Be the best: 4 habits of successful business owners.

07/07/2018 08:00 | Start a business

Habits of successful business owners

Countless words have been dedicated to trying to uncover the secrets to business success. There are numerous articles devoted to divulging the key characteristics of high-flying businesspeople. The truth is that there isnt any single attribute or habit that can guarantee success. Instead of searching for this holy grail, franchisees should dedicate their time to continually improving their performance and the performance of their employees and the franchise as a whole. Here, we take a look at four habits that can help facilitate this process.

How to be a successful business owner

1. Organisation and routine
Though impulsiveness and creativity are essential attributes for any franchisee, they dont mean anything unless theyre employed within a framework of organisation and routine. Successful franchise management is about having the creative impulses necessary to push your business onwards, but also ensuring that you have an established and organised system for implementing your ideas. Unless a balance is found between these two opposites, your franchise is likely to struggle.

In one way, the franchise model is an excellent vehicle for businesspeople looking to strike this balance. The strict structure and clearly defined franchisor/franchisee relationship provide the organisational structure in which creative business minds can thrive. However, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't look to institute routine in and greater organisation in your own life. Successful franchisees are usually those that recognise this fact and seek to manage their personal lives in a way that also benefits the business.

2. Self-belief and confidence
Self-belief is an essential quality in any businessperson. Without it, franchisees can find it challenging to take tricky decisions and will be plagued by unnecessary self-doubt. If you're always second-guessing yourself and struggling to build your confidence, youll eventually hit upon problems. A leader that lacks self-belief will not inspire confidence in their employees and will find it difficult to manage their workforce on a day to day basis. If you don't believe in yourself, how can others believe in you? Franchisors are aware of this fact, and most successful franchises will make sure theyre working with confident franchisees.

That being said, self-confidence can easily slip into arrogance and franchisees need to be careful that theyre not overly confident in their abilities. In the same way that self-doubt can cloud the decision-making process, so too can over-confidence. Too great a belief in your abilities can result in franchisees over-reaching, spreading yourself too thinly, or minimising the importance of your failings. It can lead to franchisees losing the vital drive toward self-improvement and becoming complacent. This can mark the beginning of the end for a new business. Without the impulse to improve, innovate, and keep on pushing forwards, a business stagnates, and standards drop. Momentum is all important for a franchise and franchisees always need to have something to work towards if theyre to ensure their business remains relevant.

3. The ability to step back for a fresh perspective
Franchisees should habitually step back from their business and try to examine it from a fresh perspective. Many businesspeople suffer from not being able to see the forest for the trees. Though its a common issue, franchisees need to be aware of the fact that they may be too close to the business to identify its flaws accurately. For many franchise owners, the business is their baby and theyre understandably protective of it. However, being overly defensive and too close to the action can impair your ability to make the right decision.

Consequently, franchisees need to be able to take a step back, breathe for a moment, and then take an analytical, in-depth look at how the franchise is performing. At some points, this may mean taking five minutes away from your typical responsibilities, to assess how things are going. At other times, it may mean getting away for a weekend to clear your head. However, you choose to deal with the issue, it's vital that you look at your performance, as well as that of your business, from different angles. To make the most of your franchise investment, you need to know where youre going wrong and what youre doing right. Thats not always possible without a little bit of distance.

4. A principled approach to business
At some point in your career, youre likely to be faced with a problem that appears to pit your desire to make the most amount of money possible against your morals and principles. All the owners of the most lucrative franchises will have faced such a conundrum. At such a moment, it's vital that you examine your motivations and consider what it is you want from your franchise. Is success at all costs the primary motivation? Or is your integrity important to you? When it comes down to it, your commercial success wont be the thing that defines you as a person. Success has many benefits, such as a higher standard of living, an ability to provide more for your family, and a certain amount of self-satisfaction, but most people wont judge you on your ability to turn a profit.

With this in mind, a successful businessperson is not just the individual who makes the most money, but one who stands by their principles and does the right thing. This means respecting your employees as individuals with their own complicated lives, understanding that your business operates in a community that supports and appreciates it, and recognising that success is measured in many different ways.

The primary challenge faced by franchisees is striking the right balance between various impulses and ideas. You need self-confidence, but don't want to fall into the trap of being arrogant. You want to be financially successful, but you don't want to lose track of your principles in pursuit of higher sales. You need to be close to your franchise's day to day operations, but occasionally you'll need to step back for a fresh perspective. The habits we've listed above are four of the key struggles you'll encounter on your journey. They'll determine whether you succeed but also define how both you and others perceive that success.

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