Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder and Publisher of Retail Minded, the Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference and a regular contributor to various publications. Additionally, Reyhle is the Author of the book “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” from McGraw-Hill and has been the Spokesperson for Small Business Saturday from American Express since 2014. Follow Reyhle on Twitter at @RetailMinded.
When it comes to being your own boss, there are many things that will motivate you… and just as many that may slow you down. The desire alone to be your own boss helps push you to execute your dreams and make them a reality, however the desire alone can’t make your dreams become a success. To help your entrepreneurship dreams excel, consider the below best practices that you can implement in your own small business.
#1: Do What You Are Good At
Entrepreneurs are always aiming to maximize their time, so it’s best to do what you excel at in order to accomplish this. As part of this process, this also means outsourcing your own business needs whenever necessary, such as your logo design, SEO and writing needs. By doing this, you can focus on what you do best and lean on others to help you where you don’t excel. With affordable resources available at Fiverr, for example, there’s no excuse for entrepreneurs to absorb their time in areas they are not best suited for. As the saying goes, “leave it to the pros”. In exchange? More time to do what you do best.
#2: Have a Clear Process
Tackling any assignment on your to-do-list entails doing so with an action plan. Take the time to identify all the responsibilities in front of you at any given time, and then identify what the best plan to get them accomplished is. Additionally, consider what may distract you and eliminate these things from your process. Whether it’s having music on while you work or checking social media in the middle of trying to get a project done, your goal should be to simplify your work efforts in order to be more efficient in your overall execution.
#3: Welcome Feedback From Your Customers
The pulse of any business is only as strong as the customers who keep it alive. To help deliver continued excellence in your wok, be sure you’re listening to what your consumers have to say. Whether gained from past clients or potential new ones, genuinely welcome feedback, testimonials, ideas and even criticism from consumers. Just remember that despite the common saying that the customer is always right, this may not be the case in all feedback you hear. Listening to it, however, and constructively reacting to it can help you better manage your business – and ultimately your sales, marketing and customer service, as well.
#4: Be Obsessed With the Little Things
The little things in business add up to be the big things, so pay attention to every detail of your business. From your marketing efforts to your online reviews to your customer interaction and more, there are countless details you need to constantly observe, manage and react to when necessary. This constant awareness will help you strengthen your business, deliver excellence and ultimately strengthen you as an entrepreneur. The catch? Don’t waste time dwelling on things. Identify problems, solutions and move forward. If you get too caught up in every little detail, you will be held back from moving forward.
#5: Know Who Your Competition Is
There’s a saying in business that you are only as good as your competition… and while this is not entirely true, there’s a lot of truth to take away from it. The reality is competition will exist in nearly every category of entrepreneurship. Because of this, it’s important to know who your competition is, what their strengths are, who their target market is and more. In other words – know as much as you can about them. It’s healthy to have competition, but it can weaken your business if you don’t know what they are up to. Stay alert and competitive in order to stay top of mind among your customers, as well as among theirs. And while the competition may never go away, your goal should aim to be among the best in your category of business so that despite the competition you are still on top of your game.
Finally, don’t be afraid of change. Executing excellence means adjusting from time to time to find continued success. Fortunately, as an entrepreneur we know you’re up for the challenge. Entrepreneurs, after all, are some of the bravest folks out there… so what are you waiting for? Find your excellence as an entrepreneur today.
Have any tips we missed? Let us know in the comments below!