As business owners, we feel like we’re learning new things every day. We’re committed to seeing our business succeed and so that has meant we’ve had to create some must-have habits in our lives.
We’ve stopped viewing networking as a chance to meet influential people or sales leads. At least…exclusively. Instead, we work hard to create a network of people who benefit from their relationships with us. We try to connect with people that we can learn something from. Because of that, we don’t worry about going to networking events so much as living our lives as representatives of our business. Whether tending bar or out on the golf course, we know that beneficial relationships often start in unconventional places. So when we meet people, we aren’t so much worried about what’s in it for us, but what’s in it for everyone.
Keep Yourself Practical
It’s easy to get caught up with one particular aspect of your company…especially depending on your personality. Some people just want to sell their product or idea. Others just want to spend money. Some just want to make it. But the best thing you can do as a business owner is not lose sight of the practical things in your business that keep you connected with its operation. Whether it’s continuing on the production floor in some capacity even though you’re much more into spreadsheets or going on a sales call when you’d rather stay behind the scenes, keeping your fingers on the pulse of your company often starts with staying connected to the practical functions in your business.
Care About the Details
Many mistakes in business happen because of oversights and bad habits. Sometimes it’s as simple as forgetting to enter an order number or an invoice total. Sometimes it’s as complicated as an IRS-type issue. The more you can go overboard in your attention to detail and your documentation of details and expenses, the more insulated you’ll be from careless errors. We actively engage our tax professionals with questions. We carefully document every expense. We use software and tools to help us be organized and detailed. We do everything possible to keep everything in the light. It helps our systems work better so that we can work better.
If you own your own business or if you plan to start one on the side, it takes more than a good idea. It takes relationships, tenacity, a strategic perspective and a practical work ethic. It takes a willingness to learn as you go and an ability to adapt along the way. The point is that if you’re building something, you’re going to be stretched, challenged, or surprised at some point. And if you’re going to succeed in what you’re building, you’re going to need to be a student again, to learn what you need to learn when those challenges or surprises come.