12 Secret Rules To Building A Successful Business

Business success has many causes. These range from dumb luck to outstanding ability. But how many lucky people lose it all and how many talented people never get started? The answer is millions. There are however a small percentage who consistently create successful businesses, but it usually starts with a few failures or a big risk.


Is dumb luck or outstanding ability the major success factor? Answer is neither… Click To Tweet

Back in the European property boom around 2006, I bought into an exclusive ski-resort development in Bulgaria. Not high on the uber-rich list of skiing holidays but a great starting point for me. Once complete, a lot of the properties remained empty while tourists decided whether Bulgaria was the place to be. My initial return on investment was zero, but I held fire and waited to see if things would change. Then when the government continued to invest in the ski-resort I managed to broker just over £40m in property sales. This resulted in large commissions for yours truly and the risk turned into a success! Being passionate about how to be successful in business, I have compiled a neat list of 12 rules. Follow these if you want to discover how to run a successful business.

  1. Know your “why”. Or, know why you do what you do, because others won’t. It’s important to understand your craft so that no holes appear along the chain of information you are providing.  It’s a big jungle out there, and there are many bigger cats ready to pounce on a minnow that does not know its business.
  2. Ensure there is a big specific need. How many times have you spent valuable time listening to someone trying to sell something you do NOT need. It happens online as well. So ensure that you know your audiences specific needs inside out. Then match your offer to these needs and watch the sales convert.
  3. Take what you do seriously. As mentioned before. Many have fallen before you. There will be a time to celebrate later. It’s important that other people see that you are serious on every level. Why else would they part with serious money.
  4. Plan, plan & plan. Or as they say in the military. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Ensure you plan your business proposal, your working day and everything else in your business. A well-ordered mind is one that others will follow. Good structure will pay dividends in the end.
  5. Be clever with your money. Don’t waste time or money on a project that is going nowhere. To avoid this ensure you test the market. Invest a little money at first. As your investment grows, then you can invest more. Prudence wins every time.
  6. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s important to conserve your energy and prepare for the long haul. Drink lots of fluids and take bags of enthusiasm with you. Prepare for a few breakdowns along the way. Instead of looking to nail a project in one big sprint, break it up into more digestible tasks. This will help you avoid overwhelm and will ensure you last for the long haul.
  7. Know your customer.  The key to success is understanding your target audience. You need to know their pains, their desires and also what they are curious about. To build relationships you need to be relevant and knowing your customer inside out will ensure relevance.
  8. It’s all about them. The customer is King stands the test of time and although an old- hat metaphor, it is one that sticks today. Customers generally only care about themselves, so they don’t want to hear about you and how great you are. Focus on your customers wants and needs and you can’t go wrong. Whatever you do in your business, keeping the customer at the forefront of everything you do is paramount.
  9. Build a rock solid Reputation. Ensure you make quality leads and connections. And get lots of feedback. This will help build your online reputation. This is more relative than ever with the continuing encroachment of an online presence. Brand awareness, ethos and image all add up to a reputation that needs to be nurtured and maintained at all costs.
  10. Limit the number of hats you wear. Multitasking can be unavoidable, but taking on too many roles when you are at the helm can be catastrophic. Don’t be too many things at once otherwise your talent will dissipate and leave the business a lot worse off. Automate or delegate, whatever you can. Only do the tasks that only you can do.
  11. Sharpen the saw. If you are exerting too much energy while cutting down a tree, then sharpen your saw. It’s an ancient parable about looking after yourself. The physical, mental, social and spiritual aspects of ourselves must be taken care of if our businesses are to thrive. Exercise, stay positive and nurture relationships. This will sharpen your saw and ensure a successful business.
  12. Ask for the sale. Where would we be without money? Never be too shy to ask. How will you ever be wealthy if you cannot close a deal? Of course, there are brusque ways of doing this and there are subtle ways depending on the mood of the deal. If you feel confident then you will make deals. Confidence comes from knowing you have the right product/service for your audience’s needs.
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If you  want to know how to run a successful business, apply these principles that have taken me years to learn. Hard work, diligence, risk, prudence and being professional are not magical solutions. They are common sense solutions. This is where intuition, risk and courage come in. And then it is about a successful business journey that you have to take by yourself.

Do you have any business success rules you stick by? Share your answer on Twitter & Linkedin