Below are a few keys to success based on my 30 years business ownership experience. Yes of course there will be more but by adopting these it will put you in a far better place to succeed, and I want you to succeed. We all need to succeed.

Key 1 –  Associate with successful and success minded people, and always being prepared to learn

I was fortunate to have been introduced to a personal development programme at 23 – 7 years before I set up my business so unbeknown to me, I was getting ready. I started associating with successful and success minded people. I started learning what it took to be successful. I read personal development books written by successful people. My car was turned into a mobile university listening to positive uplifting motivational tapes and CD’s. If you haven’t started this and you are already in business, start NOW!

Key 2 – Look after your staff, clients and suppliers

As I write this article we are in the depths of a pandemic and one thing that has really stood out for me are those companies that know how to look after their staff. There are as many who haven’t, and they will soon be history. We should have all been looking after our staff anyway, and if you look after them, they look after you. OK, it’s your business, but if you employ people they are part of your team and without them you would not have the success you have so you need them as much as they need you. A good relationship is also important with your clients and suppliers. Again, you need them so look after them.

Key 3 – Do what you are good at and outsource everything else

We must understand when we set up in business that we do not have all the skills to succeed, yet we constantly try and be all things to all people. As early as you possibly can, learn to outsource. If you cannot afford to do this from day 1, it does not stop you talking to people and build those relationships for when you are ready. Check out the credentials of those you would like to outsource to, check them out with other people who use their services. You need to make sure they can deliver the results you require. It is important to get this right as early as you can rather than hop from supplier to supplier. If you don’t go networking, make it part of your marketing activity. This is where you will meet companies you may want to outsource to.

Key 4 – Make sure you always have a handle on the business accounts and finances and where you stand at any time.

I read an article once put out by the FSB that 88% of all businesses have no idea where they stand at any moment in time, so only 12 out of 100 of you who read this article know the financial state of play of your business. I really don’t know how the other 88% survive or succeed – and most probably don’t or won’t last. You need to know where you stand financially at all times.

Key 5  – Accept change. It will always be part of our lives. Ignore it at your peril. Refusal to change will kill your business

We all have to accept that change will be part of everything we do in life and business. We have to plan and prepare for it and by preparing, we put ourselves in a better position to handle it when it happens. We have to adapt and refusal to adapt and evolve will kill our business. Think 5 years ahead of where you are and make sure you put whatever you need to put in place to handle that vision. We always have to be open to opportunities that can positively benefit our business.

Key 6 – Make sure you plan and prepare for every eventuality – there will always be a “What if” that can stop us dead in our tracks.

We have to learn from our experiences. We have to constantly evolve and accept change. Change will always be there. It is part of our lives. Invest in your business. Look at your outsourced suppliers as an investment and not a cost. They are more important than buying a bigger car or moving to a bigger house. Don’t worry about making mistakes. That is ok, but do not keep making the same mistakes. That is insane. Look at the long term goal – do you want to sell your business at some time in the future? Make sure you are preparing for this. Know why you are doing what you are doing.

Finally, Start with the end in mind. WHY are you running your business? Without a WHY the how is pretty much irrelevant. You need to know where you want to be by when and then you can work backwards and set baby steps along the way.

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This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 12/07/2020