Building a successful business can be one of the most thrilling things in life. And everyone you meet along the way will have a different point of view of what works and what doesn’t. Having worked with small business owners for the last 20 years – these are the five critical success factors we’ve seen play out time and again with those that have achieved business success.

1. Learn from Your Mistakes:

In business we all fail at some point – in fact, if you’re creating a business, it’s just par for the course. And, in so doing, you’ve probably learned some amazing (and sometimes difficult) lessons. The trick is not to repeat that mistake.

2. Outsource:

When most successful business owners look back to their early days, most if not all of them say they wish they’d starting outsourcing earlier – much earlier. Chances are you started your business because you were great in your field of expertise and thought you’d be able to apply that expertise to the other things that came your way. And then you started being the bookkeeper, the HR department, the receptionist, the office manager and the production department and wonder why it feels like you’re on a hamster wheel, barely keeping up. Outsourcing your financials, reception, admin, whatever it is that you wish someone else could do – will not only reduce your stress levels, it will also mean you can focus back on what it was you went into business to do.

3. Remain Flexible:

One of the great things starting small business flexibility. As the business grows one of the myths is that growth means more structure/less flexibility – particularly around your team members, office space and location. It’s just not true. The world and its markets move too quickly these days to tie yourself down into any one location, team structure or office space.

4. Aim Higher:

Almost everyone starts their business dreams thinking they’ll achieve great things (whatever that means for you). But then, someone, most likely trying to be helpful, tells them to reign in their grandiose dreams for something more achievable. DON’T! No-one ever achieved business success by being mediocre. Yes, there will be disappointments along the way, but never lower your sights.

5. Keep Your New Business Pipeline Full:

Many small business owners fall into the trap of getting enough business to keep them busy for a while and then stop looking for new business. Then the current business runs out or changes and it can take a while, sometimes a long while, to win the next lot of business. That’s when cash flow really matters. So rather than waiting until the work runs out, keep filling your new business pipeline – it’s better to knock work back or outsource it than to not have enough.

6. Watch Your Cash Flow:

Turnover and profits look great on paper, but cash in the bank account is king. And many, many businesses go under each year because their cash flow dries up. Make sure you keep a close watch on it.

7. Keep Going:

Running a business can be tough and there will be times when you want to chuck it all in. And there are lots of people who will tell you to quit and quit sooner rather than later. However, history is littered with the stories of those who if only they’d dug a little deeper, they’d have struck gold (both literally and figuratively). Over the years, we’ve seen many business owners who’ve purchased a business based on a sound idea that was struggling only to turn it around and do exceptionally well or have spent several tough years working out the kinks to finally create something really, really right. Achieving great things almost always takes great effort.

I’d love it if you followed me on twitter or you can connect with me via linkedin. And please feel free to share what’s worked for you when you’ve had one of those days.

If we can help you keep your focus on what matters to you in your business be it outsourcing administration, answering your phone or providing a great meeting space at a moment’s notice, please call us on +61 2 9994 8000 or visit us www.serviced.com.au