When it comes to measuring success, everyone has their own metrics. In business, however, high achievers possess the same characteristics. Creativity, flexibility, forward-thinking, self-motivation, organisational skills and a willingness to take risks are all essential for business owners. Here are some other traits you should seek to embody as you drive your business to greatness:
1. Know when to outsource to the experts
You might be a natural leader but it doesn’t mean you’re the best person for every job in your business. Successful business owners know when to step back and outsource services to the experts. For example, while a targeted investment in technology can boost the finance, marketing and customer service functions of your business, the last thing you need is to be distracted from what you do best because you’re caught up troubleshooting related IT issues. Outsourcing IT support to experts will allow you to focus on the ‘bigger picture’ business strategy while leaving you confident this function will be carried out properly.
2. Project a positive business image
Never underestimate the power of a positive business image. Your message and the image you project as a business owner– i.e. your personal brand – will play a vital role in the success of your business and should be reviewed on a regular basis. From your marketing materials and your attire to how others perceive you, including your trustworthiness, and the company you keep (e.g. employees, suppliers, associates) – everything needs to tie together.
3. Hire people who are better than you
Being successful isn’t about being the best at everything nor does it involve doing everything yourself. The wisest businesspeople resist the urge to take a hands-on approach with every facet of their business; instead, they surround themselves with – and delegate to – a team of complementary professionals whose strengths make up for their weaknesses and who they can learn from.
4. Exhibit a competitive spirit – without being obnoxious
To be competitive, you need to perfect the fine art of promoting your strengths without being obnoxious. Find a way to create a competitive advantage – a unique selling proposition that helps your business stand out from the pack – then let the world know about it. Self-promotion is a beneficial albeit underutilised marketing tool but be careful not to blow your own horn too much or you run the risk of scaring off potential customers.
5. Become an expert
Be seen as an expert in your field and as someone who keeps their finger on the pulse. In addition to reading business and marketing books, devour industry publications, newsletters and journals – and surround yourself with other like-minded experts. Furthermore, attend as many seminars, workshops and courses as you can to help build a rock-solid reputation. Maintaining an up-to-date and accurate blog on your website is a useful way to communicate to potential clients and other influencers that you are the go-to information source in your industry.
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