Being successful in business is important to help us rise up the career ladder and to ensure we feel the sense of achievement and fulfilment that a lifelong career brings.
Before we discuss ways to being successful in business maybe we should explore what being successful in business sense actually means. Naturally, it means many different things to different people but we can perhaps find some commonalities including:
- Making enough money to not worry about your necessary monthly expenses
- Proving a service that is seen as useful and of good quality in the eyes of your customers (internal and external)
- Being good enough that people talk about your skills and successes
Of course, enjoying your work is important, but that is a pre-requirement for anyone wanting to be successful. You can of course be successful with a business that you do not like, but then you will not be successful in your personal life and thus makes it meaningless.
what does being successful in business require?
1. The ability to satisfy customers needs so that they talk about you positively.
We all know that being successful in business is not always self-made. You need an element of luck and of course the positive social proof from people who recommend you. So do not just serve the customer, instead befriend them so that they are both customers for life and a source of free advertising for your business.
2. The ability to prioritise your work.
In business, there are 101 things that you can do. Successful people learn to concentrate on the most important and delegate or even eliminate the rest. The ability to focus on the right things is perhaps the most important personal attribute shared by the successful. To learn to prioritise try the 3 number trick. List all the jobs you have to do on a piece of paper. Now go down the list and put number 1 next to the jobs that are critical to your success, 2 next to those that would be of benefit but not critical and three next to those that you would like to do but are not urgent at all. Now only do the number one’s. Revisit the list often and see if you can degrade any of the remaining twos and threes or even outsource them.
3. The ability to work hard when needed.
Now, I am not a big believer in working too hard all the time. I have done it, it leads to burn out and the time you have to take off does not make sense compared to the extra work you were able to produce during the short period of time. It is much better to work consistently, however, when the time calls, we often do have to work hard, even for a short period and we must not be scared to get stuck in and not give up. Do not work excessive hours for longer then a week as it starts to have detrimental effects, and if you are working that hard for that long, there is obviously something about your work pattern that can be improved.
4. The ability to examine figures.
Yes, we can all hire accountants, but if you do not understand the basics of your business figures yourself, you have very little chance of making good money. You must know your base numbers like what you need to earn, how low you can offer the product before you have a loss and other key variables concerning your business. If you have to run to your accountant every time you need to know some financial details then you are not close enough to be successful in business.
5.The ability to seek advice.
No one is successful without help. Even athletes have trainers that help them improve however in business we seem to often think we know it all. It is those amongst us that know that no one makes it alone, that have the right mindset to get ahead. You cannot know everything, that is impossible, so knowing where to get the best advice for your current challenge is a success rewarding quality.
Of course, there are many other factors, however, I found these to be the most common amongst the successful people I surveyed.