As we reflect on the successes of 2018 and anticipate those of 2019, it’s worthwhile to consider how successful businesses are built and how they thrive. Successful businesses and successful business professionals highlight the importance of leadership, entrepreneurial vision, and creativity. “Success”— however defined—is the goal of every professional and every company. Achieving success is an elaborate process, requiring continual momentum. Here are 40 ideas to build on for your continued business success:
1. Have a plan – Identify your goals but keep it simple.
2. Know thyself – Examine what you enjoy doing and focus your efforts.
3. Know thy customer – Understand their needs and expectations.
4. Don’t make the same mistake twice – Learn from lessons of the past.
5. Be nimble – Respond to new opportunities quickly.
6. Invest in your employees – Develop the best talent and put the right people in the right jobs.
7. Think differently – Be creative and open to new approaches.
8. Deliver outstanding client service – Go above and beyond every time.
9. Be different – Stand out from the competition.
10. Keep your promises – Do what you say you are going to do and do it on time.
11. Invest in a good web site – The Internet is the new Yellow Pages.
12. Be curious – Ask questions and find solutions.
13. Invest in technology – Get organized, then take advantage of all technology has to offer.
14. Make new friends and keep the old – Don’t burn bridges.
15. Work with enthusiasm – It’s contagious.
16. Be visible – Raise your business profile in the community and on the Internet.
17. Lead with a vision – Provide clear objectives and expectations.
18. Always take the high road – The principled way is the only way.
19. Seek peace – Be brave enough to talk when lesser people want to fight.
20. Don’t be cocky – Never underestimate your competition or opponent.
21. Work smart – You can’t do it all, so delegate.
22. Write it down – Keep a comprehensive to-do list or you will forget something.
23. Prepare a sound bite – Write and memorize your
30-second elevator speech.
24. Be memorable – Have three things to say when you meet people.
25. Share the wisdom – Pass your knowledge on to others.
26. Refer business to others – What goes around, comes around.
27. Put clients at your fingertips – Categorize your contacts in a user-friendly format.
28. Be easy to reach – Encourage people to download your V-card from your e-mail or bio.
29. Over plan – You can never be too prepared.
30. Be decisive and flexible – Make decisions, but be willing to admit when you are wrong.
31. Know what you don’t know – Continually keep learning, but hire others as needed.
32. Listen carefully – Don’t just hear—understand.
33. Do more than expected – Provide added value, just for the joy of it.
34. Go with your gut – Always trust your instincts.
35. Walk the talk – Demonstrate your passion for your business in everything you do.
36. Be persistent – Where there is a will, there is a way; find it.
37. Stay centered – Find balance in work, family, and play.
38. Focus on the future – Plan for success and be ready for growth.
39. Appreciate your clients – Thank people for doing business with you.
40. Stay fresh – Never stop thinking like an entrepreneur!
The author would like to thank her partner, Blake Nelson, for initially creating this list several years ago. Clearly, its relevance stands the test of time!