Starting your own business is a thrilling time. It can also be terrifying. You have all the excitement of a new enterprise. All the optimism and the possibilities. But you also have all the challenges and Things That Could Go Wrong.
There are few things anyone can do – in any industry or any business – that can help keep the optimism high while reducing the potential for things to go south.
Never stop challenging yourself.
Complacency is the enemy of sustainable success. When you stop challenging yourself and get comfortable as a business owner, that’s when the competition can come up and pass you. Learn new things. Try new things. Never stop challenging what you believe or pushing your limits. Wake up every day ready to do something that scares you a little.
Don’t just talk about it, do it.
Everyone has advice, and everyone has an opinion. You know who has success? People who actually do things. Whether it’s a business idea you never launched, a book you never finished or a risk you keep talking about but have yet to take, just do it. This is more than a sneaker slogan; it’s a mindset that contributes to the difference between success and failure for every business owner.
Don’t hire workers, hire team members.
You don’t just want people to sit at a desk or turn a wrench. You need people who are ready to be part of a team chasing a specific vision. People with strong character, who you can trust to help you achieve your vision together…because you can’t do it all on your own … but it’s a lot harder with the wrong people getting in the way.
Understand what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for.
It’s not enough to “love what you do.” You need to truly understand your customer – what they want, why they want it, and what they are willing to do to get it. Answer all these questions accurately, then never stop asking them … because your customers and their answers to these questions are bound to change.
Listen to the good and the bad.
Don’t dismiss customer complaints out of hand. Listen to them and think about what they’re really saying. What can you improve based on their feedback? If you listen to those comments without taking them personally, you can hear the issue with the systems, and fix gaps in your programs you may be too close to see.
Which of these steps have you applied in your business? Are there any not on the list you would add?
David Milberg is an experienced credit analyst in NYC. He is a long-time owner of Milberg Factors, a factoring and finance company with locations in New York, California, and North Carolina.