In less than a second, Google returns nearly 630 million results for the query “achieve business success”. As you’d expect, page one is filled with all sorts of common advice: “9 Tips for Growing a Business”, “14 Ways Modern Entrepreneurs Can Achieve Business Success” and “7 Key SMART Goals to Achieve Business Success” are only the tip of the iceberg.
Experience and observations have taught me there is no sure-fire, guaranteed path to success but I believe there are commonalties shared by successful operators. Drawing from nearly three decades of business experience, here are five common traits I have observed in successful businesspeople.
Strong planning & strategic focus skills
The importance of planning and thinking strategically cannot be understated. A study conducted by Palo Alto (global cybersecurity and networking giant) found “those who completed business plans were nearly twice as likely to successfully grow their business or obtain capital.” In keenly competitive markets, these are key considerations, wouldn’t you agree?
Shrewd operators understand a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach may work for a time but inevitably, corrective action becomes necessary. Have you selected the right goals and identified a path to success? Is your organisation one of action or do you suffer from failure to implement? Do you understand your market and if needed, have you considered external expertise? These are some of the considerations strategic thinkers contemplate when planning their organisation’s approach.
Self-awareness, team-building and accountability
Humans are social animals which means we crave interaction. Leading a team of contemporaries requires not only considerable skill, tact and knowledge but also, emotional intelligence. In my experience, successful businesspeople have incredible self-awareness. That is, they are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and understand the value of approaching life with balance. For some, it manifests as healthy body healthy mind, for others, maintaining a schedule that no matter what, does not impede on family life.
Successful leaders build strong and diverse teams then empower performance through accountability. The American Society of Training and Development found “people are 65 percent more likely to meet a goal after committing to another person.” From my observation, successful people hold not only themselves to account but also, those around them (and vice versa).
Understanding the numbers: cash is king
When it comes to numbers, no business can escape from the importance of the story they portray. With so much data and information available to business owners, demystifying key and/or critical financial figures is of the utmost importance. Star operators appreciate the importance of three key items: (1) cash flow management, (2) budgets and forecasts and (3) profit is not cash.
Successful businesspeople don’t overcomplicate things. They know where the money is, where it’s going, where they want it to be going. They can identify, from the accounts, the issues that need addressing and understand there is a difference between revenues and receipts.
Building networks & fostering relationships
Earlier, I made a point about humans being social beings who crave interaction. Industrialisation and technology have made specialisation possible. Within the accounting sector, there’s tax, wealth, superannuation, due diligence, audits and so on. Each field requires expertise which across the board, no one person can be expected to deliver. With a strong network of referrers, specialists and contemporaries, successful operators mitigate against the ‘out of sight out of mind’ conundrum and continue brand building, developing personal associations and maintaining a front-and-centre position with activities that create maximum impact and exposure.
Successful people are relationship builders. Implied, is a degree of trust, something which isn’t created overnight. Whether it’s imparting knowledge, teaching skills or empowerment through contributions, successful people take an interest in others and realise that high functioning organisations are ones filled with people of diverse backgrounds, skills and experience. It may be a little thing such as remembering someone’s name, a recent event or an accolade won but rest assured, people take notice and are more likely to contribute when they feel valued in a relationship. Successful people create that feeling of value.
Grit & hard work
Nothing worthwhile comes easy. Sure, the goal may be to work less for more return but in reality, when does that happen? Technology has enabled efficiency gains which has allowed operators to turn their valuable attention elsewhere. Indeed, Nexia Perth’s Cash Growth Value program has been introduced to take care of your obligations and, as importantly, support you in focussing on the growth of your business and in turn, maximise the value of your wealth portfolio.
Successful SME operators understand effort is in their control. Rolling up their sleeves and knuckling down with the philosophy nothing is given to you is common to all success stories. Subscribing to grit and hard work sets an example. Leaders show people this is what it takes to reach my level, and this is what it will take to graduate our company to the next level. They lead from the front and do it with the simplest of tools: hard work.
Running a small-medium enterprise business is more than a commitment, it’s a bridge to a bigger, better and brighter future. That’s why we offer a suite of services and designed a program to assess and assist small-medium enterprise businesses. Say hello to Cash Growth Value. At Nexia, we’d welcome the opportunity to show you how this practical program will enhance and enrich your business experience.
To see how Cash Growth Value can impact your business, contact Wendy today.