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5 Tips for Growing a Successful Business

October 23, 2013 | Valerie Wong

If you're just starting a new business, you may be wondering about what you need to do to turn it into something successful. In our day and age, starting a business isn't too complicated. You can fill out a few online forms to get your business registered, rent a location, order some supplies or materials and get going. But ensuring that the business will be successful and actually grow will take a lot more effort on your part. If you started a new business and want to ensure its continued success, here are a couple of tips that you can follow:

1. Build Your Network 

If businesses succeed, it is mainly because of relationships with the right people. Be on the lookout for those who can provide your new company with some benefit. These could be partners, investors, suppliers, or simply individuals that operate in an industry closely related to yours who can give you some good advice on how you can make your business succeed. Remember that the people you network with will also have other people they know and network with, which can allow you to rapidly meet the right kind of individuals. 

2. Get the Right Team, Right Away 

The problem with many small business owners is that they simply don't do this, which causes them to run into problems down the road. Some will drag family and friends into the business, even though these individuals may have no clue of what it takes to run a company and worse of all, have absolutely zero entrepreneurial mindset.

Your senior team members should be individuals that have the knowledge of how to develop a business, or at least have the passion needed to acquire it rapidly. 

3. Keep Your Creativity Alive 

Always be on the lookout for ways that you can improve your business and thus make it stand out from what the competitors have to offer. Don't be afraid to think outside the box. While it may be a great idea to learn from others and see how they've built their own business, don't try to copy exactly what other people have done. This seldom produces good results. Rather, use what you've learned as an inspiration and build upon it. 

4. Work Efficiently 

You often see stories of new business owners talking about how they worked 12 hours a day, 7 days a week on their project, and they've finally seen it succeed. This may lead to thinking that “working hard” is the best way to go. But working “hard” isn't what you should strive to do. Rather, you should work “efficiently.” 

If you are taking 10 hours to accomplish a task which could have been complete in half of the time, you could honestly say that you've done hard work, but it simply wasn't efficient. Read books or online materials about increasing your productivity and developing good time management techniques. Acquire the right tools and knowledge that will help you do more in less time. No matter how passionate you are about your business, if working on it is the only thing you do in your life, you will eventually get burned out.

5. Listen to Your Customers 

As a business owner, you may be thinking about ways to improve your bottom line and make your business more profitable. While this is a good thing, don't forget that you still need to listen to what your customers have to say, as it can be extremely helpful in determining the direction you want your business to take. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter makes it easy to interact with current and potential customers, thus giving you a unique chance to see what they would like to get from your company. 

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