We're still fairly new kids on the block, but 2016 was quite a year for Myroo and we finished it by winning Micro Business of the Year at the Entrepreneur of the Year awards. So we thought we'd share our 13 tips for other small businesses. They're pretty valid whether you're new or firmly established. Let us know what you think and any you'd add.
1 - Write it down
It's well established fact that a written goal is a goal more likely to be reached. I'm a fan of pen and paper, Phil more tech minded. It really doesn't matter just get it down. It's great to look back and tick off what you've achieved too.
2 - Ask for help
No-one can be an expert in everything. There is no shame in asking for help and you'll be surprised where the help might come from. Don't let fear of admitting you don't know something be the thing that trips you up.
3 - Listen
A wise chap i know always says 'listen and speak in the proportion you have mouth and ears'. Listening doesn't mean waiting quietly until it's your turn to speak. There are people out there who've done what you are trying to do, listen properly to what they are telling you.
4 - Ask for feedback
I've heard business owners say 'we don't get bad feedback so there is nothing we need to change'. That way lies failure. Gather feedback at any opportunity and don't be afraid of negative feedback, it gives you chance to make things better.
5 - Ask for the sale
Lots of asks on this list, aren't there! Be confident and have conviction in your idea. No-one knows it better than you.
6 - Be brave
Boy is this hard at times. Don't fear what you've not yet done. Nothing is ever as bad as you fear and what seems huge now will be old news in a few weeks.
7 - Aim big
Shoot for the stars, you might just reach the moon. Visualise huge, hairy goals and plan for them.
8 - People buy from people
Speak to everyone, at every opportunity, you might not know who they know, or what opportunities they can put in front of you. Don't make the mistake of judging on position or job title.
9 - #GoDo
One of my favourites from my time at Entreprenurial Spark. A simple mantra, small steps taken every day soon add up to a marathon, take daily action to move your business forward.
10 - Take every opportunity
Stick your hand up for every chance that comes your way. It might put the fear into you, you might not know how you'll do it. You'll work that out later, just grab it and run for now.
11 - Do it for the passion
If you are not passionate about your business it will show. You need the love to motivate you through the sticky patches. If you follow the dream the money will come. Chasing the money alone will not result in success.
12 - Exercise
It's full on running your own business. Make time for exercise to help maintain great mental health and some balance in life. Use the time to clear your mind, it's amazing how much clarity can be found on a run or a walk.
13 - Know your 60 second pitch
If you can't sum up your business and what you do in 60 seconds then how is you customer going to know what you do? It's a also great thing to have up your sleeve for networking, impromptu meetings and so on. No, you're not going to stand and deliver your pitch over a coffee but it gives you a suite of soundbites to pull out whenever needed. There are some more pitching tips from me here.
We'd love to hear from other entrepreneurs. What's your best tip?