Some small business owners seem to have all the success? If luck is cast to one side as an influencer to their achievements, what are the key behaviours that make them take bigger strides than the rest of the pack?
Find out, as we list the nine key things successful small business owners do every day.
1. Don’t look at their emails first thing in the morning
If you get into work and the first thing you do is look at your emails, then you are instantly changing your priorities for the day – reacting to unexpected events and requests. Set a time to check your emails and stick to it. If it’s that urgent, people will ring you.
2. Have a lunch break
According to health provider BUPA, “UK companies are losing close to £50million a day in lost productivity as workers fail to take a lunch break”. We are currently running a campaign challenging people in the capital to take the #LiveYourLunchBreak challenge, asking Londoners to take note of the effect that having lunch every day has on their productivity and happiness.
Why not take the #LiveYourLunchBreak challenge yourself and tweet us @Flexioffices with your weekly updates on what you had for lunch, where you went to relax and how it improved your efficiency and mood.
As a small business owner, can you really afford to let your productivity slip?
3. Make at least one connection or reconnection with a prospective or current customer
It sounds a bit blunt, but there are thousands of companies like yours vying for the attention of a select group of customers interested in your service or product.
Don’t lose a customer’s loyalty once you’ve built it up and don’t get so caught up in the day to day running of your business that you lose sight of keeping current and prospective customers happy and engaged. Even if it’s a quick email, tweet, or phone call, making contact on a regular basis is well worth the investment.
4. Attend or arrange to attend a networking event
Network, network, network. You can have the greatest website and marketing initiatives in the world, but unless you get out there and get in front of business and customer communities, it’s going to take you a long time to build trust in your company and – crucially – in you. People buy people, so get out there and start schmoozing; besides, it breaks up the working week and can reinvigorate you in the process.
5. Find a business opportunity
Dependant on what your product or service is, there are some fantastic tender alert websites available, allowing you to find projects and contracts that you feel would be a perfect fit for your business. Yes, existing customers are just as important as new ones, but without new prospects a business can become stagnant.
Invest time in finding new business opportunities and bid for relevant contracts accordingly. Check out Oppex for an example of the tender sourcing websites mentioned above.
6. Learn a new skill or book in the time to stretch their capabilities and knowledge
We know it’s not feasible to attend a training course or conference every day, but successful small business owners are always on the lookout for the next big thing in their industry – that little bit of knowledge or thinking that could make the difference between winning and losing the race for a big contract.
If you can’t make it away from your desk, there are a host of online webinars and presentations to help you along the path to becoming an oracle your industry. Check out some TED talks or presentations on Slideshare today and see what you can learn.
7. Don’t multitask
According to a 2013 article on Time.com, multitasking is a weakness, not a strength.
In 2010, a study by neuroscientists at the French medical research agency Inserm showed that when people focus on two tasks simultaneously, each side of the brain tackles a different task.
This suggests a two-task limit on what the human brain can handle. Taking on more tasks increases the likelihood of errors, so Stanford researcher Clifford Nass suggests what he calls the 20-minute rule. Rather than switching tasks from minute to minute, dedicate a 20-minute chunk of time to a single task and then switch to the next one.
Successful small business owners don’t multitask; they prioritise and focus on one task at a time.
8. Face fear
As the great motivational speak Les Brown says: ““Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”
Successful small business owners look fear in the face every day.
There will be times when the finances don’t look like they’re going to get to the level you envisaged, or occasions where a big contract doesn't come to fruition.
Successful small business owners power through regardless, knowing that in the grand scheme of things, a “no” or a setback is just a bump in the road… it’s what makes business interesting for them.
9. Get social
There is a massive amount of opportunity for small business owners to build their personal brand on social media, building trust in their company and them as an individual in the process. Successful small business owners embrace social media and you should too.
Hootsuite is a great way to get started in managing your social media accounts, speeding up the community building process. You can also keep tabs of the conversation around your product, service and industry by setting up ‘streams’ in Hootsuite’s main dashboard.
Explore Hootsuite today and reap the rewards of being fully engaged in the social sphere.
There we have it, a whistle stop tour of the nine things successful small business owners do every day. Do you have any others to add to the list? Let us know by tweeting @Flexioffices on Twitter, we’d love to hear your views.