Success. As a small business boss, we all define what that means a bit differently.
The idea of “success” is something that people ask us about all the time. They want to know how they’ll know they “made it”, but because every business is different and everyone has their own goals, there’s not a singular answer.
While there isn’t one path we all have to follow to being successful, there are some basics that can be applied to help you get to where you want to go.
Today’s post is a bit of a reality to check to see if you’ve got the basics down; and if you haven’t considered these three things, it’s time to take a look how you’re really doing.
Here are our three secrets of small business success.
#1. Book Clients
However you decide to define success, having clients is what makes that possible. So if you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business.
It’s really that simple. No clients, no business.
If you currently find yourself in a situation where you don’t have any clients, or not enough clients, that should be your #1 focus.
Think of it like this: maybe you are trying to get fit. You spend your days pinning workouts and cute gear on Pinterest, so it may seem like you’re ‘doing the right things’, but no amount of pinning or buying cute workout tops is going to do a darn thing to make you stronger. To get stronger and fit, you’re gonna have to do work that actually matters.
The same principle applies to your business. Even though it may seem like the right thing – and heck, it’s often more fun – building the perfect website or perfecting your branding is NOT the best way get clients. Not by a long shot.
So what is?
It’s all about good, old-fashioned networking and putting yourself out there. You need to start reaching out to your personal and professional contacts and asking for referrals and introductions as this is the fastest and easiest way to get clients. (Remember, no clients, no business!)
#2. Stop Worrying About Everyone Else
It’s so easy to start down the rabbit hole, looking at what your competitors and business friends are doing and playing the comparison game.
Maybe you think they have better clients or a fancier website or they just seem to have it together in a way you don’t.
STOP. Stop it right now. (Seriously, just stop.)
It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing and you need to stop relying on the outside world for validation. If you aren’t confident in what you’re doing, how do you expect other people to be?
All that energy that you’re spending comparing and trying to get people to tell you you’re doing things right is time better spent on your business. Do what you need to do to shut down the distraction of comparison so you can get focused on moving your business ahead.
Remember, no one does things exactly as you do. And that is something to celebrate!
#3. Daily Action Matters
Listen, it’s great to have a vision. And of course you need a long-term strategy. But part of running a small business means that the day-to-day stuff you do, even the not-so-glamorous tasks you loathe, are all contributing to your goals.
Running a successful business can absolutely be a ton of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. It’s not all glossy photos and champagne toasts. (But wouldn’t that be AWESOME?)
Let’s be real here. Much of the day-to-day can be boring and sometimes it can feel like a real grind. But it’s sticking to the right actions that will make a difference long-term.
To be successful, you need enough vision to know where you’re going. But it’s also way too easy to get hung up on the false sense of forward momentum by planning for years in the future without actually taking action.
Building a business isn’t passive. You can’t sit back and wait for it to happen. You’ve got to choose greatness in the moment and make the right actions. Every.single.day.
Dreaming about it all day isn’t going to make it a reality. But one right action, followed by another, will.
Choosing the right actions every day is choosing greatness in the moment. It may not feel like it, but following up with a prospect or going to a networking event full of your prospective clients is tangible action. (Instead of scrolling Facebook or Instagram for inspiration or planning your month for the 12th time.)
Choosing greatness in the moment is not always easy and definitely not always fun. But it IS what will make your business successful.
So choose greatness, OK?
Get Into Action
If any of this resonated with you or a little light bulb went off in your head, it’s probably time to take a step back and look at your business with an objective eye.
Most importantly, you have to get real about what is really going on day-to-day and be honest with yourself about any areas you may need to tweak.
The truth is, there’s no real “secret” of success. All that matters is that you get clear on your purpose and get into action.