The Stop, Look and Listen of Entrepreneurial Success

By Randall Orser | Small Business

critical thinking

A good way of managing your business is to think of it as crossing a road. You don’t just cross without assessing the road first; you stop, look, and listen. By implementing these techniques, you’re arming yourself with tools that will ensure your business’s success.

Stop doing unnecessary tasks

Take a long look at your business and ask yourself: What are the things you’re doing that are not necessary for your business? Stop doing them.

Do you need post to Facebook five times a day or sponsor trips for big celebrities? If it doesn’t add value to your company and is only taking up precious time and resources, stop doing it. You’ll see how much more time and money you have for more important business undertakings.

Stop micromanaging

The problem with most entrepreneurs and managers is that they want to do everything on their own. After all, if you want something done right, do it yourself, right? Wrong!

There are only 24 hours in a day, and if you do a task that another person can do as well or even better, then you have not maximized your productivity.

If you micromanage every aspect of your business and check into the smallest details, you will end up frustrated and your employees may feel belittled by your constant interference. Automate the tasks that can be automated and delegate those that cannot. Learn how to trust your employees, or train someone else to manage them.

Look and define what success is for you and your business

Vision is important for any entrepreneur. Without vision, there is no point in doing anything, because you are not working toward a goal. Painting a clear picture of the future in your head helps you determine the concrete steps you need to take to achieve that goal. Define success in your own terms and then plan your way into realizing your business’s goal.

Look at what the competition is doing

Competition analysis is not cheating. It is perfectly legal and ethical. It is only unethical if you imitate instead of innovate. Learn how your competitors market their products, what they do right or wrong, and what makes them more or less successful than you are. Though experience is a good teacher, it is not advisable for entrepreneurs to commit every mistake before realizing it. The best method is learning and adapting though others’ experiences. What better mistakes to learn from than those committed by your competition?

Listen to your customers

The best businesses involve their customers in decisions about future plans for the company. After all, they are the lifeblood of the business and they know what keep them supporting your business.

Listening to what your existing customers want, and using that knowledge to improve your business, will also be less costly than attracting new customers through expensive ads and marketing strategies. Attracting new customers shouldn’t be overlooked, but customers that patronize your business regularly are the real gems to have. They will spread the word and will be the walking, talking publicists and advertisements for your business.

Listen to your Intuition

College degrees and MBAs show you have learned tried-and-tested methods to make your business successful, but the things that are taught are not always relevant in today’s business world. If your gut is telling you something different than what those teachings are, you should at least investigate it and re-evaluate your position

The best entrepreneurs are not only driven by fame, money, or the market value of their businesses. They are motivated by a higher purpose. Your intuition will always guide you on the course to becoming the best possible entrepreneur you can be.

By remembering to stop, look, and listen for your business, and always being mindful of the future of your business, you will be well prepared to face any challenges or hurdles.

About the Author

Bookkeeper Extraordinaire Number Crunchers® Financial Services Learn how to just say stuff it to this bookkeeping thing with our 'Just Say: "Stuff It" To Bookkeeping program.