Twenty years ago, if you told me I would be writing a blog post with the first line being “Business is FUN!”, I would have rolled my eyes at you and laughed. Twenty years ago, I was working in the corporate offices of a major retail chain. My days and weeks were filled with meetings, planning major international events, training store managers and traveling throughout the US and Canada visiting the inside of major airports and malls. I hustled and worked long hours all for something that would never be my own.
Today, the picture is very different. Today, I am the founder and owner of 2 of my own businesses and co-founder and co-owner of a third. My passion is taking something from nothing and watching it grow. Even more exciting to me is to see how BIG I can make each entity grow. Each business has its own personality, struggles and victories and each one is its own separate high. As different as each of them is, there are some constants that must be in place to make them a success.
Below is a list of some best practices I have used while growing and developing businesses that you can use to help grow yours:
- Get organized – create a business plan and revisit it often
- Embrace technology
- Set up systems
- Identify your brand
- Know what your core values are and use them in everything you do
- Identify your target market and get to know them well
- Listen to your customers
- Take care of your customers
- Do what you say you are going to do
- Answer your phone when it rings
- Surround yourself with the right people
- Always be learning
- Make mistakes – you never know what good can come out of them
- Find a mentor
- Mentor others
To me, watching a concept come to life, experiencing its growth, is what makes business fun. In a way, it is like watching a child grow and develop. You nurture, care for them, love them and do all that you can so they mature into productive adults. Isn’t that what we want for our businesses? For them to grow up to be mature, healthy and productive?