There are stacks of books written on how to succeed in business; but if you boiled all that advice down to its basic elements you would find four keys to business success.

  1. Expect long days and late nights. Get yourself a good coffee maker and some strong java. Starting a business and making it profitable is hard work that will require plenty of long days. Few businesses enjoy instant success. Expect some failures along the way; every business has them. Success is often a matter of persevering in the Successface of defeat.
  2. If you want it to happen, write it down. Get into the habit of writing things down. Written records help us crystallize ideas, keep goals and plans firmly in mind, and provide structure for reviewing and evaluating progress. Inspiration usually strikes at odd moments. Keep a notepad and pen close at hand so you’re ready for “light bulb” moments. Don’t trust your memory; write down ideas immediately while they’re fresh. Make lists of daily chores and goals. Keep them in sight for frequent reference to keep yourself on track and motivated. Keep a weekly record of things that go right and wrong. Review your notes regularly to pinpoint areas for improvement.
  3. The path to a goal starts at the end. It’s easier to reverse engineer something than reinvent the wheel. Most business owners know where they want to end up. What’s hard is figuring out how to get there. Determine your goals first, then work backwards to figure out what steps must be taken to reach each goal. Breaking goals down into a series of steps creates a path that makes them achievable.
  4. Own your mistakes and fix them. When you own your own business, the buck stops on your desk. If you want to keep your customers, you have to own up to your mistakes and fix them ASAP. You can’t shunt responsibility off on the economy or unfair competition or a shipping mistake. Accept the responsibility and learn from your mistakes.

For more business tips read The Zoondy Daily.