this case is two-fold: your team AND your customers. To accomplish this: Be aware of your team members’ goals and what motivates them.Be keenly aware of what your customer wants and needs and why you are the best one to fulfill that want or need.Build trust and confidence both with your team and customer by being a good listener and a better leader. They may “think” for instance that they want one thing, when you know and are able to convince them they need something else. The key is to have a believable and valuable “why” connected to that other need.

6. Master “Edutainment”

You guessed right. Edutainment is the fusion of education and entertainment. To attain the balance of both: Read everything you can lay your eyes on. Yes, time is precious, so make sure what you read is relevant to what you need to learn.Encourage your team to learn as well.Remember that “fun” needs to be part of the package. If you’re dead tired, grumpy, angry, and if you see people abruptly turning and pretending they didn’t see you approach, chances are you’re taking yourself, your business, and perhaps even life too seriously.

Encourage your team to celebrate even small victories. Make the environment you work in pleasant and a place they want to go, rather than the place they dread going to. Growing a business to a successful enterprise is no easy task. Remember “shift” happens and be prepared to try something new if what you’re doing isn’t working. And don’t be afraid or think you’re a failure if you need to ask for help. That’s what business coaches do: help business owners build stronger, more successful enterprises.

7. Last, stay fit

Never before has it been more important to take care of yourself, eat foods that truly nourish your body and brain, exercise, even if it means doing leg lifts at your desk while you watch a webinar, and be sure to get plenty of sleep. I know, easier said than done, right? But by putting proper systems in place, you can spend your waking hours working on rather than in your business, buying you time to do other things…like sleep.

Take a business health assessment to determine where you stand, and by all means recognize that you’re not alone. Not only are there thousands of other business owners out there in the same boat, but there are people out there that can help. Developing positive traits can mean the difference between being an employee in your own business and being a financially independent, successful, contributing entrepreneur.

Bottom line: Be the company you’d want to do business with. It’s that simple.