3 Keys to Building a Successful Business

Cindy GordonI’ve worked with a lot of small business owners over the year. I’ve seen businesses grow head over heels year after year and I’ve seen others struggle or completely fail. The statistics aren’t very encouraging. Only 4% of businesses survive past 10 years. I’ve wondered what makes one company thrive and another fail. Is it the industry? Is it the economy? Is it the level of risk the business owner is comfortable with? Yes – I believe these all play a factor; however, I believe the stronger factor is the level of buy-in an owner has for his or her business.

We don’t usually think of “buy-in” in terms of the business owners, but instead employees or investors. We know that every business owner has some level of buy-in. They have risked jobs, savings and personal time, but is that enough? I don’t think so.

Assess Your Buy-In

As I mentioned, there are certain traits that lead to different levels of buy-in. To assess your level of buy-in for your company, consider the following:

Are you completely to blame when your company does not achieve its goals?

Are you boldly telling people that your company provides the best service or product in your industry?

Do all your employees provide a minimum of 100% effort?

Do you give 200% effort and working evenly in and on your business?

Are you constantly learning new ways to work better and smarter in your company and be a more effective leader?

Do you regularly ask for customer feedback and refine your business model to improve?

Do you admit your weaknesses and hire specialists to help you in areas where you lack?

If you’ve quickly, confidently and honestly responded “yes” to these questions, then you have full buy-in to your business and your company is probably thriving because of it. If you had to think twice about any of your answers, then …. (you know where this is going).

The first question is a strong indicator. How many business owners do you know who are quick to blame others for the poor financial outcome of their business? They blame their employees; the economy, their competitors, but never themselves. The truth is, the outcome of your business is completely your responsibility. And that’s a heavy load to carry.

So, if you’re ready to admit you could be a bit more invested in your company, don’t worry – there’s hope for you. I know that you want your business to thrive and grow. You want to be known and revered in your industry – and you definitely want people to be calling you for business, instead of you having to chase them. So what’s your tipping point?

It’s not as hard as you might imagine. These three key elements will help you build a successful and sustainable business:

  • Don’t make the business about you. Think of your business as a separate entity from you. Market the products and services with confidence and pride. Tell people that you work for the greatest company in the world because you do. Many people aren’t comfortable tooting their own horn. They don’t want to come across egotistical or conceited. However, if you talk about your company as a separate entity, it’s easier to boast and rave about the amazing things it provides! (If you worked for an amazing company owned by someone else, raving about it would be easy. Why shouldn’t you do this for your own company. Don’t you believe it is the best?)
  • Know why you do your work. Simon Sinek’s powerful Ted Talk “Start with Why” is a fantastic way of looking at the meaningful reason for your business. Most people start a business because they believe in their concept – they have a deep belief that people need their service or product; They feel what they bring to the marketplace will help people in some fantastic way. As we build the business, we quickly get caught up in the day to day work. We lose touch with our “Why”. Ultimately it’s “Why” you are in your business that keeps you focused and driven.
  • Create accountability. One of the greatest challenges for small business owners is staying focused on the big picture. It’s so easy to get caught in the weeds of the daily business. This doesn’t help you get ahead! No one is going to call you out for not following through on your business plan or missing your goals. A strong accountability partner is the best resource to help you balance working in and on your business to guarantee your success. If you’re not held accountable, you’ll find lots of reasons why you are where you are (see how easy the blame game is?). This lackadaisical effort can snowball and turn you into one of the 96% that don’t make it.

Now I ask you – do these three steps feel like a stretch for you? Hopefully not. So, what are you going to doing next, what support do you need and how will I know? And that my friends, is accountability.

Cindy Gordon is the founder of Business Rescue Coaching (www.businessrescuecoaching.com) a coaching service boutique that provides a unique experience to small business owners who feel that they are not in control of their business. Cindy helps to build strong systems, processes and strategies that leads to higher profits, more cash in the bank and more autonomous employees. Her clients feel less stress while achieving more success. Contact Cindy at (602) 423-7670 or cindy@businessrescuecoaching.com.

Speak Your Mind

*