“We are what we repeatedly do. Greatness then, is not an act, but a habit” Aristotle
Striving for greatness in all that you do as an entrepreneur is a key pillar for success. When you do something over and over, good or bad, especially for a long time, it becomes a habit. In a competitive world, where many people have similar types of businesses, it is difficult to stand out from the crowd. As the legendary author, orator, and educator, Booker T. Washington stated, “excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.” Everyone has a special uniqueness within their DNA but some people struggle to let their greatness shine. To ignite your greatness as an entrepreneur, there are a few habits you need to cultivate. Depending on the nature of your business, personality and circumstance, you need to develop a system that works best for you. Here are a list of 4 habits for #stellar entrepreneurs:
- Follow up:
It is very important to follow up with your clients. Keep them updated with what is happening with your company. This is a great way to keep them engaged. Let your clients know that you care about them by finding out how they are doing. This shows that you are also concerned with their well-being not just making a profit out of them. This is a habit that will help you to build a long-term relationship with your clients outside of “just” business. If you are trying to get a business meeting with a high profile executive, you will have to follow up more than once to get a response. It took me two months to get a response from a high-profile journalist. I had to practice polite persistence by following up several times to get an in-person meeting. Following up with others will make them feel like you value them as a person but it also shows that you appreciate their support. It will make you stand out as someone who has strong level persistence, commitment, and diligence.
- Always Deliver:
In business, it is better to under promise and over deliver. I received this advice when I worked in private and public sectors. When you fail to deliver on your promises, people will not take you seriously or worse you will have a reputation of being incompetent. Another major disadvantage of making promises that are hard to keep is that it puts unnecessary pressure on yourself to do what is not feasible or realistic. It may also lead you to cut corners, make mistakes just to fulfill a promise, as a result you deliver a poor-quality product or service. To avoid disappointing your clients, it is wiser to set realistic expectations that you are confident you are able to fulfill. In doing so, you give yourself a chance to over deliver and exceed your clients’ expectations.
If you are known for delivering a high-quality product or service, you must be consistent or you will destroy the reputation of your company. Being inconsistent puts you at risk of losing clients and prevents you from gaining new clients. One bad experience negatively impacts your company’s reputation and growth potential. It takes years to build a great company and a second to destroy it. Bad news spreads fast and it is hard to rebuild a damaged reputation. Do not make commitments you cannot fulfill. You set yourself up for failure and you will appear inconsistent. Be consistent in how you promote your business. Keep it in the front of people’s mind so that they do not forget what you do. Be careful not to bombard them daily by constantly promoting your company. Reveal a little at a time and leave your clients wanting more. Whether it is your annual event, monthly newsletter, level of service, customer service, or quality of a product, your clients expect consistency. Do your best to not short change them by being mediocre. Your company’s reputation depends on it!
- Prioritize Tasks:
It is very easy to feel like there are not enough hours in the day. In business there is so much to get done and at times, feels overwhelming. If you prioritize your tasks by doing what is most important first, you will do a better job at meeting deadlines. This can be done by making a daily to-do list. Make a list of 3 to 5 things you want to get done on a daily basis. List each task according to the most urgent or time sensitive. Include a note about the consequences for not completing each task. If a daily list is too tedious, create a weekly or monthly to do list. Give yourself a personal deadline that is earlier than the actual deadline, which will improve your ability to work under pressure. Personal deadlines gives you an opportunity to review or re-do certain tasks and avoid mistakes or oversights. Entrepreneurs have to be resilient and prepared for anything that comes along. When you are able to set clear priorities and meet deadlines, your level of performance will increase.
These 4 habits of #stellar entrepreneurs will make your business memorable, meaningful and grow your client base. Your habits shape your reputation as an entrepreneur. When you cultivate great habits you will build a great brand. As a result, your business will stand the test of time and thrive. You will place yourself in the game of business to be successful against all odds!