4 Things Successful Business Owners Have in Common

At the start of a new month, I try to make a part of each client meeting a time for reflection. Every one that I work with is a small business owner who took the leap to leave the comforts of a day job and steady paycheck for the roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship. Sometimes when we are really “in it”, we forget was an amazing feat that is, in and of itself.


While we were checking in on January goals and celebrating progress, I was blown away by the numbers, the achievements, and the motivation of these incredible people, even when things do not go perfectly to plan.


Can I brag on my people for a minute?


Ginger Juice – A cold pressed juice company in Richmond Virginia, barely one year old, had set a high goal for revenue in January 2017. She planned to beat her best month of sales by a small percentage, but instead she exceeded her goal by $7,000! That was a year over year increase of 70%!!! You read that right. This January compared to last January was up 70% in revenue even with two snow days where she had to completely shut down.


barReVA – A boutique fitness studio in the near West End in Richmond had a lot going on this January. They celebrated the birth of a brand new baby. (Trust me, it is no small feat to grow a business and grow a person). They launched a new workshop series offering prenatal yoga diversifying their offering and setting them apart from local competition. They added new instructors to the schedule and saw a 20% year over year January sales increase!

oh so clean – One of my first clients when I decided to make this coaching thing a thing, operates an upscale home cleaning business in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. Last month, she signed a lease and moved in to her very own office!! When we started working together towards the beginning of last year, her business consisted of her and her mom cleaning homes in her neighborhood while she worked part time as a personal assistant. Now she has a team of 8, an office, no more side-gigs or part time work supporting her, and brought on 7 new (high dollar) clients in a single week in January!

Richmond Integrative Psychiatric & Nutrition Services – a Psychiatric practice unlike any other in Richmond, Virginia decided to move away from the traditional prescription based approach last year, a big risk for someone with a successful and growing practice. Instead, she now offers lifestyle and nutrition based “prescriptions” to treat symptoms associated with mental health disorders through a functional medicine approach to healing (rather than symptom cover-up). Her unique approach and passion for true health has gained major momentum. She exceeded her goal for new client appointments in January, more than doubling that of December.

What do these business owners have in common?

1. They have clear goals and dedicated time spent on business development.
I see all the time, business owners so focused on doing the work that they rarely look up to see where the ship is moving. They are coasting along, often times, barely getting by, but have no dedicated time to strategize and check in on what is working and what is not when it comes to not only business growth, but also operations, and customer experience. I am a big advocate of monthly goal check-ins. You should schedule an appointment with yourself or with a support person to review your progress and where you are headed at least once per month.


2. They are not operating in reaction mode.
Don’t get me wrong there will always be some reacting when it comes to running a business. This happens when an employee calls out, a piece of equipment breaks, a big unexpected order comes in, or the ten million other last minute things that happen. The difference I see in the people seeing consistent growth in their business is that they have back-up plans and processes for when things do not go 100% right. Mistakes happen, but operating in fireman mode, constantly putting out fires, distracts from real growth and your ability to actually enjoy it.


3. They are not afraid of trial and error.

Let’s all be real for a second, none of us REALLY know what we are doing. And by that I mean there is no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to running a business. Your ability to take risks, assess the return and adjust accordingly is essential to becoming a successful business owner. From marketing strategies to hiring staff to investing in capital improvements, you must be able to make a plan, try something out, and adjust from there based on real information, not your feelings and emotions.


4. They have the right support.

No one, and I sincerely mean this, NO ONE can do it all on their own. What I have seen from the business owners who really take off (like all those businesses listed above) is that they invest in people. I don’t just mean an awesome marketing coach (although they all have really good taste in one of those). They have advisors, mentors, and team members who they trust. They make an effort to collect people who have unique perspectives and skill sets and use those to their advantage. They ask questions, listen for feedback, and then make informed decisions. This is essential to growing a profitable and sustainable business.