If you’re like other business owners, you may find it difficult to keep up with everything your business needs. Before spreading yourself too thin, make sure you have a firm grasp on the centerpieces of how to run your own business. If you cover the basics, the rest will fall into place. I’ve been running my own business full-time for 11+ years. Here are a few things I’ve learned are the most important aspects of running a business.
Do have flawless ethics. For a moment, forget about the complications of how to run your own business. If you focus on ensuring all of your practices are rooted in good ethics, you’ll be set up for success in every aspect of your business.
Do identify those who will benefit from your services. Who is your audience? Maybe you remember this question from writing papers in school, and it’s a good question. By targeting your ideal client or audience, you can better conceptualize how to run your business.
Do highlight your specialties. Set your business apart from all the rest. Really think about how you are different, and how your products or services are truly one of a kind. If they’re not unique, maybe some rethinking can be done to make them unique.
Do pay attention to red flags. It can seem easier to ignore a big red flag, but by addressing any big issues that surface, you will be facing issues head-on so that they can be resolved and so that your business doesn’t accrue long-term problems that are harder to solve.
Do write everything down. This is a difficult lesson to learn that we’ve all experienced. If it’s not written down, it essentially doesn’t exist. Document things as they happen so you can refer back to the dates and times when something occurred that needs attention.
Do something every day. This is a great way to stay proactive instead of drifting into a reactive state. There are always things to do or improve, so make sure you do something every day toward the success of your business.
Do be willing to go with the flow and make adjustments as needed. If you want to know how to run your own business, this is one of the key lessons I’ve had to learn. You can’t always have everything figured out. Come up with a plan that is flexible and don’t be too upset when you need to veer off the path a bit.
Do own your mistakes. There’s no way to get around mistakes. The most practical way to fix things is to admit your mistake and plan on how to avoid making the same mistake in the future.
Don’t take anything personally. This can be hard to do when you’re passionate about your business, but if your feelings are hurt every time something goes wrong, it will be a long emotional journey. Be passionate, but try not to take things personally.
Don’t forget…it’s a marathon not a sprint. Build a solid foundation for your business, even if that means going a little slower. It’s tempting to want to compete with other businesses at a fast pace, but launching without a solid foundation could be detrimental.
Don’t keep clients/customers who are not a good fit. Be honest with yourself about this. If your clients are not a good fit for them or for you, let them go.
Don’t use pressure tactics. They’re skewed, and they don’t represent the type of business owner you want to be. By forming a solid and consistent work ethic in yourself, you set examples for others to follow.
Don’t bad-mouth competitors. It’s not worth the loss of relationship. Business owners need to communicate with other business owners to learn and grow. It’s how you run a successful business.
Don’t talk as much as you listen. This can be a hard skill to master, but listening comes first. Check in with yourself on how well you are listening before you begin to form your own response.
Keep these dos and don’ts in mind each day and keep yourself in check by reviewing them regularly. It’s a must for avoiding pitfalls and running your own business in a way that will lead to years of success.
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