How To Run A Successful Small Business




Are you wondering how to run a successful small business? The trappings of success are as easy as A, B, C.

If you are looking to build a successful small business then forget the ABCs you learned in primary school. They won’t help you build that successful small business.

Instead, here is my take on the entrepreneurial alphabet giving you the things you need to know to help your business succeed.

 A = Take ACTION

Taking ACTION is a key attribute if you want a successful small business

The “only” secret to becoming a successful small business owner is taking persistent, massive action.

Every high achiever knows this truth.

Taking persistent, massive action requires you to get out of your comfort zone and move even when you may not feel like it.


So how do you take Massive Action?

On the surface, there is nothing difficult about taking massive action. It’s all basically about working on the most important things in a focused and concentrated way over an extended period of time.

But if it’s so easy, then why don’t more people take massive action toward the attainment of becoming successful small business owners?

No matter how much people may desire their goal, they are reluctant to take massive action due to a breakdown that is evident in one or more of the 4 steps outlined below.

Step 1: Clarify Your Desired Objective

People generally fail to take massive action because they lack clarity about the goal or objective they have in mind.

To become a successful small business owner, it’s important to get crystal clear about what it is that you want to achieve.

Know your target

Goals, as you know, are more than dreams. A dream is something that is fuzzy and unclear. As a result, it is something that seems untouchable and unattainable.

It is only when we give a dream some clarity by outlining exactly what it will take to accomplish it, does a dream start to become a concrete goal that you can work towards.

Given this, your first task when your focus is on becoming a successful small business owner should be to get very clear about what it is you want and what it will effectively take to achieve this goal of ultimately running a successful small business.

Here are some questions to help any budding successful small business owner…

  • What is it that I want to achieve?
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  • What steps will I need to take to bring this goal to reality?
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  • How will I take these actions? When? Where? For how long?
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  • When do I plan to accomplish this goal? What’s my deadline? 

Answering these questions will provide you with the clarity you need to better understand what it will actually take to accomplish your goal of building a successful small business.

With this clarity in mind, you can begin taking the right kinds of actions toward the accomplishment of your goal. On the other hand, without this clarity, you, unfortunately, will never get things off the ground.

Step 2: Make Peace with What’s to Come

Having gained clarity about your goal of by no means guarantees that you have what it takes to accomplish this goal of setting up a successful small business.

In fact, many people know exactly what they want, and yet still don’t take the massive action required to help them accomplish their goal.

Why is that?

Why do people hold themselves back in their quest to building a successful small business?

It might be for one or more of three reasons.

First, they are just too comfortable, and taking action toward the attainment of their goal takes them out of their comfort zone which they struggle with.

In fact, they just can’t bear the thought of doing something that feels a little awkward and possibly stressful.

As a result, they sit there within their comfort zone putting things off for another day.

Or alternatively they focus on things that on the surface appear to be moving them closer to their goal, but in reality, it’s just all a ploy to keep themselves within the confines of their comfort zone.

The second factor that holds people back from investing their time and energy into building a successful small business is fear.

No matter what occupies their mind, this fear holds them back from taking the necessary action that will help them accomplish their goal.

The third factor in failing to build a successful small business also comes in the form of fear, manifesting in the fear of uncertainty.

Take Action

Taking action toward the attainment of their goal brings with it a lot of uncertainty.

There are never any guarantees that things will pan out as you had originally planned. This typically makes people feel uneasy and doubts arise.

As a result, they hold themselves back from taking action because they just don’t know what the outcome will be.

Each of these three factors holds people back from taking massive action.

They struggle to do what is necessary for the simple fact that they resist discomfort, fear, and uncertainty.

What they don’t realize is that the key to moving forward in their quest to build a successful small business is to make peace with these three mental obstacles.

The more these people resist the more they hold themselves back.

It is only when people fully accept that things are the way they are and that facing these obstacles is inevitable, that is the moment they can begin moving forward without any reservations.

Step 3: Making a Wholehearted Commitment

Even if you successfully work through the first two steps, this by no means guarantees that you have what it takes to become a successful small business owner.

Accomplishing any goal you set requires a commitment on your part. You must be fully committed to all the actions you must take to achieve your goal.

If a lack of commitment exists, you are likely to easily get disheartened and side-tracked the moment you face an unexpected problem or setback.

3 Keys to follow

There are three key things you can do to develop an unwavering commitment to your quest to build that successful small business.

The first is to make a commitment to yourself that you will do whatever it takes to achieve your goal.

The best way to do this is to write out a personal contract.

Within this contract, you would stipulate what you are committing yourself to. Specifically, write down what daily actions and activities you will undertake.

Consistency is KEY!

Achieving any goal takes consistency in action.

It’s therefore often the small habits and rituals you develop around your goal that will get you your desired results in the long-run, and these are essentially the things you must commit yourself to.

But let’s just make it clear that this isn’t about your goal to build a successful small business.

It’s rather about the little things you do daily that will help you accomplish your goal. That’s where your commitment must be focused on.

The second way you can gain an even deeper level of commitment comes through hiring an accountability partner.

An accountability partner is someone who keeps you accountable for the daily actions you take toward the accomplishment of your goal of building your very own successful small business.

This person you select as your accountability partner could be a close friend or colleague. Ideally, it should be someone you wholeheartedly respect and trust.

Their role will be to make sure you stay true to your word and to your contract. And if you get off track at any time, they will be there to make sure you refocus yourself once again on what’s most important.

The third and final way to dramatically raise your level of commitment comes through making a public commitment.

When we make a public commitment, it means that our goal is now out in the open i.e. in the public domain.

And because it’s out in the open we can no longer make the same excuses we would typically make if we had just kept the goal to ourselves.

Step 4: Creating a Sense of Urgency

Taking massive action requires one more key ingredient that comes in the form of urgency.

With no urgency, it’s easy to put things off for another day or to just simply take your time while working on the tasks and activities you set for yourself.

However, with urgency, everything suddenly becomes time-sensitive.

You are no longer relaxing your way through activity, you are instead working on it with incredible zest and energy. You have a clear vision of what that successful small business looks like and what you need to do to generate success.

And that is precisely what it feels like to take massive action toward a goal. Do that and you are on the road to becoming a successful small business owner.


The path to success is to take massive, determined action.
– Tony Robbins

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Belief is important for business success


The four most important words anyone can ever hear are..

I believe in you”.

When you mean it and your clients understand how much you believe in them, watch how they start to believe in themselves.

And when they believe in themselves, results follow.

Do you believe in yourself?

If not, then perhaps this is something you need to work on, especially if you wish to become a successful small business owner

Learning how to believe in yourself will open up endless possibilities in your life. At times you may find this difficult to do.

The truth is that we’ve been conditioned throughout our lives to doubt ourselves. We must retrain ourselves to get rid of our fears and self-doubt in order to build self-esteem and self-confidence.

Everything you have in your life is a result of your belief in yourself and the belief that it’s possible.

Here are the four most important steps to learning how to believe in yourself. Practice them and you’ll be amazed at the results:

  • Believe it’s possible. Believe that you can do it regardless of what anyone says or where you are in life.[blank_space height=’1em’]
  • Visualize it. Think about exactly what your life would look like if you had already achieved your dream.[blank_space height=’1em’]
  • Act as if. Always act in a way that is consistent with where you want to go.[blank_space height=’1em’]
  • Take action towards your goals. Do not let fear stop you, nothing happens in life until you take action.

If you need help in this area of your life then you should check out the work of Jack Canfield.

He has a number of courses and free resources on his website for successful small business owners, all designed to help you mazimise your potential.

You can find out more here .

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cash flow is the lifeblood of of business and essential for any successful small business
Cash flow is a business’s lifeblood

Managing cash flow and making sure your business has enough cash to meet its needs is a must.

Many small businesses fail because they fail to manage cash flow and run out of cash to pay the bills.

Block time each week to update and review your cash flow forecasts and use the numbers to help guide your business decisions.

So, what exactly is cash flow?

Cash flow refers to the movement of money in and out of your business in terms of income and expenditure. Ideally, you want to have a positive cash flow – meaning that more money is coming into the business than goes out.

If you have a positive cash flow, your business will be able to settle its bills and invest in growth. Negative cash flow means you’ll need to find an alternative source of income to be able to pay off debts.

If you want to work out the net cash flow, you just add up all of your cash payments over a set period (typically a month) and take that away from your cash receipts.

It’s important not to get too hung up on one particular month, however. Your cash flow can be more accurately judged over a period of three months or more since most businesses will, naturally, have peaks and troughs.

What happens if you don’t keep on top of your cash flow?

Failing to monitor and manage your cash flow properly puts your business at risk and could lead to a range of different problems.

Here are some of the main issues you might face on your journey to becoming a successful small business owner:

  • Too much stock.

    If you suddenly receive a high demand for a product, it’s tempting to order a high volume of material to service that demand. However, if that demand then changes you could be left with far too much stock and, potentially, debt from ordering the materials. Ordering too much stock might also leave you lumbered with materials that become obsolete and difficult to sell.[blank_space height=’1em’]

  • Long payment terms.

    Lengthy payment terms can often leave you with long stretches of time when no money comes in. Any unseen issues, from a fire at the office to replace a laptop, can then be problematic due to a shortage of cash while you wait for the money to arrive.

    There’s also the possibility of bad debt, which is when customers do not pay at all.[blank_space height=’1em’]

  • Overspending.

    It’s very tempting to go on a spending spree when you win a new client – snapping up everything from fancy orthopedic chairs to an office pool table.

    However, you need to remember that you haven’t actually got the money until they’ve paid you. Spending money that you don’t have is never the best idea.[blank_space height=’1em’]

  • Overtrading.
    Just as with stock, it’s easy to get carried away with your business outlook after securing a big order. Employing more staff or expanding to more locations might seem like a good idea to grow your business, but you need to have the cash flow to back this up.While your profits can vary, your rent and salaries won’t, meaning that you need to be able to withstand short term pressure on your finances if you want to grow your personnel and premises.[blank_space height=’1em’]

Hiring a good bookkeeper or accountant makes a lot of sense and of course, there are a lot of great accounting tools available online nowadays for successful small business owners to use such as Quickbooks, Xero or Kashflow

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Delegation of workDavid Allen, the author of “Getting Things Done” once said “You can do anything, but not everything” and this is especially true when running a successful small business.

Learn to delegate.

If you have a team delegate and support them in their growth.

If you work on your own, delegate to a part-time admin, trainer or virtual assistant.

When to Delegate

Delegation is a win-win when done appropriately, however, that does not mean that you can delegate just anything. To determine when delegation is most appropriate there are five key questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Is there someone else who has (or can be given) the necessary information or expertise to complete the task? Essentially is this a task that someone else can do, or is it critical that you do it yourself?[blank_space height=’1em’]
  • Does the task provide an opportunity to grow and develop another person’s skills?[blank_space height=’1em’]
  • Is this a task that will recur, in a similar form, in the future?[blank_space height=’1em’]
  • Do you have enough time to delegate the job effectively? Time must be available for adequate training, for questions and answers and for opportunities to check progress.[blank_space height=’1em’]
  • Is this a task that I should delegate? Tasks critical for long-term success (for example, recruiting the right people for your team) genuinely do need your attention.

If you can answer “yes” to at least some of the above questions, then it could well be worth delegating this job.

How Should You Delegate?

Use the following principles to delegate successfully:

  1. Clearly articulate the desired outcome.

    Begin with the end in mind and specify the desired results.[blank_space height=’1em’]

  2. Clearly identify constraints and boundaries.

    Where are the lines of authority, responsibility, and accountability?

    Should the person:

    • Wait to be told what to do?
    • Ask what to do?
    • Recommend what should be done, and then act?
    • Act, and then report results immediately?
    • Initiate action, and then report periodically?[blank_space height=’1em’]
  3. Where possible, include people in the delegation process.

    Empower them to decide what tasks are to be delegated to them and when.[blank_space height=’1em’]

  4. Match the amount of responsibility with the amount of authority.

    Understand that you can delegate some responsibility, however, you can’t delegate away ultimate accountability. The buck stops with you![blank_space height=’1em’]

  5. Delegate to the lowest possible organizational level.

    The people who are closest to the work are best suited for the task because they have the most intimate knowledge of the detail of everyday work. This also increases workplace efficiency and helps to develop people.[blank_space height=’1em’]

  6. Provide adequate support, and be available to answer questions.

    Ensure the project’s success through ongoing communication and monitoring as well as the provision of resources and credit.[blank_space height=’1em’]

    “When you delegate tasks, you create followers. When you delegate authority, you create leaders.”
    – Craig Groeschel, founder of Life Church

  7. Focus on results.

    Concern yourself with what is accomplished, rather than detailing how the work should be done: Your way is not necessarily the only or even the best way! Allow the person to control his or her own methods and processes. This facilitates success and trust.[blank_space height=’1em’]

  8. Avoid “upward delegation.”

    If there is a problem, don’t allow the person to shift responsibility for the task back to you: ask for recommended solutions, and don’t simply provide an answer.[blank_space height=’1em’]

  9. Build motivation and commitment.

    Discuss how success will impact financial rewards, future opportunities, informal recognition, and other desirable consequences. Provide recognition where deserved.[blank_space height=’1em’]

  10. Establish and maintain control.

    • Discuss timelines and deadlines.
    • Agree on a schedule of checkpoints at which you’ll review project progress.
    • Make adjustments as necessary.
    • Take time to review all submitted work.

In thoroughly considering these key points prior to and during the delegation process you will find that you delegate more successfully. All successful small business owners know the secret of delegation and now so do you!

“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”
– John C. Maxwell, American author

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wow your new clients
WOW your clients with a VIP-style experience

Successful small business owners know what clients want and develop ways to meet those needs. This is the basis of creating tangible opportunities that exceed their expectations.

Look to WOW them right from your first meeting.

Amazing customer service (the “wow”) creates an emotional connection between you and your customers that transcends a mere transaction.

Customers who have a strong, positive emotional connection to your business are more inclined to become repeat customers, tell others to buy from you, and forgive you if you or your employees make a mistake.

You’ve likely heard the amazing stories of Zappos and Neiman Marcus.

These companies are legendary for how they proactively go above and beyond regular customer service to wow their customers on a regular basis.

Expert Customer Service

One of the many examples of excellent customer service from Zappos is a situation when a customer representative listened to a customer who called about returning a pair of shoes due to a medical treatment.

The Zappos representative didn’t just accept the shoes but sent a bouquet of flowers and upgraded both the customer who called and her mother to a lifetime of free shipping.

Suddenly, the business feels more human and an emotional connection is formed.

While a small business might not have the monetary capabilities of waiving shipping for life or sending a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers, sending a handwritten card and including complementary products or services in the card certainly conveys the same sentiment.

If your business is falling short in the wow department, don’t be afraid to solicit feedback from customers about your product, service, and customer experience.

Some of the greatest, most valuable data come directly from customers who are willing to share their opinions and criticisms.

By learning from your business’ shortcomings, you can vastly improve how you deliver and execute on a wow experience.

How to Show Customers You Care

Think back to the last time you were really impressed by a company. You probably told a few friends about your amazing experience and went back to do business with them. That moment stuck with you and did more to build brand loyalty than any marketing campaign could have done.

What was so unique about that experience? You probably felt special. You were surprised and delighted by something out of the ordinary. The company showed that they cared.

How do you make your customers feel the same way? Here are three ways to show customers you care.

1. Make it personal with a handwritten note

A handwritten note makes your customers feel special. It signals that you have gone out of your way to thank them. Taking the precious time to say thank you by hand is rare. Business owners who see this extra effort as an opportunity (not an obligation) stand out from the crowd.

2. Thank customers for their positive feedback

How much time do you spend each week following up with happy customers?

Following up with a positive review is another opportunity to engage with your customers in a memorable way. Customers will be impressed by businesses that take the time to respond to positive feedback.

For example, you may receive a positive review saying something like…

I really enjoyed my stay at the Grand Hotel. They made me feel welcome at check-in, the room was spotless, and breakfast was delicious.”

This is a great opportunity to respond with something like…

“Thank you so much for your thoughtful review John. What else can we do for you and your family to make your next stay even better next time?”

These two sentences accomplish the following: thanking the customer, encouraging them to come back, and seizing an opportunity to learn what you can do to improve the customer experience.

3. Surprise your customer with the unexpected

Usually, we get exactly what we ordered. Delivering above and beyond is a great opportunity to outpace the competition. Find a way to deliver and wow by incorporating the element of surprise into your product lifecycle.

Here are some examples of how different industries can go above and beyond standard purchase follow up.

  • If you’re a service provider, send a coupon for the customers’ next purchase and invite them to share it with their friends and family. This is a simple yet powerful way to market to your existing leads as well as capture new ones.[blank_space height=’1em’]
  • If you are a coach or consultant, send your clients a link to a webinar recording or eBook that isn’t available anywhere else. Tell them it’s your way of showing appreciation and that you are excited to work with them in the days to come.[blank_space height=’1em’]
  • If you are a business selling a physical product, one of the easiest ways to go above and beyond is to find a product that you currently offer and include it free of charge with their order.

All successful small business owners WOW their clients with great customer experience.

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Face your fears if you want to grow a successful small business

Everyone has fears.

The only difference between you and the successful people you admire is that they are willing to work through their fears to get where they want to be.

Fear of failure is inevitable and you need to overcome your fears at any cost in order to succeed in business.

Your fears will do everything to stop you from taking action and ruin your business as well.

However, it will be hard to grow your business when you are filled with fear of failure. So to help you out, here are 5 tips to help face your fears when it comes to running a successful small business…

1. Develop your mindset.

You need a mindset that drives you and your business to the next level. Mindset controls everything. What you believe is what you get.

You need to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

You need to develop your mindset to see possibilities and taking action in the presence of fear. Because fear will always be there but making a habit of taking action will bring out the fortune.

So, upgrade your mindset and your mindset will help you to overcome your fears.

2. Be optimistic.

You need to be optimistic about the future. It will empower you and energise you to take powerful actions to succeed in business.

Otherwise, your fears will dominate you and fill you with negative energy which will definitely lead you to failure.

The best way to overcome the fear of failure in business is to be optimistic about the future and your business.

It will help you to break your barriers and take action that leads towards success.

3. Learn more than other people.

Every successful entrepreneur, CEO and business owner read at least 1 book per month. They are addicted to learning new things every day. Learning and growing are important traits for success in business.

It will help you to gain more skills and knowledge that leads to success.

If you are going to compete with big businesses, then you must be willing to learn more than those people.

However, when you have more knowledge than competitors, you will have the opportunity to outwork and outrank them.

This is how you can easily overcome your fears of failure when you have more business knowledge and information than those entrepreneurs, CEO’s and business people.

Be willing to learn more than others and you will become successful in business for sure.

4. Have a proper plan and strategy.

Every business needs a plan and strategy in order to succeed. When you have a proper plan and strategy to apply in business, you will gain confidence.

The more you will gain confidence, the less fearful you will become.

For example, when you have a plan and you know the steps that you are going to take, you will have no doubts in your mind.

It will definitely help you overcome the fear of failure in business and succeed at it.

5. Think like an entrepreneur.

Thinking like an entrepreneur will change your life. Because entrepreneurs are fearless and ready to face every challenge coming their way. It’s all about the mindset.

Entrepreneurs never fear failure and setbacks. They learn from every failure and try again. This is the reason they succeed at the highest level.

If you seriously want to overcome your fears of failure, then you must start to think like an entrepreneur. Doing so will increase your chances of becoming a successful small business owner.

Face that fear!

“The fears we don’t face become our limits. The opportunities we don’t seize become our walls.” – Robin Sharma

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set goals and then hit them and you will be on your way to growing a successful small businessSetting goals is by far one of the most important things anyone, who wishes to create a successful small business must do.

Why is Goal Setting so important?

In life, you are either part of somebody else’s plan, or you are part of your plan.

People who don’t set goals, tend to “go with the wind”, and believe that life happens to them, or that whatever they have or don’t have is due to a matter of “luck”.

Imagine, two yachts set sail from the UK. One says “I want to go to the Bahamas” and it sets sails to the Bahamas, and it gets there.

The other one, never even thought about the fact that it is important to have direction, goes to the ocean, enjoys each day at a time and just “goes with the flow”. A few weeks later, it lands in Sierra Leone.

Taking charge of your life

That is the difference between setting goals and not setting goals. It’s the difference between taking charge and control of your life, vs having life, taking control of you.

Taking charge does not mean, not enjoying the journey, or not going with the flow.

It simply means, you enjoy the journey, but you know where you are headed, and you work towards it, on a daily basis, until you reach your desired destination.

First, consider what you want to achieve, and then commit to it.

Set SMART goals that motivate you and write them down to make them feel tangible.

SMART goal is used to help guide goal setting.

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

Therefore, a SMART goal incorporates all of these criteria to help focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving that goal.

Once you have that in place, you then plan the steps you must take to realize your goal of running and owning a successful small business.‍

I believe there are 5 Proven Ways that you can Set and Achieve your Goals…

  1. Align your Goals with your Purpose
  2. Keep your Goals Visible at all times
  3. Get an Accountability Partner or System
  4. Find a Goal that is Worthy of your Life
  5. Anticipate Roadblocks

Now that you know that your journey may not be a straight line, it means that you will be met with opposition, challenges, and obstacles on the way to your goal.

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H = HIRE Slowly, Fire Fast!

hire slowly in job interviews if you want a successful small business

There is an old concept in business that you should hire slow and fire quickly. This means that you should take your time when bringing someone into your organization.

On the flip-side, if it is not working out, let the person go quickly. is a perfect example of a successful small business.

Their CEO, Tony Hsieh has created a list of core values to look for when someone is hired into will hire you if you are in alignment with their core values – and they will fire you for lack of them.

Another old business saying is that we should hire for attitude and train for skill. That said, sometimes employees must possess certain skills that are required for the job.

Regardless, a bad attitude or lack of alignment of the organization’s core values can impact your organization dramatically, both for your employees as well as your customers.

The negative impact of poor performance

Poor performance…

– Affects the morale of others.

– Prevents or delays others in getting their work done.

– Reflects on the entire company, not just an individual.

– It can create a negative image.

– Can erode customer – and employee – confidence.

– It can impact (negatively) the bottom line.

For example, you may have 20-star employees and just one who is not. If on a particular day a customer calls and happens to get that one person who is less than acceptable, their impression of your entire company is negative.

In other words, in a band, if one instrument is out of tune, it can make all of the instruments seem out of tune.

So, be quick to notice and recognize an employee’s poor performance or a lack of your core values and behaviours.

You will then have to make a choice – to give the employee further training or to let the employee go. If they really do have the right attitude, then take the time to train the skill.

Otherwise, the choice to let someone go, while not always easy, maybe the best one for the company.

But remember to treat those you let go with respect.

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair

All successful small business owners understand the importance of hiring correctly.

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I = INVEST in yourself (Personal Development)

Invest in yourself is a leading trait in successful small business ownersInvesting in yourself may be the most profitable investment you ever make. It not only yields future returns but often a current pay-off as well.

The surest way to achieve a better quality of life, to be successful, productive, and satisfied is to place a priority on investing in both personal and professional growth.

The effort you put into consistently investing in yourself plays a large role in determining the quality of your life now and in the future.

So what options do you have once you have decided to invest in yourself?

Here are some investment options so that you can improve your chances of running a successful small business…

  1. Develop your skills

    Read books, articles, white papers, anything related to the talent or skill you want to work on.

  2. Explore your creative side

    ‍Creativity, in any form, helps us to grow personally and professionally, to view problems and solutions in different ways and to utilize other parts of our mind that may have been previously untapped.

    Choose some form of activity that you have never tried, haven’t practiced in years, or have never explored fully.

  3. Nurture your mind and body

    Nurturing both your mind and body allows you to have more to give now and in the future, more energy, more knowledge, more compassion, more ideas, greater strength, physical and mental endurance.

    Expand your mind. Learning new things and keeping your mind active even in simple ways helps to grow and maintain your mental ability.

    Investing in yourself truly makes a difference in your life, your well-being, and your ability to thrive and perform to the best of your ability.

    The extent to which you invest in yourself, mind and body, not only shapes the way you interact with the outside world, it often reflects the opinion you have of yourself.

    Your future is in large part determined by your willingness and ability to invest in yourself now. This is something all successful small business owners have in common.

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” ―Robin Sharma

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J = Enjoy the JOURNEY

successful small business owners learn to enjoy the journeyIf you spend your whole life working, rushing, and trying to get to your dream destination, you will miss the journey of getting there.

We create stress and lose sleep over the daily challenges we face and we end up missing the special, beautiful moments that could have and should have been experienced.

Life is NOW. Everything you need and want is at THIS moment.

Successful small business owners tell me that you’ll learn more from your journey to success than from the carrot you receive as a reward.

What ultimately makes you who you are and shapes your personality are all the little decisions you make.

On a journey, you experience growth and improvement.

Research shows that people who have a positive outlook on life in their younger years and maintain perspective are actually more likely to earn more later on in life than those who don’t.

So, adjust your mindset to get the biggest payoffs whilst on your path to running a successful small business.

Enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
— Marshall Sylver

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K = KNOW your numbers

successful small business owners know their numbers

As a small-business owner, your days are packed with an endless number of tasks that keep your business on track. When you do finally flop down exhausted on the couch after work, it’s probably not to pour over your financial statements. But that’s a big mistake and not one a successful small business owner should make.

While it might not be your favorite post-work activity, it’s important to keep a close eye on the critical numbers that can help you predict the success of your business.

To help ensure that your business stays in the black and develops into a successful small business, take the time to familiarize yourself with these five key financial numbers. Cash flow, net income, profit & loss, sales, gross margin.

1. Cash Flow

Operating cash flow offers a bird’s-eye view of the economic state of your business. This figure is calculated by subtracting your operating expenses from the money your company generates during normal business activities.

When your operating cash inflow exceeds your cash outflow, this is a sign that you’re operating in the black. If the reverse is true, it’s time to take a closer look at your income and expenses.

As a small-business owner, you should always make sure you have the necessary cash flow to meet all your monthly business expenses. All successful small business owners understand this.

2. Net Income

Closely related to cash flow is your net income, which is also known as your net earnings and net profit. This figure is calculated by subtracting all your expenses, including taxes, from your income. Like cash flow, your net profit is a good indicator of whether you’re earning or losing money.

3. Profit and Loss

This figure is found on what’s commonly known as your P&L statement, which is a snapshot of your company’s income (sales and revenue) minus expenses during a specific period of time, which is generally quarterly, every six months or yearly.

Knowing your company’s profit and loss over time allows you to project earnings and make realistic plans for the future, both short term, and long term. Follow the habits successful small business owners adopt by keeping a close eye on their numbers.

4. Sales

Given that generating sales is the reason most entrepreneurs operate small businesses, this figure is a given on the critical number’s list. Keeping a close eye on sales is important, as a dip could be a warning sign of trouble.

In the same respect, it’s important to pay attention when sales are up.

Determining why business is good at the time your company’s on an upward trajectory is easier than trying to figure it out later. Reacting quickly to an increase in sales also allows you to determine what you need to keep doing to sustain that growth.

5. Gross Margin

Also known as your gross profit—and related to price point—this figure reflects how much money remains after the actual cost of your merchandise is subtracted from the selling price.

If this figure is low and not sufficient to cover your operating costs, such as salaries, rent, marketing, and utilities, then you’re likely not charging enough for your products and services.

Understanding your critical financial numbers may not be as exciting as making a big sale, but keeping an eye on these must-know figures will give you precious peace of mind—and a glimpse of what the future holds for your business.

In business, it’s not just your business numbers you need to know.

Successful Small Business Owners also need to know their HEALTH NUMBERS too.

We memorise the weekend footy scores, the numbers from our last round of golf or the savings when purchasing the latest fashion item.

We need to know the following HEALTH numbers…

  • Blood pressure

    Know and understand your blood pressure numbers to make sure they are not too high. The ideal range for adults is 120/80.Cholesterol.If your cholesterol levels are currently between 4.0-5.5 mmol/L, this is still considered within the limits of the normal range. However, you may wish to talk to your doctor and make simple changes to your lifestyle habits
  • Blood sugar

    Blood sugar levels to be aware of:

    Normal blood sugar:
    – not fasting – less than 8mmol/l
    – fasting – less than 5.5.

    Blood sugar greater than this may indicate diabetes and requires more testing.

  • Body mass index (BMI) One common measure of whether a person is overweight or obese is the body mass index or BMI. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in metres:

    A BMI of:

    less than 20 is considered underweight
    20-25 is considered normal weight
    26-30 is considered overweight
    30 and over is considered obese.
  • Abdominal circumference

    The size of your waist can indicate if you are at risk of heart disease or diabetes.

    A rounder waist has an increased risk:

    for women – if greater than 80cm
    for men – if greater than 94cm.


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great leadership is important when it comes to running a Successful Small Business

Everybody defines leadership differently but I really like the way John C Maxwell defines leadership,…

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

Irrespective of how you define a leader, he or she can prove to be a difference-maker between success and failure.

A successful small business owner has a futuristic vision and knows how to turn his ideas into real-world success stories. This is what makes a great leader.

Some of the important leadership qualities that separate good leaders from a bad one are…

  1. Honesty and Integrity

    Honesty and integrity are two important ingredients that make a good leader. How can you expect your followers to be honest when you lack these qualities yourself? Successful small business owners succeed when they stick to their values and core beliefs and without ethics, this will not be possible.

  2. Confidence

    To be an effective leader, you should be confident enough to ensure that others follow your commands. If you are unsure about your own decisions and qualities, then your team will never follow you.

    As a leader, you have to have complete confidence in yourself and show assertiveness to gain the respect of your team. This does not mean that you should be overconfident, but you should at least reflect the degree of confidence required to ensure that your followers trust you as a leader.

  3. Inspire Others

    Probably the most difficult job for someone wishing to grow a successful small business is to persuade others to follow. It can only be possible if you inspire your followers by setting a good example.

    When the going gets tough, they look up to you and see how you react to the situation.

    As John Quincy Adams puts it, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

    ‍If you are successful in inspiring your team you can easily overcome any current and future challenges easily and be well on your way to growing your own successful small business.

  4. Commitment and Passion

    Your teams look up to you and if you want them to give them their all, you will have to be passionate about it too. When your teammates see you getting your hands dirty, they will also give their best shot.

    If they feel that you are not fully committed or lack passion, then it would be an uphill task for you to motivate them to achieve the goals you have set.

  5. Good Communicator

    If you are unable to communicate your message effectively to your team, you can never be a good leader. Words have the power to motivate people and make them do the unthinkable. If you use them effectively, you can also achieve better results.

  6. Decision-Making Capabilities

    A great leader should have the ability to take the right decision at the right time. Decisions taken by leaders have a profound impact on the team who follow. As a leader, you should think long and hard before taking a decision but once the decision is taken, stand by it.

  7. Accountability

    When it comes to accountability, you need to follow the approach highlighted by Arnold H Glasow when he said…

    A good leader takes little more than his share of the blame and little less than his share of the credit.

    Make sure that every one of your team is accountable for what they are doing. If they do well, give them a pat on the back but if they struggle, make them realise their mistakes and work together to improve.

    Holding them accountable for their actions will create a sense of responsibility among your team and they will go about the business more seriously.

  8. Delegation and Empowerment

    You can do anything BUT you can’t do everything! It is important as a leader to focus on key responsibilities while leaving the rest to others.

    By that, I mean empowering your team and delegating tasks to them. If you continue to micromanage your subordinates, it will develop a lack of trust and more importantly, you will not be able to focus on important matters, as you should be.

    Delegate tasks to your team and see how they perform. Provide them with all the resources and support they need to achieve the objective and give them a chance to bear the responsibility.

  9. Creativity and Innovation

    In order to get ahead in today’s fast-paced world, a leader must be creative and innovative at the same time. Creative thinking and constant innovation are what make you and your team stand out from the crowd. Think out of the box to come up with unique ideas and turn those ideas and goals into reality.

  10. Empathy

    Leaders should develop empathy with those that they lead. Unfortunately, most leaders follow a dictatorial style and neglect empathy altogether.

    Due to this, they fail to make a closer connection with their team. Understanding the problems of your team and feeling their pain is the first step to become an effective leader.

To become a good leader, you must have all these qualities but if you lack some of these qualities, then you might struggle to make the mark in the world of leadership.

You will have to set a good example for others to follow. That is where your commitment, passion, empathy, honesty, and integrity come into play.

Good communication skills and decision-making capabilities also play a vital role in the success and failure of a leader.

Lastly, innovation and creative thinking, as well as the futuristic vision, are a couple of key traits that make a leader stand out.

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successful small business owners have a clearly defined marketing strategyDeveloping a marketing strategy is vital for your business.

The focus of your strategy should be making sure that your services meet your client’s needs.

The purpose of your marketing strategy should be to identify and then communicate the benefits of your business to your target market.


Step 1: Take a snapshot of your company’s current situation.

The “situation analysis” defines your company and your products or services then shows how the benefits you provide set you apart from your competition.

Step 2: Define who your target audience is

Developing a simple, one-paragraph profile of your prospective customer is your next step.

You can describe prospects in terms of demographics — age, sex, family composition, earnings and geographic location — as well as lifestyle.

Step 3: Make a list of your marketing goals.

What do you want your marketing plan to achieve?

For example, are you hoping for a 20 percent increase in sales of your product per quarter?

Write down a shortlist of goals — and make them measurable so that you’ll know when you’ve achieved them.

Step 4: Research marketing tactics

This section is the heart and soul of your marketing plan and is where you detail the tactics you’ll use to reach these prospects and accomplish your goals.

A good marketing program targets prospects at all stages of your sales cycle.

Some marketing tactics, such as many forms of advertising, public relations and direct marketing, are great for reaching cold prospects.

Warm prospects — those who’ve previously been exposed to your marketing message and perhaps even met you personally — will respond best to permission-based email, loyalty programs and customer appreciation events, among others.

Your hottest prospects are individuals who’ve been exposed to your sales and marketing messages and are ready to close a sale.

Step 5: Set your marketing budget.

You’ll need to devote a percentage of projected gross sales to your annual marketing budget.

The key is to never stop marketing — don’t concern yourself with the more costly tactics until you can afford them.

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N = NO

successful small business owners say "no"

Say NO more often.

Because, as Warren Buffett said…

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

So why is it so hard to say “no”?

If you are anything like me then it’s because it makes you feel selfish, guilty, embarrassed even.

We don’t want to upset people. We don’t want them to think badly of us. Sometimes it’s simply easier to say “yes,” than to deal with our angst or other people’s reactions.

But what is this behaviour costing you?

When you give a “yes” when there ought to be a “no”, you give away a little piece of ourselves.

Power is relinquished resulting in you disrespecting your needs by making them less important than the needs of others.

Your needs are disrespected because you end up making choices that don’t support your goals and dreams.

You justify it by saying “it’s just this one time; it’s for a good cause; it won’t take too long; it’s not that big a deal”.

But you are wrong!

It is a big deal.

Every time you do this, you are making a choice to ignore what your heart, your mind, or your gut is telling you.

The Benefits of “Say No”

The Stress Factor

Saying “yes” when you really want to say “no” is a major stressor for your mind and body. It causes anxiety, tension, aches, and pains, which often causes us to lose sleep as well. It’s unquestionably not the lone cause of stress, but it might be among the easiest to control.[blank_space height=’1em’]

Get Rid of Toxic People.

You don’t really want these people in your life anyway, do you? These are advantage takers, the leechers, the complainers, the gossip-mongers, the responsibility-duckers.

They are master manipulators who use guilt and manipulation to pressure you into a “yes.”If you consistently give a firm “no” they’ll eventually go away and find some other, weaker target.[blank_space height=’1em’]

Save Time.

You only have so many hours in the day. You can’t do anything about that, but you can control how you use that time. Don’t let others determine your to-do list or set your set agenda. You are giving away your precious time!

It’s important to use your time in the way that honours your priorities, helps you reach your goals and serves your needs. You decide what’s worth your time and what’s not.[blank_space height=’1em’]

More Energy.

Taking on things that you don’t want to do or don’t have time for, wastes valuable energy that you could be spending on those things you do care about.

Pour that energy into doing a better job on those activities that you really must do or choose to do. More energy helps you feel better, be happier, and have greater productivity.[blank_space height=’1em’]

Increase Focus.

Say “yes” to people and things that are relevant to your goals. Say “no” to those things take you away from your goals and make you lose your focus.

Focus on those things that help you learn and grow both personally and professionally, things that spark your interests or speak to you in some way. Whenever it’s possible, say “no” to everything else.[blank_space height=’1em’]

Gain Strength.

Every time you say “no” to others, you’re saying “yes” to yourself. You’re taking back control of your life by not allowing others to make decisions for you.

You gain confidence when you stand firm and honor your boundaries.

Surprisingly you also gain respect. When you’re clear and firm about what you will and won’t do, people actually respect you more. They may be unhappy with you, but they’ll respect you.[blank_space height=’1em’]

Enjoy Life More.

Life is so much more enjoyable when you begin to say “No” to things that drain you.

The same is true in your work life.

If you make an effort to try to limit your time and effort to work activities that enjoy or that you actually are responsible for, you’ll find that work is much more fun.

It gets easier to give the “no,” the more often you do. It’ll probably be uncomfortable for a while.

We squirm at the thought of disappointing others, even when we’re letting ourselves down in the process.

Your needs, your time, your goals, and what’s important in your life have to be your decision-making guides. It just takes some getting used to.

Repeat after me: “NO.” You can do it!

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O = Get OUT in the world (aka Networking)

Networking is a key marketing tactic If you are struggling to generate leads, get out more – meet people, get to know them and see where the conversation leads.

Remember, people do business with those people they know, like and trust.

If you needed to generate new business now, what would you do?

I don’t mean new clients next week or next month. I mean you need new clients NOW to pay the bills.

Would you sit at home posting on your social media channels hoping someone sees your post or Facebook Ad?

Would you sit and write articles to post online or submit media releases to local media contacts, or would you make blog posts and phone calls?

There are dozens of things you could do if you had to generate new clients, but which ones would pay off fastest?

With that in mind, I created a simple Hierarchy of Client-Getting activities to get you started.

I have based this upon an article I read years ago from one of my early mentors, Alwyn Cosgrove – The Hierarchy of Fat Loss. If you have not read that, then you can find it online.

LEVEL ONE ACTIVITIES – If you need new clients TODAY, these should be the focal point of your marketing efforts.

  • Talking to members of your network face to face
  • Doing public speaking
  • Meeting new people through networking events and personal networking activities
  • Visiting local businesses and marketing to employees or creating JV’s
  • Asking for referrals

As you probably noticed, these all involve face-to-face contact. It’s tough to develop relationships from behind your computer screen.

And not enough of us focus on these key activities.

LEVEL TWO ACTIVITIES – These activities are almost as effective as level one activities; however, they are a little less effective, as nothing is as powerful as “face to face” marketing.

  • Personally calling members of your network
  • Making business-to-business calls
  • Sending press releases to the local media
  • Personally e-mailing members of your network
  • Asking for referrals via mailings to your clients
  • Doing reactivation calls

Why are these not as effective as level one activities?

First off, a significant percentage of the time your phone calls will end up as voice mails, and your messages and emails will get lost in the volume of other calls and emails the recipient receives.

Secondly – it’s much harder to say “no” in person.

LEVEL THREE ACTIVITIES – These activities are valuable, but often take a while to pay off or need to be done in volume to yield big results.

However, once they hit critical mass they can drive business.

  • Submitting SEO Press Releases
  • Submitting articles
  • Blogging
  • Doing direct mailings to your network
  • Sending an email newsletter
  • Doing reactivation mailings
  • Lead bowls or boxes
  • Facebook ads
  • Facebook groups & fan pages
  • Flyers and postcards

These are all great activities that are low cost and potentially can have a huge impact on your business, but if you’re a Personal Trainer running a Fitness Group Class with 5 members and are looking to reach 25 members within the next 30 days – it’s unlikely that these activities will get you there.

If you can outsource these and ramp them up fast that will almost always be the best approach you can take because you can focus on levels 1 & 2 but not miss out on the benefits of level 3.

LEVEL FOUR ACTIVITIES – Only do these activities after you’ve really worked the first three levels.

  • Newspaper ads
  • Radio ads
  • Direct mail to cold lists

These can be effective – in fact, I’ve used them all for my businesses at one time or another, but they’re more expensive than the other activities and not going to provide you with your best ROI.

So, are you getting the idea yet?

When we have coaching clients that aren’t generating enough new business, 98% of the time it’s because they’ve gotten comfortable working on level three activities and ignoring the level one and two activities.

Let me try to drive this home with an analogy for you:

If you need money NOW and your only option was to ask someone to lend you £1000, which of the following would you do:

A. Post a request on your blog
B. Send someone an email to ask
C. Send someone a letter to ask
D. Call them and personally ask
E. Visit them face to face and ask

OK, perhaps not the greatest analogy, I hope you get the picture.

The most powerful way to persuade someone is to do it in person or as close to in-person as you possibly can.

So, spend 30 minutes evaluating what percentage of your marketing time is spent on level one and level two activities.

Then make an effort to increase it by at least 50%.

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profit first is a great tactic to employ in businessMuch like when the safety briefing on a plane tells you to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others, you should adopt the same principle with your business.

Pay yourself first and in doing so you will be able to transform your business.

You can learn more about this counterintuitive tactic in the book Profit First® by Mike Michalowicz.

In this great book he explains how the age-old accounting formula turns great businesses into cash-eating monsters, trapping you in a day-to-day, check-to-check struggle to survive.

He reveals how to flip what he terms the “Frankenstein Formula” and take profit first without compromising your business, and why the Profit First® Formula of Sales – Profit = Expenses actually forces innovation, supports sustained growth and skyrockets profits.

You are about to discover the step-by-step Profit First® system that shows you how to radically change the financial health of your business… from your very next deposit.

Check out Mike’s page @MikeMichalowiczFanPage

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small business owners audition their clients.

Audition your clients, don’t let them audition you.

Set the bar high.

Turn away the 9.9s if you want clients who are 10s.

Adopt a new rule of thumb for life: Hell Yeah! or No.

Potential clients who are not yet a Hell Yeah! to work with me are not where I choose to invest my energy.

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Less is more. Author, Dave Trott says, “Stupid people think complicated is clever. But smart people know simple is clever.” If you want more clients, serve more people. If you want more money, create more value. If you want to move people, let yourself be moved. Less. But better.

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small business owners know how to sell. It's a skill. Learn it!Don’t be afraid of the “S” word. Historically, the word means “give.” Give people (a ton of) value. And then give them a number.

Now you’re selling

The very best way to create a client is NOT to need them.

The philosophy I follow is…

“clients are created, NOT attracted”.

Focus your attention on building relationships instead of attracting clients and this will help you when striving to run a successful small business.

Ready To Learn How to Get More Clients, Make More Money, Change More Lives? Here’s A 5 Step Sales Process For Successful Small Business Owners…

For the past 10 years or more, there has been little change in how people sell things. Nowhere is this truer than within the fitness industry.

Would you be surprised to learn that over 90% of PT’s lack the skills they need to generate more clients?

Perhaps you are one of them? If this is the case, then please read on.

And if you are not in the fitness industry, I still recommend you review this 5-step sales process because I am sure you can learn from it and look to adapt it as necessary for your needs.

Sales in Action

I use the fitness industry as the example here purely because I worked in the fitness industry as a PT and then as a Boot Camp business owner before moving into coaching and consulting fitness business owners.

Most of the sales systems marketed these days is dated, with encouragement to control the customer and spend long periods of time with them, believing the longer you spend with them the more indebted they become.

The reality is that people have changed over the last fifty years, so the sales process must change with them.

Where do you start?

The first thing you must understand is that the perfect sales process will satisfy all parties involved and increase the effectiveness of the user.

People have less time available these days, there is access to more information, both husband and wife (or partner) are more likely to be employed, and some studies suggest entire generations of buyers have become accustomed to not even engaging with a human being to make a purchase.

The perfect sales process, therefore, needs to be fast and easy for the buyer, easy and effective for you, provide quick and credible information to the buyer, treat the buyer as informed, and ultimately satisfy both them and you by consummating a sale.

The first thing I would look at in any sales process is how to shorten and simplify it because of the level of sensitivity buyers demonstrate to time.

Remember, time is on the buyer’s mind…

“How long will I be there?”


“Am I going to get stuck here for hours?”

…are the sort of questions running through a prospect’s mind if and when you get them in front of you.

Outlined below are the five steps below are what I believe to be a very powerful and succinct selling process.

Grant Cardone (the king of sales) calls it G.E.T.A.P. (GET All Pumped).

This is the shortest number of steps in order to simplify the process and still focus on the most important things you want to accomplish.

Many sales processes have seven to twelve steps, most of which are skipped, and many of them are resisted by the person conducting the sales consult.

Here, I believe, are the most crucial five steps that you must encounter in every PT sales situation whether it be in person or the phone…

STEP 1: Greet

The goal of greeting is to introduce yourself, make a good impression, and put the buyer at ease.

My goal here is to set the stage for the remaining steps. When they walk into your facility, greet them at the front desk and simply say “welcome”.

If you are a mobile trainer and you visit them then say something like “thanks for seeing me”.

In both cases, you must maintain your interest in time. If you don’t yet have a relationship with the client, you don’t want to waste their time or you’re trying to make a great impression of who you are and what you are and what you represent.

If you do know them, you don’t want to get caught up in small talk and never get around to business.

It is impossible to get rid of this step. What we want to do is use it to open the door to the reason we are there: to move the prospect into a buyer.

For example…

“Welcome. Thank you for coming here. What can I get you information on?”

(Then transition into the remaining steps.)

STEP 2: Evaluate (Determine Their Wants and Needs)

In this step, we are looking to find out what they are wanting to do. Don’t just hand them a clipboard and have them fill out forms on their own.

Instead, ask them “What are you wanting to accomplish here today?

How can you help them if you don’t know what they want to accomplish? You can either do this by moving into fact-finding or into a consultation stage.

The fastest way to do this is to fact find on previous purchases.

The purpose of this is twofold:

1) to know what service to talk to the prospect about; and

2) to know how to present the service you offer in a manner that will build value in what you are offering and cause them to want to act.

Remember, all purchases or investments are trying to solve a problem of some sort—all of them.

You don’t buy a drill because you want a drill you buy a drill because you want to make a hole.

STEP 3: Tour of Facility (Present/Build Value)

Give the prospect a guided tour of your facility focusing on what you found out in the first two steps.

Provided you took note of what they told, you should now be able to select and present a solution and how it will benefit the client. Make sure you present your product based on what your client told you was important.

A wiser man than me once said…

If a man is choking, he doesn’t need to know the quality of the crystal or the purity of the water—just sell the man the drink!

STEP 4: (Free) Analysis

Next, you want to continue to build value by giving the prospect a free analysis.

You can say something like this…

“I’d now like to offer you a free analysis. When you leave here today, regardless of your decision here today, you’re going to know exactly what you need to do to get into the best shape of your life.”

Whenever I used to perform the analysis, I would record their measurements with a tape measure.

This is all about wanting to help people.

If you are not measuring people and having them stand in front of you so that you can take a photo of them on your phone (that gets the “before” photo out of the way right out of the gate).

Once you have taken the photo, show it to them and say to them “what do you see that you want to fix?

Let them tell you – from my experience, guys say they want to lose their gut and ladies it’s hips, thighs and tums.

Then you can ask them what result they want to achieve.

This helps the prospect start to think that they will be working out with you.

Next up you want to use technology to dominate the market. Do this right and you will never be competing with your competition.

How do you do this?

Once they have reviewed the photo with you and told you what they want to achieve, you can say something like “right, I am going to text this photo to you. Do you have a mobile phone? Great, what’s your number?”

Input their number straight into your phone and say “ok, I’m sending this to you right now”.

What have you just captured?

That’s right… their phone number

Along with their name, your phone and their number are the only things you really want from a client.

If a guy misses three days of workouts this is the number you want to call… “Hey [First Name], where are you? Remember when you signed up we said we were here to hold you accountable and give you that kick up the backside? Well, here it is.”

Does anyone else in your market do that? I bet not too many do. This helps set you apart.

STEP 5: Make A Proposal

I suggest you always make a proposal—always.

Even when people are not ready, make them an offer. Many people suggest not presenting all buyers with figures, but I believe that if you don’t present them, you can never come to an agreement.

I am not suggesting that you make an offer before the presentation of your service, but I am suggesting that you do what you can to get to figures with every buyer in every situation.

You only have this one opportunity with them, so make it count.

If someone objects about something, make sure you also use the first rule of sales… always agree.

If they say something like “your fees are expensive”, you could say “yes they are” and then explain the reason being is that you generate results.

Realise objections are complaints.

People complain about the cost of petrol, the cost of food and the cost of going to the cinema but they still spend their money.

So there you have it, a quick overview of a 5 step process of how to get more clients, make more money and change more lives.

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T = Build a TEAM

teamwork is key to your business success

If you want to grow, don’t do it alone. It’s counterintuitive but hire great people BEFORE you can afford them. Hire slowly. (And fire quickly). Encourage your team to make mistakes. Make it your mission to help each one work only in their Zone of Genius.

Building a high-performance team involves more than just assembling a group of talented individuals.

For a team to be effective, its members must unite behind an inspiring vision and be motivated to bring that vision to life.

They must share clear, measurable goals, and be committed to playing their part in the overall success of the group.

Here are some key steps to building a strong, cohesive and effective team:

Using words like “power” or “success” to describe a company can sometimes make it easy to imagine a cutthroat environment.

However,  a competitive workplace shouldn’t run on employees’ fear or feel like a real-life Hunger Games.

A powerful and successful company operates best and with the most longevity when employees work with a team mentality, each filling a needed role and fulfilling long-term goals.

Here’s what you can do to make sure your team is as strong as it can possibly be for your company.

STEP 1: Focus on roles.

A thorough selection process for picking your team members has greater long-term benefits, even if this means you spend more time recruiting than you’d like to.

Hiring someone just to have bodies in the room can harm your team.

Businesses that do this wind up becoming a revolving door, whether it’s because prospective employees see the role as a temporary landing pad and are less interested in learning, or because you decide later on that they aren’t the right fit.

This winds up costing you more money in the long run.

Investing your time and money in people who truly specialize in the role your company needs will have immense payoffs later

STEP 2: Value each role.

With each team member bringing something special to the table, treating each role as an essential part of your operation is also crucial.

Each team member should feel like their job matters, without ever asking themselves, “Why am I even here?”

It’s no secret that a sense of purpose helps each employee’s performance.

When employees feel that their role is undervalued or perhaps unnecessary, it can become easy to check out mentally as work becomes mechanical and something they completely detach from as soon as the day is over.

STEP 3: Communicate.

The best way to demonstrate value between team members is through communication.

It’s difficult to feel like you are part of a team when everybody has information that hasn’t been shared with you yet or when team members don’t fill each other in on what they’re working on.

Keep a level of transparency whenever possible with all team members, even if the information doesn’t directly pertain to every person on your team.

Apps like Slack are making it easier to do this without having to think about it. An open line of communication helps your team members to share and create a more productive workflow.

Meet with your team regularly

Having a weekly check-in or talking beyond discussions of to-do lists can bring great new ideas to the surface or will give someone a chance to help in an area they may not have known about otherwise.

Developing processes and workflows that can be quickly implemented, executed and tracked is crucial to managing your team, especially when faced with rapid growth.

This is typically the first thing you should look to address so more time and energy can be spent on the things there is little to no control over.

In the area of communication, your team should also give each member a voice.

Letting the whole team weigh in on feedback and asking for their opinion also helps them to stay engaged and brings them closer to projects.

When every team member takes the time to evaluate a decision and form an opinion, they’re attached to the outcome and want to know that their thoughts are considered in the process.

Allowing this gives people a feeling of ownership over their work, leading to better performance.

STEP 4: Set goals.

Setting short and long-term goals with your team also become the foundation for every task they set out to complete each day.

Being enthusiastic about the outcome and motivating each other with positive reinforcement will help your team members to make sure that they work with a sense of the big picture, knowing why every task they do is necessary for achieving a longer-term goal.

It’s important to note that these goals should be realistic so that you and your team don’t feel like you are working for a lost cause.

Having milestones and deadlines can give team members opportunities to help each other out and band together for success.

STEP 5: Celebrate successes and failures.

Celebrating your successes and milestones also brings your team together and allows everyone to see that when they work together, great things can happen.

If someone does a great job at something, give them a shout out in front of the rest of the team so that every effort is seen and appreciated.

This also helps each person to feel visible and that what they’re doing has an impact.

In contrast, if your team fails at something, come together to redirect your efforts or turn it into something positive.

Don’t throw anyone under the bus or turn a damage-control discussion into a blame game.

This never helps anybody.

Instead, give your team equal responsibility to put your heads together and figure out the next steps or pivots.

STEP 6: Know each other.

You are, of course, never obligated to become best friends on a personal level with your team members.

But having a monthly outing or engaging in some offsite socializing can give team members a chance to appreciate one another for more than just the job they do.

Getting to know the people you work with helps you understand their style of work and how to have constructive discussions with them on tough days.

So there you go, 6 steps to building a strong, cohesive and effective team.

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U = Invest in YOU

Invest in yourself will pay dividends for you Investing in yourself is one of the best returns on investments you can have.

Whether it’s investing in learning a new skill, developing yourself personally or professionally, tapping into your creativity or hiring a coach, you need to give to yourself first before you can give to others.

It is our responsibility to take the time to develop our gifts and talents, so we can best serve others.

Investing in yourself is an example of self-love, you must love yourself before you can expect others to love you.

Why is investing in yourself so powerful?

Investing in yourself sends a powerful message to yourself and the world.

The message is:

The value and potential that I possess, is important enough to me that I’m going to give it the energy, space and time to grow and create results.

When you’re willing to say yes, and take that leap of faith and invest in yourself, the universe will provide you with amazing rewards.

I would like to share some incredible ways that you can invest in yourself – the great news is they don’t all require money.

STEP 1: Set goals.

Learn how to set personal and business goals for yourself.

If you’re not taking the time to set goals it’s like driving in the dark with the headlights turned off.

You will not know where you’re going and you will waste precious time. Be sure to also set some time frames in which to meet them.

Your goals should be SMART goals –

Relevant; and

STEP 2: Honour your intuition.

You can show yourself love by trusting your gut and honouring the message that it’s sending.

Listening to your intuition will allow you to make better decisions.

Valuing your intuition, by not allowing the thoughts, feelings or statements of others to take away from what you know to be true is very empowering.

By paying attention to how you feel, it will help you to make better, smarter and quicker decisions.

I know for me personally, if I choose to ignore my gut or intuition when I feel a strong feeling about something, it almost always is a decision or action that I end up regretting.

I have learned to always trust my intuition and that is what leads me in my life and business.

STEP 3: Invest time in your creativity.

Our creativity doesn’t have to diminish as we get older.

In fact, it is believed that the peak of creativity in most people is around 30-40 years old.

STEP 4: Invest in building your confidence.

People who know their value, have something to say and others will listen. You can invest in yourself by developing an understanding of the value that you possess and offer others.

Learn to have the courage to speak your truth.

The more you love yourself and own the value that you offer, the more confident you will become in sharing it with others.

STEP 5: Read educational books.

Books or audiobooks are an awesome resource to build your knowledge and expertise in any area.

STEP 6: Attend seminars and workshops to expand your knowledge and skills in your business and/or personal life.

This will also give you the opportunity to meet and interact with individuals who are like-minded.

STEP 7: Take care of your health.

Eat right each day, fueling your body with nutrients.

When you focus on eating organic and healthier choices, you will feel better and have more energy.

I know that the unhealthy burger or cupcake gives us instant gratification, but if you’re like me, you regret it later, because you feel lousy afterward.

Exercise daily.

Do something every day to get moving and get your heart rate up, even, if it’s just walking the dog.

Exercise gives you the energy to take on the day with confidence because of how it makes you look and feel.

STEP 8: Choose to be happy.

Happiness is a choice.

Happy people choose to focus on the positive aspects of life, rather than the negative.

They are not held hostage by their circumstances. They look at all the reasons to be grateful.

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
– Abraham Lincoln

STEP 9: Work on your bucket list.

If you don’t have a bucket list, then it’s time to start one.

Your bucket list is meant to be a list of everything you want to achieve, do, see, feel and experience in your life.

Your list may be ongoing, but you can start by writing 100 things down.

Then each month or so, make sure you’re knocking out at least, one of the items on your list.

STEP 10: Invest in a coach.

A coach can assist you in putting all of these strategies into action.

A coach is your partner in success. It is their job to assist you in creating and implementing your success plan, so you can become the best that you can be.

I can promise this: When you invest in yourself, a world of opportunities will open up for you.

And, if you have a business where you sell your services, you must know that no one will invest in you until you invest in yourself first.

Investing in yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially, will allow you to become the best version of yourself.

When you are the best version of yourself, you will be an attraction magnet to others!

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V = Find your VOICE

All successful bloggers hated their first 50 articles. And none of them found their voice until they’d written at least 100.

If you want to write, start writing. And then put it out in the world.

Action, not perfection.

If you want to speak, start speaking. Start with an audience of two people and grow from there.

Finding your voice, and owning it, is tough.

Especially when you’re first getting started. I know this because everyone has been in your shoes.


When you’re looking to start a blog, build a business, or GROW a business, you’re going to want to conform to the people around you.

You’re going to want to blend in with everyone else because of your innate fear of being judged by other people. And yes – even if you have unshakeable confidence in yourself – that fear is there.

It is there for me too.

But don’t do it. Don’t blend in with everyone else.

What blends in gets forgotten.

What STANDS OUT gets remembered.

And being remembered is vital when you’re competing in an overcrowded online space. Take a second and look around at the most successful personalities and companies.

Some of them are the world’s best at what they do.

But others just have an innate ability to stand out and be remembered.

Steve Jobs. Gary Vee. Joel Osteen. Tony Robbins. Russell Brunson.

Whatever personality you identify with, you know there’s something about them that makes them uniquely themselves.

It turns out, there’s something about you that makes you uniquely yourself too… and it’s your job to ensure you’re not hiding it from the public.

You need to find your voice… and own it.

We’re all worried about how the world sees us… and we conform. Or, as Sally Hogshead puts it in her book “How the World Sees You“, we learn how to be boring.

Even though being boring isn’t our default state. It’s something we learn how to do as we get older.

Find your voice and own it.

Determine what you need to do.

You likely have written something, and thought, “Oh no, I can’t say that…”

Well, maybe you shouldn’t…

or maybe you should.

Before we move on to the next topic, I’ll leave you with a question:

Have you struggled with finding your voice and owning it?

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W = WALK your Talk

Hire your own coach. The biggest gift you can give your clients is to be successful. But don’t try to be perfect. Share your struggles. Being real is hard but deeply attractive. Mahatma Ghandi once said:

“Integrity is when what you DO is the same as what you SAY; and when what you SAY is the same as what you THINK.”

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X = 10X

Dream bigger.

Tim Ferriss says:

“It’s lonely at the top. 99% of the world is convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre middle-ground. If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”

Grant Cardone is a master of sales and the author of five business books, including The 10X Rule and the New York Times bestseller If You’re Not First, You’re Last

He has created customized sales training programs for Fortune 500 companies like Google and Afflac, he corresponds on Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC and MSNBC…

He has reached a level of success most only dream about.


Because he believes in success, that it is your duty, your obligation, your responsibility.

Here are his rules for success…

STEP 1: Know yourself.

When he was younger, he struggled with addiction and drug abuse. But at 25, he hit rock bottom and he made the decision to get clean—to change directions—with a nudge from a family friend.

It was when he came back home from treatment that he realized a key factor of his personality:

“I was terrified because I was scared of downtime,” he says. “[I discovered] downtime was really the culprit of my problems. When I was bored, when I wasn’t busy when I didn’t have something to do or something to accomplish, I got in trouble—every time in my entire life, way before drugs, too.”

So he decided he had to throw himself completely into something—to become a “junkie” about something.

And in 60 days of doing that, things changed—his money, his career, his self-esteem.

STEP 2: Show up.

How do you start making something of yourself—how do you start winning, succeeding?

By showing up.

If you are just starting out, or if you’ve grown discouraged, Cardone believes if you show up and go back to basics, you will eventually see results.

”Show up, even if you don’t know what to do, and something will happen.”

STEP 3: Practice selling.

Cardone used to be a salesman and he hated it. So how did he go from loathing his job in sales to being an expert at it?

He started in auto sales at the age of 25, and by 26 he was in the top 1 percent of salesmen in the auto industry.

That’s when he decided he was going to get really good at it—and that’s when he started studying sales.

He read and listened to everything he could from influencers of the day like Brian Tracy and Jackie Cooper.

He started recording sales deals when someone came in to buy a car from him, and he hired his mom to watch and take notes, to debrief at the end of it all to see what’s working and what’s not.

“I’m recording myself, I’m using every little piece of technology available 30 years ago to find out what am I doing right, what am I doing wrong?” he says. “What I was doing, I didn’t know it then, but I was basically codifying sales.”

If Cardone believes one thing, it is that you have to know how to sell no matter what you do, but especially in business.

STEP 4: Think bigger, much bigger.

“My biggest mistake in life was that I thought too small for too long,” Cardone says.

Which is why he is so passionate about growing exponentially now.

He thinks people underestimate two things:

First, most underestimate how much money they actually need to take care of their family and live comfortably—meaning enough financial security to weather any economic collapses.

Second, people grossly underestimate their potential to achieve.

STEP 5: Focus on your legacy.

Each morning and evening, instead of to-do’s, Cardone writes out his major life goals, which range from “Buy a bigger jet” to “Grow old with my wife.”

When asked what his finish line was, he said there wasn’t one, that if there was—it would be 100 years from now.

His eye is continually on the prize.

So what is the prize a century from now?


Say someone finds him 100 years in the future, what is his legacy to them?

“That guy helped me. He really helped me simplify business; that man helped me simplify life; he made it alright for me to be me.”

Feeling inspired? Ready to become a successful small business owner?

Take a look at your goals and targets and then 10X them.

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Y = Start with WHY!

Know your WHY

As Simon Sinek puts it…

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it … The goal is not to do business with people who need what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

Sinek argues that when we start with WHY in everything that we do, we inspire action in a way that WHAT doesn’t.

That’s because WHY engages our emotions, while WHAT engages our logical brain.

Which of these statements sounds more compelling to you:

“I’m a Personal Trainer” (the WHAT)


“I help people live extraordinary lives by helping and encouraging them to become more active and to nourish their bodies with good wholesome foods” (the WHY and HOW)

Sinek points out that…

“Finding WHY is a process of discovery, not invention”.

In other words, most of us already know our WHY at some level; we just have to find it.

Here are three ways you can go about uncovering your WHY:

STEP 1: Look backwards.

Think about the original motivation for starting your business. What is the specific problem you want to solve, and why is it so important that you solve it? Why do you want a successful small business?

As Seth Godin would ask, “What change are you trying to make?”

STEP 2: Look outwards.

Ask a close friend why they spend time with you. Or ask a long-time client why they work from you.

Once they understand that you’re not being insecure, their responses will give you insight into why people are drawn to you or your business. They will highlight your common beliefs.

STEP 3: Look inwards.

According to Sinek, successful small business owners have a point of view about the world, a bigger vision that they are contributing to. This doesn’t need to be philanthropic, but it does need to inspire.

Can you think of commonly held beliefs you disagree with? What gets you up in the morning?

Are you able to determine what really matters to you?

If you’re still not clear on your WHY, that’s okay. Like your purpose, passion or niche, your WHY will emerge over time if you let it.


So, what’s my WHY?

Simple. To unleash potential.

Everything I do in our business aligns with that one purpose. I believe that untapped potential is one of the biggest tragedies in the world.

Before one of my Uncles passed, he told me we only have one life, so live it.

My promise to myself is I didn’t want to ever look back with regret on things that I could have done, businesses I could have started, relationships I could have had.

This promise is what finally convinced me to leave the safety of a corporate job, start my coaching business and travel to the over side of the world and back.

The truth is that most people will die with their greatest gifts still inside them.

Not my clients.

They’re too busy starting and growing epic businesses that contribute to the world. They are driven to building successful small businesses.

Entrepreneurship isn’t the only way to unleash potential, but it’s one of the best HOWs that I’ve found. It forces us to be brave and slay our mental dragons.

Plus, the skills you develop in your pursuit to creating a successful small business are transferable to other domains.

Coaching, writing, and publishing this newsletter are simply WHATs for me.

If I found a better way to unleash potential, I would do that instead.

All that matters is that I create a spark.

What’s your WHY?

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Z = Zzz’s

Get your Zzz's. Energy is important when running a businessTake care of yourself because you’re the most important part of your business. All successful small business owners know this.

Rest, relax, recharge your batteries, exercise, be in nature, play, eat well and sleep well.

Be your own best client.

It’s one of the most critical, yet most often overlooked components to leading a healthy life.

As we train our bodies through exercise, we use precious energy and we need more sleep in order to replenish this lost resource.

The benefits of a good night’s sleep (between seven and nine hours a night) are numerous.

We all know that exhausted ‘I’ve gotten out of the wrong side of the bed’ feeling, which leaves you groggy and out of sorts.

And no matter how many times science tells us we need to get more sleep, it isn’t easy to make it actually happen!

One restless night may not be the end of the world but a series can leave you chronically sleep-deprived, which then impacts on your overall health.

When you only get five hours of sleep, it decreases your metabolic burn by about 10 percent.

As a result, your body can go into a sluggish mode and disrupt your hunger hormones.

Here are five ways to roll out of bed on the ‘right’ side.

1. Schedule a daylight workout

Research shows you get more restful sleep when you exercise in daylight, especially first thing.

Sunshine boosts the sleep hormone melatonin, while resistance training and aerobic workouts help you fall asleep quicker and reduce the need for medical solutions.

Prefer to work out at night?

Chances are you’re going to find it hard to get to sleep.

Working out raises your body temperature and peps you up before bed so make sure you leave a three-hour gap between finishing a workout and heading to bed.

2. Skip the espresso martini

Combine alcohol and caffeine (think espresso martini or coffee after a couple of wines) and you’ve got a recipe for sleeplessness, dehydration, and dare we say it, snoring.

So what do successful small business owners do for top-quality shut-eye?

Stop sipping caffeinated drinks after lunch; replace your nightcap with a decaf herbal tea, and chase each alcoholic beverage with mineral water.

3. Roll out your yoga mat

Before your head hits the pillow, ease the stress of your day with a gentle nighttime ritual. Inhaling lavender oil (try five deep breaths) can ease anxiety and insomnia.

Meditation and regular yoga practise can help relax you and are linked with improved sleep quality, too.

4. Tuck in like Goldilocks

To help you drift off, take a lesson from Goldilocks and think: not too hot, not too cold – just right!

This applies to your body temperature and your bedroom. A hot shower before bed raises temperatures, which makes it harder to fall asleep, so finish on a cooler note.

Next: dim the lights so they’re not too bright, and banish screens that emit blue light (your phone, TV, digital clock), which interrupt sleep.

Tip: Try charging your phone in another room (this will help you get up and at ’em the next day!) or just use the old trick of putting your alarm out of arm’s way.

5. Review your pillow

How comfy is your pillow?

Two recent studies asked participants to rate five pillows for comfort and sleep quality, including their own.

More than half slept better with a new pillow, with latex and foam contour the best performers; feather pillows the worst.

Apart from a poor night’s sleep and stiff back the next day, your pillow can also harbour dust mites that aggravate allergies and keep you up at night.

Asthma Australia recommends washing your pillow cover and bedding weekly in water more than 55°C if susceptible to hayfever and asthma.

Now, is it bedtime yet?

So, there you go – a list of 26 steps to apply to help you run a successful small business. I hope you find this article helpful!

If this post has resonated with you but you still have some questions about how you can go about starting and building your very own successful small business, then why not take advantage of a free strategy call? You can book one by clicking here


About the author, Andrew Wallis

From two decades in the corporate world to finding my freedom in fitness, I'm known as Braveheart—a Personal Trainer turned marketing maestro for Fitness Professionals. I'm all about unlocking potential and empowering Fit Pros to grow their businesses. 'Finding Your Freedom' isn't just a mantra; it's a collective journey I embark upon with my clients.

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