Updated: Jun 12, 2021
Creating a business can be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable achievements in life. However, no one ever said it would be easy! As any small business owner knows, running a business is HARD WORK and, because of this, many give up.
I have been running Robin's Bobbins for approaching 7 years now and I am so grateful to have a job which I truly love. So, what makes a successful business? Read on for my top 10 tips ...
1. Focus on You
What makes your business special? YOU do! That's why it is so important to focus on you with your business and to forget about everyone else. Comparison usually only leads to negativity. What we may see on the outside of a small business, such as through a social media post, is never the full picture. Every business is different so there's nothing to be gained through comparing your progress using someone else's ruler. Measure your own progress and your success and confidence is sure to flourish.
2. Find your Niche
Bringing yourself to your business is the first step; Celebrating that by finding out exactly what it is that makes your business special is the next. By being specific about what your business offers, by finding that niche and shouting it from the rooftops, is what sets your business ahead of the rest. Find that niche and celebrate it and, in doing so, your ideal customer will find you.
3. Be Inspired
Surround yourself with inspiration. Look to the artists, thinkers, techniques and approaches etc that excite you and absorb them. By associating ourselves with the very best, we set our sights high, challenge ourselves and achieve more than we ever thought possible.
4. Have Fun
It's far easier for a business to succeed by having fun along the way. Try to have as much fun as you can: Say "Yes" to the things you want to do; Only create products and services that excite you; Carve fun into your daily routine whether it's by listening to your favourite music, having a wall of inspiration to enjoy looking at, treating your business to that new logo stamp or going live on Instagram with fellow business owner...
5. Done is Better than Perfect
Don't let the desire for perfection hold you back; After all, is perfection actually achievable? Letting go of that need to get it right the first time, and leaping into something before the self-doubt kicks in, is a great way to approach a business. They say, "Leap and the net will catch you" and, thankfully, that's usually the case. You can always go back and tweak your idea later but, if it's out there, at least it's out there - better than just a thought in your head...
6. Find your Community
Many small business owners work alone and, there's no doubt about it, this can be a very lonely experience. That's why finding your tribe is so important; It helps us to realise that we are not alone in feeling how we do about our business. Being able to celebrate our wins, ask for advice and share our experiences with others is so healthy.
7. Embrace Discomfort
Someone once said that "Your comfort zone is a very cosy place to be, but nothing grows there". Conversely, stepping out of your comfort zone is a sign of trying new things, learning and progressing, keeping your business fresh and moving forward - all key ingredients for success.
8. Keep Learning
We are always learning and, celebrating a growth mindset is key to success. By learning from our mistakes we grow strength and resilience, acquire new knowledge and skills, and develop the confidence to move forward and keep achieving.
9. You are Only Human
You don't have to do it all! By taking time out for ourselves and sitting back to reflect -rather than constantly working on our business and running ourselves into the ground - is a far healthier and sustainable way to go. Outsource the things you either lack experience in or don't want to do, and use that time saved to focus on the things you can/do.
10. Keep Going
For the vast majority of us, success doesn't come overnight. Running a business is an ongoing process where the work is never done; Be patient, keep chipping away and success will come!
Whether you're just starting on your business journey, or are years down the road, I hope you have found my top 10 tips for running a successful business helpful. If you enjoyed reading the above then I'm sure you'll love my Creative Mentoring Programmes. I offer a range of support for small business owners - from one-off sessions to 6-month programmes - where I offer customised and purposeful target setting in a 1-2-1 supportive setting. Further details on each session, along with prices, can be found here.