Here are 10 things you must know and do in order to make your business thrive:
1. Clearly state your purpose.
Write down what you intend to do and why you intend to do it. You want to build a thriving business in order to provide in abundance for yourself and your family. You intend to be a multimillionaire and have fun doing it. Whatever it is, write it down. Put it up on your wall and say it to yourself often. Make sure it’s really what you want. If you are wishy-washy and uncertain about it, this step will not have sufficient impact. You’ve really got to mean it.
2. Make the decision.
Stating the purpose is one thing. Making the decision to do it is quite another. But, you may argue, the purpose may be too far-fetched and far-flung: “Economic climates shift. There are so many factors that are beyond my control. In the future it may no longer be feasible.” But all those things, however sensible they may seem, all add up to not making the decision to do it. Believe me, your chances for doing it are next to zero if you didn’t make the decision. When you’ve really made the decision, you can be the unstoppable force that moves mountains.
3. Abundance is your only solution.
The “just enough to get by” mentality does not work. When you only plan and act for just enough, it is never enough. In order to thrive, to flourish and to prosper, you’ve got to expand your mindset into the realm of abundance. Be prepared to work twice as hard and twice as long. Whatever you set your sites on, double it. Whatever you’ve been expecting from yourself, double it, triple it. In business and in life, there are too many variables. The ground on which we stand is shaky enough as it is. You can only plan for multiple contingencies by thinking and operating on a much larger scale than you may be accustomed to. Expand your mind and your actions.
4. Promote. Promote. Promote.
“Promote” = “give publicity to (a product, organization, or venture) so as to increase sales or public awareness.”
You never stop promoting and marketing. Promote on your website, on social media, through multiple channels. Know your clientele and always promote to them. Carry your business card everywhere. Network. Talk to people. Do some public speaking. If you’re afraid of that, take a little course or speak in front of your family and edit the words “like” and “um” from your vocabulary. You’ve got to project yourself out there. How you dress, how you present yourself, what you say and how you say it are all promotional actions. It’s a continuous activity. Never stop and constantly refine it.
5. Set up multiple channels of income.
Some dream of “residual income” that just keeps rolling in without them having to do anything. That’s great, but if that is your goal, I suggest you reconsider. In order to survive and prosper, you really need to build multiple sources of income, and maintain and expand them. In investing, they call it diversification. But in an entrepreneurial sense, you must be extremely proactive and hands-on.
See if you can think of three different ways to make income and make a plan for each. It takes some clever time management and out-of-box thinking – and it takes DOING! Some people start businesses that have nothing to do with each other and do quite well at it. Others specialize but come up with smart ways to tap into larger markets.
6. Do things you don’t like doing.
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’.”
― Muhammad Ali
Get over the idea that you’ve got to do only what you are willing to do or are comfortable doing. Forget about comfort altogether. Work diligently now, work long and hard hours now – but do it with a clear idea where you’re going. Have fun along the way, but don’t dismiss something because it’s hard. Keep the image of yourself on the other side. Repeat that message – your purpose and your decision – to yourself over and over. I realize I’m starting to sound like a motivational speaker – but really, you are vastly more capable than what you’ve been led to believe. Start believing and investing in yourself.
7. Generate leads, follow up and close.
Too many businesses not only fail to generate leads, they fail to follow up on them. Some people are terrified of the telephone or going to see someone. Don’t be one of those people. Your new and existing leads are your goldmine. So are your existing customers. Even if you only deliver a product or service to someone once or twice in their lifetime, if you did a good job, they can become goodwill ambassadors for you.
A certain percentage of people will get annoyed when you follow up. So what? So they hang up the phone, big deal! When you are working on leads and sales, remember your purpose and your decision. Oh yes, and you’ll have to close. Closing sales is not a mysterious impossibility. It’s a matter of communication and insight. There are a few good books on it out there and it’s something you can practice and get good at.
8. Pay others to do things.
Your time is valuable. Why tie it up doing something you can pay someone else to do? By delegating, you keep yourself in forward-thinking mode. Team-building is essential for your prosperity. Even though I’m called the “boss” now, I wasn’t always, and I learned a lot from working for skilled managers. You always answer to someone anyway, like your clients. Ask yourself, “What’s tying up most of my time?” Then see how you can delegate it.
9. Repeat & duplicate.
Ever notice how every restaurant or store in a chain is virtually or exactly the same as every other one you ever walked into anywhere in the nation? That is because these big chains have mastered the arts of repetition and duplication. What they serve you isn’t always particularly good, but there are even exceptions to that, like Whole Foods. Whole Foods decided to put the neighborhood produce stand, health food store, co-op, bakery, butcher, deli and a number of other things under one roof and do it all over the country. That’s duplication with exponential attention to detail on a grand scale.
What do I mean by repetition? I mean doing something the right way the first time, and then doing that over and over again. Fine tune what you are doing so it is smooth and efficient, and so it results in an exceptional quality product or service – and then work out how to do that over and over again in location after location. That is successful repetition and duplication, and how many businesses manage to thrive.
10. Connect up.
Get to know others who run successful businesses. If you want to be a multimillionaire, meet some multimillionaires and ask them some questions. Most of them will be glad to share their knowledge. Go to networking events and connect up with like-minded individuals. It goes in reverse too. Someone telling you how you really can’t do it is not worth your time. The world is tough enough already. Why burden yourself with negativity. Surround yourself with positivity, knowledge and wisdom. Survive! Thrive!