What does it take to make a successful small business in America?
If you’ve asked yourself that question wearily at the end of a strength-sapping 14 hour shift at your small business, you’re not alone. If you’ve asked it after pouring years of your life into a company that hasn’t met your expectations for its growth yet, you’re far from the only one. You can take some small solace in that, but it doesn’t bring the immediate success we would all love to have.
We don’t claim to be wizards here at BizEngine. We can’t transform your small business into a success overnight, and we don’t have the market cornered on knowledge. We do know, however, that every successful company shares one trait, from their CEO down to the guy maintaining the toaster ovens.
The Successful Small Business Trait
Simply put, every small business worth its salt knows how to hang on. There are circumstances that will blow up even the most persistent small business owners, but if you wanted to identify a single trait that links the most successful companies, this would be it.
So persistence is key, but it’s not something you can pick up at the grocery store. It’s the result of hard work and a willingness to take the bad times with the good times, a willingness to take the long view even when the long view is difficult to find.
It requires, in other words, a certain mindset.
3 Tips To Being Persistent
- Always keep the endgame in mind. Set yourself a long, long, long-term goal. Do you want to send your kids to college or retire comfortably? Do you want to become the largest sandwich shop in the tri-city area? Print it off, scribble it on a piece of paper and laminate it. That goal should sustain you even during the worst months and years of your small business experience.
- Be able to turn a critical eye on your business. To truly stick around, you have to be able to recognize the flaws inherent in your model and be willing to fix them. Those who procrastinate, those who stick stubbornly to a course that’s either unproductive or downright toxic to their business and those who can’t take constructive criticism or see problems aren’t likely to have long careers without a healthy dose of luck.
- Learn from those who came before you. The most successful businesses have lessons in sticking around to share with you, and if you talk to a longtime small business owner long enough, they’ll have stories of hardships that might even dwarf your own.
Just remember to hang in there. With the right amount of determination and a good business plan, you will eventually get there.
In our humble opinion, that’s what it takes to be a great small business. Do you agree?
Photo credit to iStock