Think about something positive you do during the course of any given day that would be considered habitual. Jogging
every morning before work? Checking in on a loved one with a phone call? You have established some good habits
throughout your life that enrich you in some way. Building a successful business requires good habits. How many on the
following list are part of your business protocol?
- 1. Set goals. This tip includes both short-term and long-term goals for your business. What can you do each day to achieve your short-term goal? What can be done each month to reach your long-term goal?
- 2. Define success. Success is measured differently by everyone, so take some time to reflect upon what is important enough that represents success to you. Your definition of success may change throughout your time as an entrepreneur, but having a concrete idea of what it actually is will keep you motivated and on task.
- 3. Prioritize. It can be tempting to try completing everything that needs to be done all at once. However, this is unrealistic. Owning a business requires stamina, and without pacing yourself, burnout is bound to happen. Prioritize your tasks and reassess your list regularly.
- 4. Organize. Disorganization can literally cost you money. If you need to bring order into your office, do so immediately. If you are already sufficiently organized, establish habits that will encourage you to stay that way. Small business ownership is a sort of juggling act, one in which chaos and clutter have no place.
- 5. Personalize. One huge advantage small businesses have over corporate giants is customer relationships. Assess the relationships you have with your customers and the service you provide them. How can they be improved? What can you offer that goes above and beyond? Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and being a poster-child for exceptional customer service will benefit your business in a multitude of ways.
- 6. Identify the bad habits. The creation of good habits must replace the bad ones. Figure out what is ineffective for your business, and come up with a way to replace those things with good habits. Do you procrastinate when following up with customers? Replace this bad habit by dedicating a set window of time every day or week to exclusively contact your customers that need a follow-up. Before you know it, it will be second nature for you to stay on top of customer service.
- 7. Change one thing at a time. It takes time to make behavior habitual. Choose one element on which to focus, and perfect that first before moving on to the next. This will facilitate consistency and long-term maintenance of those good habits.
The Direct Selling Education Foundation engages and educates the public about how direct selling empowers individuals, supports communities and strengthens economies worldwide. The DSEF offers a free e-book “Business Owner’s Road Map to Success” with techniques for everything a small business owner needs to master. Visit dsef.org to learn more.