Every successful entrepreneur pays particular attention to getting a fast start out of the blocks. Here are ten tips to help you get the jump with your customers and employees and to keep you ahead of your competitors in 2011.
1. Relax and the good times will roll
It is a business but nothing says that you can’t have fun running it. This helps to set good employee morale and definitely helps with customer relations.
2. Toss aside the arrogance
Arrogance tends to get in the way of simple communication. Both customers and employees relate well to humility. Also understand that you can’t do it all and be ready to ask for help when needed.
3. Be a life-long learner
A successful entrepreneur needs to have a handle on all aspects of the business. You don’t have to know how to perform all tasks, just to understand if they are being done correctly. So try to stay abreast of all functions of your business by continuing to learn. Set up an education schedule for yourself and your most important employees.
4. Think inside their box and outside of yours
The number one success factor is understanding your favorite customer. To do so you need to learn to think like they do and use the words and phrases they use so you communicate completely with them. Act similarly with employees or vendors and learn to, think like they do.
5. Assign responsibility to others
A good manager hires competent people and provides them with the necessary tools and the environment to be successful. Delegate and then look over their shoulder and be ready to give help when and where needed.
6. Learn to soar like an eagle
The details are important, but even more-so, are the strategic decisions which set the direction of your company. You need to operate at ground level where the reality exists but every now and then, you need the ability to fly at 5000 feet to keep the big picture in perspective.
7. Talk less and listen more
To really understand someone’s pain, we need to listen to the conversation. The ability to listen well gets us to the essence of the story. We need to understand what is being said to us before we begin to offer up solutions.
8. Build a good network of advisers
This network is your lifeline and should have links to all of the important areas of your business: finance, legal, insurance, vendor relations, business operations, human relations, manufacturing, sales, marketing communications to name a few. Recruit strong people who can offer you good advice and counsel and start early fine tuning this network.
9. Always be in solution mode
Embrace the opportunity for a solution and not the negative of the problem. Listen well, and then think in their box. When you approach the daily issues this way, both customers and employees want to cooperate and help you resolve the problem.
10. Reach for the heavens
If you don’t aim high enough, your competition will be right behind you and may soon catch and surpass you. Understand that you’re standing on the ground but reach for the stars.
As the new year begins, set these ten tips as your new year resolutions and make every effort to get out of the blocks with a fast start for your business in 2011.