Six Top Tips for Small Business Success

Six Top Tips for Small Business Success

I recently spoke at the Ruby Connection an initiative supported by Westpac and focussed on women in business. My topic? In 21 years of business what were my top 6 tips for success.

Here is the presentation Tips for Small Business Success. Narrative below.

About BMI

Wendy Knobel and I started BMI around 21 years ago. We have taken a traditionally subjective process of proposal development and turned it into a science. We evaluate proposals using a numerical system before they are submitted to the prospect and we tell people how to improve them. Our service is accessed through a cloud-based application that provides a dashboard on the real-time health of a proposal. Our numbers have been proven to be a 100% predictor of success. We have worked on 1545 bids for 92 organisations across 23 industry sectors. We operate in the Americas, Asia and Europe Middle East and Africa.

My Top Tips for Small Business Success

Commit: If you start your own business have a crack, commit to the path. Don’t wait for someone else to make it work. Don't look over the fence at the greener grass. I find that at the points in my journey I was wavering in my commitment I lost focus on the business and it suffered.

Having said that, owning your own business is not for everyone. Set a vision and your goals and a timeframe. Record some questions to ask yourself in 6 months or 1 year’s time. If I feel like this then I will build an exit strategy.

It’s ok to fail (we will get to that one later)

-Act: be decisive, don't prevaricate, have courage. Whatever you do, do something

It is really important (particularly for those of us who leave institutions to set up our own businesses) that we are likely not to appreciate our innate reliance on the structures that support us. Often invisible structures. In your business they won’t be there so have courage to face this and this will reduce your risk of failure.

You are driving the bus. You have to make decisions. And then DO. There is no one else and you can’t delay and waver for too long

-Fail early and often: mistakes are the genesis of the future. You don't make them, you don't learn.. Suck it up. Make failure a process.

The early part of the fail early and often in business is important because the earlier you set your tests of success or failure generally the smaller your investment (on so many levels). So test your ideas and concepts early. They don’t have to be fully formed for you to get some feedback going.

-It's not what you know it's who you know. Your family, friends, staff, suppliers and clients; they are your success. Look after them and you'll prosper.

Back yourself: your business and the buck stops with you. Do not pay attention to anyone who seeks to hold you back. Look around you, it has been done thousands perhaps hundreds of thousands of times. You can do it to.

You have to remember that, like it or not as a business owner you are a leader. Your people are watching you. If you won’t back yourself why should they?

- Have fun. After all you only have one life. Do a happiness audit every few days. Not had a laugh? Get online and watch some baby goats frolicking in pyjamas or whatever it is that brings joy to your heart.