The tips I am going to share with you aren't the keys to success but the stepping stones towards building a successful business. Regardless, of the industry you are in, these steps can help you move your business forward rather than standing still or taking steps back.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Know everything you can possibly know about externally and internally your business, industry, and competitors. Read, talk, and ask. The more you know, the better prepared you are moving forward.
Return emails and calls, and follow up in a timely manner, Pay your invoices on time to maintain good relationships with your vendors. Figure out a system that works for you and your business.
GO ABOVE AN BEYOND ALWAYS
The key to creating a good business is providing value for your service or product. The key to creating a great business and have clients coming back to you for more is going above an beyond. This applies to a lot of different businesses. Here is a personal story I am constantly telling people:
Years ago I saw these hot pink Hunter boots ON SALE for $79.99. The deal was too good to be true and I had assumed they only had one pair of size 11 left. I asked a sales associate for my size and he said he will check. He was gone for 15 minutes. The only reason why I stayed in the store was because my girlfriend was trying on every single shoe and boot in there. He came out and told me he couldn't find my size (bummer) but he has tracked down a pair in Toronto and can transfer it to Calgary for me (what?!) I asked how much will the boots be because the sale ends today and how much is the transfer fee. He said they will honor the sale price and there is no charge for the transfer. I gave him my info and he said he will call me when it comes in. (yeah right.) Sure enough, a week later, my boots came in, in my size, and for the sale price. I still wear these boots today because it reminds me of the great service I had that day.
NEVER STOP LEARNING
Through reading, industry functions, and other business owners. There is always something that can be learned and can be applied to your own business. You just have to be open to hearing and learning. People from different industries might have a system that works for you. Just have an open mind.
Very few businesses skyrocketed to success overnight. The stories of overnight successes are likely as a result of many years of no one noticing and a lot of sweat, blood, and tears. These are the moments and years of struggle that no one knows about because the business owner doesn't talk about it. Be prepared to hustle and then hustle some more.