Running your own business is no doubt hard work. Most owner-managed businesses grow organically, based on expertise and valued products and services. As such, some have tremendous successes and others, unfortunately, have tremendous failures. Over the years, we’ve experienced both highs and lows; and we can confidently list off what plays a big role in a successful business.

1) Have a crystal clear vision and a written business plan. If you don’t have a clear vision of what your company is and where you want it to go, you can’t possibly meet your expectations. If you don’t get it, how will your potential clients? Know your business and your goals and then write it all down. Every successful business needs to start with a business plan because it’s a blueprint. It gives your company a cohesive focus, provides direction to your everyday activities and acts as a roadmap for growth. Your plan should set both short and long-term goals, and identify what your company needs to do to achieve those goals.

2) Believe in your business and in what you sell. If you don’t believe in the value of your product or service, why would your potential clients? A truly successful business owner grows his or her trade over time and creates a quality product or service through hard work and a firm understanding of the value they’re providing to their customers.

3) Always ask yourself ‘What will my clients think?’ Keep your customers top of mind and focus on their needs, not just your needs. Your business exists for your customers, so listening to what they have to say goes a long way in ensuring that you are giving them what they need.

4) Be a great marketer. Yes, you’ll grow through word of mouth, but a comprehensive marketing strategy means you’ll attract new customers and retain existing ones – both of which will help you grow faster and maintain your success.

5) Know when to delegate. Just because you can do everything yourself doesn’t mean you should. Outsourcing someone with expertise in areas like accounting, bookkeeping or marketing can save you hours of unnecessary work, allowing you to focus on your area of expertise – your business. It’s there that your efforts and input are truly important.

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