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Running a Successful Business: The Do’s and Don'ts to Watch Out For

Business Owners Having Challenges

You’ve filed your paperwork and started your business. Congratulations on being a business owner. Running a business is hard work, and small business owners know that better than anyone. Especially for the newer business, owners may be wearing so many hats throughout the day that they forgot which one they started with. Let’s get one thing straight, one less task for owners today is more time they get to use on their business. In this article we will cover 3 things small business owners can do RIGHT NOW to help their successful business reach even greater heights, and 3 things to steer clear from.

What Does Success in Business Mean To You?

Everyone defines a successful business differently. This is because we all have different goals when starting a business. Maybe you want financial freedom and enough to live comfortably on. Maybe you want to be acquired by a larger brand, have more time with your family, make the business profitable, or grow to a million dollars in yearly revenue without taking on debt. There are a variety of reasons someone might start a business. At the center of this, however, there must be a product or service that people want, that you feel is a good idea. There must also be a long-term goal. If that goal is not concrete and measurable it may be more difficult to achieve it, but every business owner does have some idea of that long-term goal for themselves. Now that you have your definition of success, what makes a business successful?



Before we being, it can be worth considering what one of the greatest men of our country, Benjamin Franklin, had to say about improving success when he stated, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” Here’s some ways small business owners have continued to improve and progress.


Customer Service

This essentially defines itself. You already have some kind of an idea of what great customer service looks like in your industry. Now it may be helpful to go one step beyond that. Training and hiring also have an immense role to play in your customer service. While the vast majority of customers have higher expectations than ever, and they are all more informed than they were in the past, it can seem like a challenge to live up to those expectations.

When the business focuses on exceeding those expectations by guiding the customers through their journey in a way that makes them want to tell their friends, that business can be well on its way to success. When your team knows what customer service means to the business, and they are a part of your awesome business culture, your customers will feel it. Some business owners review and update their training and hiring procedures as often as every year. No matter how often you update yours, remember that a good staff training program will lead the customer experience.

  • Honesty will go far with customers. While it’s best to fix a potential issue before it becomes a problem with the customer, once it is a problem it can usually be solved easily. When strictly held to, this makes part of a very sustainable business model.

Operational Efficiency

Creating an efficient business is key to winning customer’s return business. No matter what business you are a part of, efficiency will always help improve things. Even the improvements that seem small will stack up over time, just like your business has, and increasing by just 5% could even help increase revenue by 10x that amount. Some of the ways operational efficiency can be improved is by targeting your niche and sub-target markets more effectively to deliver maximum value for them, so they have higher tickets on their return visits.

Another way to increase operational efficiency is through data gathering, combing, and analyzing your customer’s buying habits on a micro level to adjust your inventory and layout to maximize the return these customers are bringing. Even something as simple as changing your training processes to get the same amount done in 2 weeks rather than 3 weeks, assuming the same level of skill and material can be covered in that time, can make a tremendous impact on your business. As a business owner, you know that little actions add up to big results, and increasing efficiency is no different.

Scale the Business and Get Time Back

We have already established that you do not have a lot of time throughout the day because, as a small business owner, you are busy running your business. There are 2 parts to scaling, and although it may not seem it, they work together in congruence if that is your goal.

  • Scaling the business: scaling the size of your revenue, increasing the size or functional ability of your current location, or growing into additional locations. Scaling can mean many things, and they all have one idea in common: increasing the size of your business. This can be a good thing, and it also comes with its challenges. While we talk in more detail about scaling a business in another article, we will focus on what scaling can do FOR you here. Scaling a business does not have to be time-intensive, in fact, it can actually give you more time back as an owner. The more revenue your business is bringing in, the more you can hire people to wear one of those 20 hats you have been cycling through. When hired and trained well, these team members can boost your business, and give you more time to focus on your strengths and passions.

  • Scaling to Get Your Time Back: scaling a business also gives you more time with your family, fishing on the lake, enjoying a day off once in a while (and for some owners that is once in a very long time), or focusing on your favorite parts of the business that were your original strong points. This can literally be a lifesaver, and if you want to learn more, check out our article on Saving Time and Making Money: How to Scale a Business and Reduce Your Stress.

Now that we have established how owners can supercharge their results and speed of growth, how can they avoid the potholes along the way?


Ignore the Competition (Do: Make the Best Product or Service)

The competition is constantly doing everything they can to get ahead. The moment you start to fall behind is when they start to outpace you. This is one reason why Kobe continued his work rate of multiple practices a day long after he was acknowledged as one of the greatest of all time. Oftentimes he would stay in the gym longer than anyone else just to prove to them that they would never catch up to him because he would always work harder than they did. Sometimes sticking with what works is successful. Other times, it’s a surefire way to decrease sales and possibly even end the business over a long time. When you opened, you had a product, service, passion, or all 3 that was needed in the marketplace. Make sure your product or service is always the best, and every other action you take will be exponentially more impactful. If the competition starts to get ahead of you in one or both of these areas, it might be time for an upgrade to get back on top. Then you can continue to outpace your competitors.

Stop Looking for Ways to Improve (Do: Embrace Change)

Embracing change is what started every business in the first place. There was a need that they saw, a passion they had, a goal they wanted to accomplish, and the business set out to fill that. Embracing change is still as well-planned as any other plan is in your business. The main difference is that with change it may take more tries to get it right, and it may be more time-consuming to find the solution that works the best. Once you do find that formula, it will be well worth it, and may just transform your business. Moving to new heights is the goal of change, and when a business stops improving it may end up falling behind. Albeit faster in some industries than others. Remember there is always another 1% that can be improved on.

Burnout (Do: Give Back to Others, and Yourself)

So many business owners unfortunately suffer from burnout. At a certain point after working 12 hour days 7 days a week for 10 years, some owners have lost their passion, or forgotten why they started their business. Burnout is almost always the culprit. Taking advantage of technology, all of the services they have available to them, and giving themselves more time back through delegating and phasing up their business can significantly reduce the burnout percentage among small business owners. It’s important to give back to the community as a way to establish yourself in your space, of course. More importantly, it’s important because it helps your community do better, and oftentimes your genuine re-investing into your community just for the sake of helping others can make a world of difference for someone. Giving back to others has also shown to be able to reduce stress and increase cortisol levels. Helping you feel better as a bonus.

Which brings us to the last, but certainly not least important, point of giving back to yourself. As humans we tend to be harder on ourselves than others are. As business owners it can also feel like your work is never done, and this can amplify that effect. Remember, when you’ve done enough, maybe it can help to take more than 1 day off every 10 years, or more than 1 day off a year. If you want to have some extra time with your family, at the lake, or just away from the store for a few extra hours, it could be beneficial to let yourself do that.

With XYLO as your point of sale partner, you get access to excellent data reporting, license scanning functionality, discount and customer loyalty programs, intuitive customer management, easy scanner integration, intelligent inventory management, vendor relationship features, and additional services that are built to suit your business and your unique needs. Learn how our POS can benefit your business with a no obligation consultation to match your specific needs today.


DISCLAIMER: The information herein is provided for general informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as business consultant advice, real estate advice, wealth advice, financial advice, tax advice, or any other kind of advice. Xylo does not guarantee that you will have any specific results by following this information, and does not warrant the completeness or accuracy of any of the information. Make sure you consult with a professional, like a licensed business consultant, Realtor, wealth advisor, financial advisor, tax advisor or other professional that suits your particular situation before making any decision pertaining to those areas.

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