What Successful Business Owners Know, That You Should Know Too

If you are interested in becoming a successful business owner, the first thing you need to do is throw out all of the beliefs and ideas on what makes a person a successful business owner. There is no blueprint that you can follow, or a particular school that you must attend; what you need to focus on are the things that you have control over now, and how they can help you make a difference in achieving your business goals.

The first thing that you need to realize and accept is that there is no predetermined amount of work hours you need to put in each week. The amount of hours that you put in each week, will help you get out of your business what you put in. If you think that you can accomplish everything you need to in a few hours each day, you are mistaken. To achieve your desired result, which is becoming a successful business owner, you need to work your tail off. There is no shortcut or magic business plan that will help you avoid putting in the work.

The next thing you should focus on is finding out what you truly love to do. If you haven’t found that yet, then the business you are working at may not be successful because you do not believe in it 100%. When you find out what it is that truly motivates you and makes you jump out of bed each morning, you will be on your way to doing something that is important to you. Believing in what you are doing each day will make it easier for you to achieve the success that you have been looking for.

A successful business owner is passionate about their work. They are always looking for a way to improve their business or share their work with others. It is this level of passion that drives them to be the best they can be; it is also beneficial in motivating those around them as well. This type of passion can often be contagious and lead to a productive and fulfilling work atmosphere. If you love what you do and are excited about it, don’t be afraid to share that enthusiasm with everyone around you.

Every successful business owner wasn’t born with the knowledge on how to run a business. They knew that there was a lot to learn and they devoted their lives to learning as much as they could. To become a successful business owner, you need to educate yourself on how the world of business works. Become familiar with all of the different aspect related to your business and never allow someone else to know more about your business than you do.

Traits of Successful Business Women

There are many successful business women out there, but I guarantee that their success did not come easy. There is a lot of pressure placed on women in the world today, and life runs at a much faster pace. We are expected to be able to juggle both being a mom and a career woman. To achieve this, many women are starting their own home based businesses. Here are a few traits of successful business women that I believe are the key to success in their own home based businesses.

An Entrepreneurial Spirit:

In order to be successful in your home based business, you must be a go-getter and understand that it takes a lot of effort and perseverance to start your own business. You must understand that building your own business takes a lot of creativity and a lot of advertising. You must have the proper mind set to understand how a home business works, and that it takes time to make a business profitable. Your success truly depends on how hard you are willing to work for it. You must have a strong desire to succeed.

Self Confidence:

You don’t have to be an overly outgoing person to have self confidence. As a home business owner, you will experience many bumps in the road, and these are the times when self belief will come in handy. You will also have to learn to sell yourself, both in person and on paper. Whether you are hosting at home meetings or parties to sell your products, or utilizing social media tools, it takes confidence to advertise your business properly.

Excellent Writing Skills:

Whether you are using article marketing, blogging, social media, newspaper ads, or flyers to advertise your business, you must have up to par writing skills. If you have terrible grammar or misspelled words, you are going to lose a tremendous amount of credibility. Make sure that your writing is as close to perfect as humanly possible. Find someone to proofread, read your material out loud to yourself, and don’t rely solely on your spell check.

These qualities are just a few traits of successful business women in relation to a home based business. To master all of the traits of a successful business woman takes life experience, successes, and failures along the way.

Secrets of Successful Business Relationships Online

Operating a successful business is largely about building and maintaining relationships. Sure, your customers are concerned about price, quality, service, etc., but the most successful businesses are those that work to develop a relationship with their customers. Look at Wal-Mart, for example. Do you really need someone handing you a shopping cart on your way in the store? No, but they always hire a nice, elderly type people who smile and says hello to you as you walk in. That’s relationship building!

Truth is people will often pay more for something if they have established some kind of personal connection with the person or persons within the business. Certainly, such relationships lead to repeat business, whether you run a grocery store, a restaurant, a sporting goods store, or a movie theater.

For most of us, it’s not often that we develop substantial relationships with people at the places we frequent. This is due to a number of reasons; maybe the store is large and has many employees and therefore you never really see the same people with each visit, sometimes it’s just a quick stop or perhaps you don’t visit all that frequently. But if you think about it, there are probably places you go often, where you have established some kind of relational bond with someone who works there. It’s that kind of familiarity that keeps bringing you back. And of course, not every place of business can develop an intimate relationship with every customer, but those that try are often more successful than those that don’t.

Building Business Relationships Online

While online businesses lack the ability to build relationships face-to-face, this does not negate the importance of building relationships with your customers–you just have to go about it a bit differently. In part, this is accomplished through your website itself, sometimes through email communications, and occasionally over the phone. Since the website is usually your first point of contact, and therefore the point where you establish your first impression, it’s vital that your website do all that it can to set the groundwork for building a strong relationship. The website can’t do everything for you, but if your visitors come and leave without ever having made even a superficial contact with a person or a persona worked into the site copy, they will leave without having established any sort of intimacy, and therefore no sense of “connection,” with you or your business.

I found the following quote the other day in regard to building relationships with people in a personal sense, but I felt it also applies to building relationships for business as well:

People are insecure; give them confidence.

People want to feel special; compliment them.

People desire a better tomorrow; show them hope.

People need to be understood; listen to them.

People are selfish; speak to their needs first.

People are emotionally low; encourage them.

People want to be associated with success; help them win.

–Pete Vossler

While all of the above are generalities, they do largely apply to most people, regardless of how successful, “important” or how well-known they are. And of course, it also applies to the average Joe and Jane Doe web surfer looking for a place where they feel comfortable handing over their money. So how do you go about building relationships with your potential customers online? Glad you asked.

People are Insecure; Give Them Confidence

It’s easy to buy from a brick and mortar store where you see real faces involved. Even if it’s some 16-year old kid, with numerous body-piercings standing behind the counter, you have confidence that when he takes your credit card he won’t be stealing the numbers. This kind of confidence in the buying process is lost online. My biggest issue with buying products online is the return process if, for whatever reason, something goes wrong. It’s easy to drive back to Target and return something you don’t want. But online, once the purchase is made, the return process is more cumbersome and often results in extra shipping fees.

You need to give your visitors confidence, not only in the security of the purchase process, but also in the quality of your products, their expectations and your policies and procedures in case something doesn’t go as expected. This is most easily accomplished through making sure you have pages on your site that address each of these issues, and clear and obvious links in the places where the customer will be most looking for them. For example, your product pages might need an obvious link to your return policies page–even if that link is already available through the main navigation.

People Want to Feel Special; Compliment Them

Who doesn’t want to feel special? A compliment goes a long, long way in helping to establish that mental relationship. How do you compliment someone you don’t know? Some simply ways are to write these compliments into your content, “You’re obviously looking for quality baby clothing, you’ve made a wise decision visiting our store.” It might sound a bit cheesy, but it works, as long as you don’t go overboard. These types of compliments can also be worked into your email and phone communications.

People Desire a Better Tomorrow; Show Them Hope

Will your products or services make their lives better or easier? You must already believe that otherwise you wouldn’t be selling what you do. So use this opportunity to explain how your products are going to be good for them. Explain how life will be better once your customer purchases what you are selling. Illustrate to them the benefits, not just the features. If you can give your customers hope–convince them–that your product or service will improve their lives; you’ve got a sale in hand without the cost being a significant factor.

People Need to be Understood; Listen to Them

Even before you have a chance to communicate with your clients verbally or via email, are you listening to their needs? Whether or not you listen to your website visitors can easily be determined by your USP, Unique Selling Proposition. What? You don’t have one? Then you may not be listening to your customers needs. Your USP is what makes you stand out from the thousands of other stores online peddling the same wares as you. Why should they buy from you as opposed to someone else? Price alone is rarely the determining factor.

You need to offer your visitors something unique that tells them that you have listened and responded to their needs. Even if you sell the same product or service as others, your unique approach is one developed out of conversations with your customers and seeking ways to find solutions to problems even before those problems existed.

People are Selfish; Speak to Their Needs First

More than anything, people want you to meet their wants and needs. They’re not shopping on your site for your benefit; they are there because they are in need of a solution for X. Your first order of business on your website is to tell the customers how you can meet those needs and what your products or services will achieve for them.

People are Emotionally Low; Encourage Them

For some sites, shopping cart abandonment is astronomically high. Why is that? Primarily because people need to be encouraged to proceed with their purchase. I’ll often start shopping for a book or DVD, have it in my basket, go through much of the checkout process, but just before I finalize the payment I hesitate. In my mind I’m thinking, “should I buy this now?”, or “Will my frivolous spending upset the wife?”, or for larger purchases, “Can I afford this?” Most of these questions surface on an emotional level; sometimes rooted in fact, sometimes not. The bottom line is that a little extra encouragement can help persuade visitors through the selling process.

In fact this very thing happened to me just the other day. I threw a couple of books into my Amazon shopping cart but since I’ve purchased quite a few books lately so I began to think twice about buying a couple more now. Amazon provided the encouragement I needed. By filling out an application for an Amazon Visa card I got something like $30 off my purchase. I was sold and so were the books. You don’t have to give away money to encourage your visitors to make a purchase, but you can re-iterate the benefits of their purchase one more time.

People Want to be Associated with Success; Help Them Win

Everybody wants to feel successful. The funny thing is that people don’t even have to be successful in the larger financial/business sense in order to feel successful in every day life. Success often comes from the little victories achieved here and there. Your product or service may not be able to change your customer’s destiny, but you can help him or her feel that their decision to purchase from you will help them be successful at something.

Selling baby diapers? Your diapers can successfully prevent leakage. Selling batteries? Your batteries can successfully start the car each morning. Selling cleaning supplies? Your supplies can help them successfully clean their house better. Let your visitors know what they will be successful at with their purchase.

The other side of this is that people also want to see that you are successful. Your success–or lack thereof–is inferred by how your website looks, the number of employees that work for your organization, or possibly even the number of clients you have. A business’ success is determined mostly by superficial perceptions. If visitors perceive that you are successful they will gravitate to you based on that alone. After all, you must obviously know what you’re doing if you can afford a great site, X number of employees, to charge outrageous fees, etc. But be careful here as well, success can often create a negative perception of you or your business. You might be considered too successful to be able to give them the time or quality your visitors expect.

If you are able to build strong relationships with your website visitors, even perceptually, this will give you a significant sales and marketing advantage over many of your competitors. Building these relationships alone won’t make your business the most successful in your industry–there are many other factors involved–but relationships are a crucial factor in being able to establish and maintain long-term customers. Every marketing dollar saved by not having to seek a replacement for a former customer that now shops elsewhere is an additional dollar (plus additional sales profits) that can be spent in obtaining and maintaining new customers.

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