I like travelling because I consider the long flights an opportunity to have my own personal retreat and I spent some time on a recent trip reflecting on what is working and what is not in my business. I encourage business owners to find the time to do these mini retreats so they can course corrects when necessary. Success in business can be attributed to various factors and most business owners are always on the lookout for some secret source or recipe that would make their business more successful.
Like with most things in life, business success is a combination of the right skills and principles and here are the top 5 skills I suggest you should develop:
This is one of the most important skills everyone should have, not just business owners. Listening goes beyond hearing what people are saying to actually understanding what they are saying. This is both their verbal and non-verbal communication. One of the easiest forms of market research is getting feedback from your customers and applying it to improve your business. Organizations spend millions trying to find out what potential customers want, but as a small business owner, one of the advantages you have is that you can reach out to your customers and really listen to them. This could be just what you need to create your next product or service.
What you don’t know might be the reason why you are still where you are; but I know you would like to know more, which is why you are reading this! Warren Buffet, the most successful investor in our time, attributes his success to a commitment to continuous learning and we all need to make the same commitment. A simple exercise is to write all the things you need to learn about and find out how you can get the knowledge. In school we were given a curriculum of what we needed to learn, how about creating your own personal learning curriculum?
A popular saying is ‘your network determines your net-worth’ and this is true to the extent of your ability to harness your network. I have met people who have networks of people other would ‘kill’ for, but have not been able to maximize it. So networking goes beyond knowing the right people, to knowing the exact type of people you need to take your business or career to the next level. That means building a good network starts with clarity about what you want to achieve and what and who you need to get where you want to go.
Like I always say, sales is the life blood of every business. You might have an amazing product or service, but without customers to appreciate and buy it, it would remain the ‘best kept secret’. I always tell my clients that they are the best sales people for their products and services and you have to be able to sell your own products enough to convince your sales team and customers to sell it for you. If you want to improve your selling skills, you can check out our upcoming sales training here.
No matter how amazing your vision is, if you don’t have the right team to help you execute it, you would not achieve much success. I speak to business owners who complain about finding the right people who are loyal and willing to work and while good people might be scarce, your ability to treat and manage people would determine if you can retain them and build a good team. You are as good as the people you surround yourself with, and I once heard Richard Branson say that his secret to business success is his ability to surround himself with people that are smarter than him. I am sure a lot of successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria would say the same thing.
Do you possess these 5 skills? If not, you have a chance to develop them so you can take your business to a greater level of success.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Bevan Goldswain