Your Road Map to Success

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There is so much advice available today and so many gurus telling you that you should run your business this way or that way that it can be difficult for a small business owner to discern what is right or wrong, what will work and what will flop and what is right for them. But there are several key concepts that business coaches advocate that can really help to make your business an amazing success. It's not just about particular marketing strategies or little-known secrets, building a successful business requires an overview of what you want from your business, where you want to go with it and how you're going to get there, so consider the following concepts and figure out how you can apply them to your own circumstances.

Have a vision

Having a vision for your business is fundamental because if you don't know where you're going and what your aspirations are you will end up drifting and going nowhere. Think about where you want to be in the next six months, a year, three years, five years and longer and write down your goals to help you focus on what is important. Do you want to create a substantial business to pass on to your children or are you looking to make money by developing the value of your business and selling it to release capital for another project? It's important to decide exactly what you want to achieve with your business and when you want to achieve it.

Develop an action plan

Once you know exactly what you want for your business, you have to create an action plan to get it. It's one thing to have a road map to where you want to go, but you have to have the vehicle to get you there too. For each of your goals, decide on the actions you need to take to get you there and work hard to achieve every one of them.

Develop your USP

With so many other businesses and solo entrepreneurs around today, you have to have something very special to attract paying customers. One of the problems with information on the Internet is that often it is the same thing recycled over and over again -- same old marketing messages, the same products, same strategies. You need to have something unique to offer if you want your business to fly, so spend plenty of time developing your USP.

Know what you're doing

It's vital that you understand the basics of business and marketing, including Internet strategies and web language. If you have the knowledge and skills to be able to work on your own website and deliver your own e-mail marketing campaigns, you are in a position of strength to be able to guide your business down the right path. So many small business owners are unwilling to even learn the basics, but that leaves them in a vulnerable position. It's worth getting savvy and developing the right skills for business, rather than relying on others all that time to do things for you. It's one thing to outsource tasks you don't have time for but if you know what you're doing, you can evaluate whether other people are helping or hindering your business growth and guide them in the right direction.

Have a dream team

We all need other people, even if it's only for moral support, but most businesses need to network with others. You may need a business mentor or coach or the support of other business owners who can cheer you on -- don't underestimate the value of camaraderie in the business world. You also need capable and competent people to work for you and with you in your business if you want it to succeed, so only work with people who can contribute to the success of your business, not pull you and everyone else down. Stay away from negative people and people who say it can't be done. There is a saying that a ‘boat with a hole in it is sunk’, so don't let anyone else be a hole in your boat.

Wow your customers

Make it a policy to always over-deliver and over-respond and look after your customers like the important people they are. If you wow your customers they will become a walking referral for your business, so offer them fantastic products and an amazing service and thank them with gifts and unexpected bonuses that will leave them stunned and delighted with your business.

Focus on what you want

If you have heard of the universal laws of attraction, you will know that whatever you focus on every day is what you get. If you focus on your lack of customers or your lack of time and the fact that you don't have enough money to pay your bills -- guess what you'll get -- no customers no time and no money.

Yet you could equally focus your thoughts on ways you can attract customers, create more time and money and attract success for your business, and your life. Our lives are shaped by our actions and our actions are shaped by our thoughts, so remember that it is within your control to attract success or failure simply by the focus of your thoughts.

Have SMART goals

Make sure you have a plan and specific goals for your business -- do you know how you are going to grow your business? Make your goals SMART: be specific, measurable, action orientated, realistic and timely.