There is no straightforward path to success. Let me just put that out there right away. It is a winding road, and most of the times you don’t see where you are heading. In my years of being a smaller business consultant helping many small businesses grow, I have lived by an effective formula for success. Success is a total of four things: a solid plan, leadership, action, and accountability.
A Solid Plan
A solid plan is the structure of any successful business. To come up with a solid plan, you need to look through every detail and imagine every possible scenario that may happen to your smaller business. And come up with measures for each! It helps to be knowledgeable about the five aspects of a business.
A solid plan helps in making your business flexible and resilient to changes. By looking at all the details, you get to create clear and tangible goals. You know what’s your plan of attack to achieve these goals. And with clear direction, it’s easier for your employees to see the importance of achieving these goals.
The takeaway here is to be ready for the future – creating a solid plan is preparing your small business for success.
“By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail”. – Benjamin Franklin
As a smaller business owner, you are the master of your ship. Everything starts with you. The way your business is running is a reflection of your leadership skills.
A good leader is collaborative. Communication is open. There’s always a steady flow of honest feedback and ideas between you and your employees. An open communication facilitates mutual understanding and ensures that you’re in the same boat. This way, employees know how they are supporting the business and how vital their roles are.
Open communication fosters a culture of shared trust which develops accountability and excellent performance.
Effective leaders know The team’s real motivation. Why do we want to do what we do? It also requires you to be mindful of your strengths and weaknesses. Doing so will help you hire a well-rounded group of people.
You can only achieve your desired outcome when you commit to act on your plan. Taking action relies on discipline and being effective. All of this is a level of honesty with self, if you look yourself in your heart of hearts you will
Self-discipline is a product of being prepared. When we create routine and productive habits, it gives us direction and prepares us for the predictable and unexpected. For example, if you have a habit of self-check-in in the morning and evaluation at the end of the day, it helps give your day structure. Having a direction for your day gives you a clear picture of how things will go and when you can address unexpected roadblocks. A clear direction and general sense of preparedness prevent procrastination.
Self-efficacy, on the other hand, is influenced by self-discipline and mentality; Self-discipline to stick to your course of action and belief in your capacity for success. Focus on approaching challenges as something you can master. Be aware of your capacity yet recognize the things that you can improve on. Acknowledging that you can always learn something new opens you to more opportunities to succeed.
Accountability is following through with your commitments. It’s the difference between achieving your goals and just dreaming about them until you die. What can I do? How can I make things better? Thus accountability allows you to produce higher quality results and boosts productivity as well.
As a leader, the culture of accountability in your business starts with you. Following through with commitments shows reliability and fosters trust. When leaders trust their employees, the employees want to live up to this trust. As a leader, you have to demand accountability from your employees. You set clear expectations, make sure that there’s a mutual understanding of these expectations, active follow-through, and support in achieving these commitments.
In my experience, most smaller business owners (humans) need someone who keeps them taking the actions they need take to achieve success. The bulk of what I do as a consultant is to make business owners accountable. Joining mastermind groups is a powerful option for this. You will be making and sharing plans with your group and reporting back on your progress, this way, you will not be tempted to defer taking action and jump back into reacting to your business.
Success boils down to consistent and committed action on your goals. It’s about recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, asking help when it’s needed, and realizing that you can never succeed alone.