As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for shaping your business success. Any habits that sabotage your success in your personal life can often carry over to your business. Becoming aware of these is the first step to success.
Here are seven success-boosting habits to double-check against your own.
1. Being able to say “No.”
Do you say “yes” to too many things that don’t serve your life purpose, help your family, or move your business forward? If so, you’re not alone. Saying “yes” in a weak moment when you feel like you can do it all can be a downfall for many entrepreneurs. It can also distract you from success if you are not working on the right things for you.
You may need to re-evaluate the value of your time and your priorities. Practice making smart decisions by having a structure and a higher purpose that helps you decide what you should and shouldn’t do with your time, money, and life. And if you tend to be one of those who says “yes” to everything, you may need to practice saying “no” in front of the mirror to break your habit.
2. Hiring fast and early.
The best time to hire is just before you need your new team member. It can be easy to put off hiring if you fill with dread when you think about large stacks of resumes and endless phone calls. Not hiring soon enough can cost your business in reduced service and sales. The smartest entrepreneurs stay ahead of the game in this area.
3. Strategizing proactively.
How much time do you spend in reactive mode versus proactive mode in your business? Reactive mode includes answering emails, fighting fires, serving clients, and managing employees. Proactive mode includes developing new products and services, creating and implementing your revenue plan, and training employees.
Sometimes we have to really push ourselves to look beyond the daily fires. One way to do that is to plan time every day for proactive activities and be ruthless about keeping that time slot on the calendar.
4. Setting tight scope and polite boundaries with customers.
Successful entrepreneurs set clear boundaries when it comes to delivering their products and services to customers. Especially in service companies, it’s not always clear to the client what’s included in a fixed fee contract unless it’s clearly spelled out.
If you are asked to do something that’s not included in the contract, you now have a choice. Do you give it away for free, or do you have a change order process where you can easily provide an estimate for that extra work?
5. Measuring results.
Only what can be measured can be improved, and smart entrepreneurs know this. Track — in real time, not a year later — what’s important to you. New customers, new leads, closed sales, revenue per day, sales per day, monthly net income, certain costs, profit margins, profit per customer, profit per job, and profit per location are just a few of the many metrics you can choose to track for your business.
Once you measure it, you can now set goals to improve it.
6. Curbing irrational spending.
Invest in things that will last, such as your own education, great systems, team training, and assets that you really need. Avoid spending on items that are used up quickly, such as elaborate entertainment expenses that don’t generate significant revenue, excessive utilities, and stopgap equipment.
This area can be a tough one to evaluate objectively because there can be emotion and attachment involved in the spending.
7. Maintaining focus.
Great entrepreneurs have clear focus. If you have too many projects going on at once, you end up delaying all of your project completion dates, and nothing gets finished. Ask yourself, what’s the most important thing I can do today? And work on that until it’s done. Then ask yourself the same question again, and wash, rinse, repeat your way to success.
Which of the seven habits are you best at? Celebrate your natural gifts while keeping an eye on the habits you need to work on. That will move you to the success you deserve.