Whether it’s a close friend or family member, partner with people you can trust. Most of the time, we focus on the character and virtues of those we are legally partnered with. But vetting other people and entities that you are associated with — including your vendors and advisors — is equally critical.
2. Create a strategy and focus
One of the biggest mistakes young business make is over-committing. They end up saying yes to almost everything and lacking a clear focus. But if you try to be all things to all people, chances are you will fail. Start with making a one-page strategic plan that forces you to focus on creating and doing one thing for one target audience.
3. Say no to what’s off focus
Saying no to anything that isn’t in your direct line of fire may be difficult to do at first, but can actually be one of the smartest business decisions you make in the long run. Even if it means firing your own customers. Why? Because it frees you up to focus on your target, it allows for more space and bandwidth to grow, and makes you available for the yes’s.
4. Find peer support
If you’re a business owner, you know what’s at stake and how much risk is involved in running a company. That’s why finding a peer community is so important. Not only can this provide a confidential atmosphere where you can find support and valuable insight, it can be instrumental in the process of learning the most efficient and effective ways of taking your business to the next level.
Coordinate a group of trusted mentors to counsel you on key issues in growing your business. While an advisory board may not seem like a critical component of business success, it can actually become one of your most important assets in business development.
6. Hire slow and fire fast
The sooner you part ways with employees who aren’t the right fit, the better. By hiring slow and firing fast, you will find that it is more efficient and effective for you, your business and for that person.
7. Build great values and culture
Take the time to create a space where your employees want to spend their time. Think about it — you spend more of your waking hours at work and with fellow employees than anywhere or with anyone else. Building a company where people want to go to work is one of the most pivotal ways to building a growing and sustaining company.
8. Build your brand
With social media at your fingertips, this is the single best time to build a brand online. If you are determined and diligent enough, you can build a brand by creating quality content every single day and leveraging social media outlets to attract and engage an audience
9. Ask for referrals
The best form of marketing is through your current customers. While this may seem obvious, most of us just don’t do it. We may feel uncomfortable asking existing customers for referrals or we may not realize how powerful a marketing asset this can be. But if you don’t try you won’t reap the benefits. And it’s actually quite simple to do, if you know how to present your products or services with certainty, and can go a long way towards building your business.
The single most important factor in your success is your people — your partner, your advisors, your staff, your peers. All of these individuals will help you do the work to take your business to the next level.