Four Tips To Keep Winning In Business
Success, especially in business, isn’t easy. Unlike, say, an athlete, you don’t have the advantage of a coach, the camaraderie of a team, and a proven system of taking consistent, constructive action to push you to a higher level of performance. Instead, you often find yourself alone and without wise counsel. You might also find yourself surrounded by people who are jealous of every breakthrough you make.
Now, finally, you’re at a point where your numbers show that your business is a success. You’ve resolved problems that appeared overwhelming and you’ve charted a clear course for your ship. You've managed to muddle through the best course of action when things didn't work according to plan and now have a business process that delivers results.
However, success doesn’t always guarantee success, and it’s even possible to become a victim of your own success. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you keep winning:
1. Protect your technology.
One reason why you’ve succeeded is that you learned how to leverage the power of technology to do everything much more accurately and efficiently. Your hardware, software, and network systems worked in the background to 10x your efforts. Now, one way to ensure your continued success is to protect your technology by getting proper IT support and monitoring--because companies on the upswing are more vulnerable to system downtime losses and cyber attacks.
2. Keep marketing and selling.
Another reason why your business is successful is that you are earning more than you’re spending. Revenue alone doesn’t make a business successful; success is measured in profitability, earning more than you have to pay for overheads. However, this is a delicate equation and it’s possible to incur more losses than gains for no fault of your own. For this reason, it’s important to always be marketing, even when you have more than enough clients or customers. You need to keep the pipeline full.
It’s also important to keep an eye on sales numbers so that you can troubleshoot any problems that arise. For instance, a slump in sales could be because the new sales people you hired didn’t get enough training or because the new product you’ve added isn’t meeting customer needs. The best way to avoid a sales slump from becoming a crisis is to have a monitoring system that signals the need for an intervention strategy.
3. Keep learning how to do things better.
One reason you’ve succeeded is that you know what you’re doing. However, the rate of industry knowledge is advancing at a rapid rate and it’s essential to stay on top of the latest technological trends, market shifts, economic fluctuations, and business management ideas to stay on top of your game.
4. Develop an emotional recovery plan for handling failure.
Winning is wonderful, but sometimes even the best and most competent people in any field lose. In sports, it’s usually fairly obvious. A long-time favorite to win is defeated by a relative newcomer to the sport, a favorite sports team experiences an upset at the hands of a team that rarely wins. In business, too, defeat can creep up on us, and the trick to avoid spinning into a downward emotional spiral is to have a strategy to avoid ending up feeling some shame or guilt about mistakes:
In a Forbes article, 5 Things Highly Successful People Do To Stay Motivated, author Erika Andersen offers a methodology to deal with unexpected setbacks. Here is a quick summary of her series of steps:
- Feel your feelings fully instead of suppressing them until you burn through them and get to a calm state of mind. Acting on your disappointment or anger is only going to make things worse.
- Reframe the situation so that you can see it from a different angle. For instance, if you lose your biggest client, don’t focus on the financial consequences, but on how you are now free to find the time to get an even betterclient.
- Understand the situation. There is always a reason why something happened. Instead of glossing over the reason for your setback, clenching your jaw and moving forward with renewed determination, take a moment to pause to find the lesson and grow from it. If you don’t learn from the mistake, you are likely to repeat it in the future.
- Take a new course of action.
- Work to build a support team.
You’re one of the few who are fortunate enough to see their small business blossom into something bigger. Undoubtedly, it was a longer and harder struggle than you anticipated, but now things are going your way. Now, use these four suggestions to continue to go from strength to strength.