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Business owners running successful small and medium sized businesses have a range of attitudes and behaviours that contribute to the success of their businesses. The good news is that these attitudes and behaviours can be learnt and you do not have to be born with them.
We have identified below some of the key attitudes and behaviours that business owners of successful small and medium sized businesses display for you to consider:
Keep focused on the business vision, the goals and the strategy that they have set for the business and its financial performance. They direct their minds and all the business activities to achieving the business vision, goals and strategy and maximising the financial performance of the business.
Look for business opportunities at all times. They are constantly aware of the changing business environment and are always looking for business opportunities.
Take responsibility for making things happen in their business, being proactive and accepting blame if things don't go according to plan. They look at how things can be improved, reflect on what the business can do differently and always retain overall responsibility for the business.
Communicate effectively with everyone they deal with. They are emotionally intelligent, use good communication skills, vary these in line with who they are communicating with and are sensitive to the needs of others.
Take action. They plan how they are going to achieve their business goals and strategy and then ensure the action is taken that is needed to implement the plan, without procrastinating. They exhibit a can do attitude.
Take manageable risks in the business. They assess the risks of the actions they plan to take and minimise the risks in advance. They do not take risks that are out of proportion to the size of the business.
Are passionate and highly motivated about the business and are inspired and motivated about what they are doing. In turn they inspire and motivate those around them.
Are open and receptive to people, ideas, learning and information, both within and outside of the business. They are also happy to share information and pass on their experience and advice to others.
Think positively. They maintain a positive attitude and those around them pick up on their positive energy, they feel in control and confident and perform at their best. Everyone in their company feels positive and customers want to do business with them.
See the business from different perspectives. They understand how the different stakeholders in the business see the business and what their needs are, including customers, suppliers, shareholders, staff and even their competitors. They focus on meeting the needs of the different stakeholders.
Are versatile and adaptive to the business and the environment the business operates in. They accept that things do not always go to plan and adapt to external forces and changing customer needs. They embrace change and do not panic when the unexpected happens.
Develop their social capital. They develop good business relationships, both within and outside the business, focusing on building a good network, the reputation of the business and their standing in the community.
Learn from experiences. They learn from all their business experiences, including both success and failure, and focus on continuous improvement in their business.
Have perseverance and resilience. They persevere and do not give up, exhibiting an inner well of determination and resilience, but they are not arrogant or pig-headed.
Are happy to delegate and outsource business functions and tasks for the benefit of the business. They do not persist in doing everything themselves, instead developing and leading those around them to achieve their potential and to maximise the business performance.
Show respect to all the different people they deal with, including their competitors. They take everyone seriously and are willing to give them time and attention.
Believe in themselves and their business. They have a high level of self belief and also believe in the direction they are taking the business. However they are consciously aware of what is happening in and outside their business.
Draw on the help and support of others. They locate themselves in an entrepreneurial environment and draw on the help and support of others where they don't have the relevant expertise or where they need a sounding board or support and motivation.
You may want to compare the above with the attitudes and behaviours that you display and see if there are areas that you want to improve or adopt. In thinking about these you may want to consider successful business owners that you know and what attitudes and behaviours they display and consider modelling yourself on them.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: April 2009
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
Please call Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk
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