What skills do you need to succeed in business

Like many people, you may wonder whether there is any special formula or secret that can help you create, maintain, and grow a successful company.

You want to learn the secret of how to succeed in business. While there may not be any magic to entrepreneurial success, it seems there is some science behind it.

Entrepreneurial talent

Gallup recently conducted a study of entrepreneurs to investigate the actions and decisions that lead to business success. They concluded that those people with higher levels of entrepreneurial talent had significantly higher odds of success.

It seems to follow, then, that entrepreneurial talent influences behavior. Specifically, highly talented entrepreneurs were more likely to build large businesses and significantly grow them, to create jobs, and to exceed profit and sales goals.

Shared talents of successful business owners

Let’s take a closer look at the talents that seem to have the greatest impact on business success:

You understand there is no such thing as “easy money”

Did you know that 95% of all new businesses launched each year are destined for failure? So why do you think so few companies to succeed? Well, most people think that business is easy and that they will have overnight success. But the fact of the matter is that there’s no such thing as “fast money” in business.

You have to build your business from the ground up. Unfortunately, most companies usually don’t turn a profit until they’ve been in business for about two years. This is so because 80% of all business profits will come from sales on the backend. What does “backend” mean? It simply means recurring sales from your existing customers.

Focusing on your existing customers will net you a solid revenue stream month after month after month – and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

You seek out experts

All this means is that you want to find a mentor or a marketing consultant who has experience helping new businesses succeed. And if you can find a mentor that’s in your niche, then this is even better. You see, even though you may be new to marketing your business, there’s a good chance that they’ve consulted with businesses similar to yours – so don’t count these people out.

When you find your mentor, be sure to rack his brains and take a lot of notes. Then, let him or her guide you down a proven path so that you can earn money quicker than before. Don’t give up on your business until you’ve found a mentor of some sort. It will be more than worth it to have them on your team.

Follow these marketing principles and use them to have success in your business. You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. The business owner who asks for help is the business owner who will experience success (and at a fast speed).

You understand the value of marketing

Offline marketing has taken a hit during these past couple of years. Costs for mailing out letters and packages are going up, along with increased rates for various advertising sources. If you want to gain the upper hand in your business, you must have an effective marketing strategy.

One thing that you should start doing if you’re looking for more sales within your business is to contact your existing customers or clients for possible follow-up sales. It’s no wonder why most business owners are struggling to make a living – because they ignore the bread and butter of any kind of business: their customer mailing list.

Your customer mailing list is your number 1 asset in your business. So instead of worrying when your next new customer will walk inside your place of business, focus on the small group of people that know you and like you, and you will that these people are the ones who will supply you with income.

This is marketing 101, but most business owners let it slide over their heads. I’m not sure what you learned in your textbooks while you were in college, but the main goal for your business should be to attract customers to you – not begging them for your attention.

Luckily, there are things that you can do to attract new prospects to your business. The first thing that you can do is advertise your business. An immediate source of new prospects can be found in the newspapers. I’m sure you’ve probably already tried newspaper advertising but found that it didn’t yield the results you were looking for. If this is the case, the most likely reason your ad failed was poor targeting of your ideal customer. Or even worse… you tried to sell your products or services through the ad.

This is a big no-no. You always want to generate a lead so that you can follow up on them with more details about their problems and what it is that you’re selling. This is known as the “2-step” approach to advertising. The 1-step approach is when you try to desperately sell your product through the ad. If you’ve ever tried this before, then you know that it’s incredibly ineffective. So instead, shoot generating a lead first. You’ll become more profitable this way.

The follow-up letter that you send your prospects should contain the information that they requested, along with a pitch for your products or services. Also, don’t stop after one contact. It will take you a minimum of three contacts to close the sale. So don’t stop after your first attempt.

People have all kinds of reasons for not responding. They’re busy; they have their kids to worry about, work-related stress, and busy life. So while your message might be on the backburner now, they may be more receptive to your offer when you catch them on a later day.

You understand the value of differentiation

Do you know what it takes to differentiate yourself from rival business owners in your city? Differentiation is important because people won’t be compelled to do business with you if you’re just
another “me too” business. Instead, you’ll find yourself competing in a price war, and this is something that can make you un-profitable immediately.

One way to differentiate yourself from your competitors is to have your website. Most business owners think that it’s enough to just have a brick-and-mortar presence. But times are evolving, and now more than ever, people are making their buying decisions via the internet.

If you know nothing about website design, I suggest that you go and hire someone on the web. Plenty of website owners and graphic designers put together a good 3-5 page website for you, so don’t overlook the power of using the internet to work for you.

Another thing you should do to differentiate yourself from the pack is to sell on social media sites. This type of advertising is a great way to generate leads for your business. Lead gen is very important because, as we all say in the internet marketing circles, “the money is in the list.” With a large prospect list, it’s very easy to make money. However, it will take some time to build up a large prospect list, so be patient and watch as your income continues to rise.

I suggest in your display ads that you give them a free offer. Then, once a ton of prospects respond to your ad, send out your complete sales pitch, and offer them the option of buying now or coming into your place of business.

Lead generation is a great way of boosting the average direct response rate of 1%. With this form of lead generation and direct mail marketing, you can see 3% – 6% response rates. This is huge if you didn’t already know.

I highly doubt that many of your competitors are doing this in their business. So you’ll stand out and be perceived as someone helpful, and people will respond to this.

In a world where everyone is advertising their sales message, you’ll come across as someone who wants to listen to the wants and needs of the marketplace. This is a great way to differentiate yourself from rival business owners.

Hopefully, you’ll learn these tips to improve your sales and profits. As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to revamp your marketing strategy and to come across as someone that people want to do business with. There’s also, the tactic of “niche marketing” that you can do to be different in the marketplace

You have a business focus

You can base your decisions on observations or expectations of future growth.

You have confidence

You truly know yourself and also have an understanding of other people.

You are a creative thinker

You have the skills to take an existing idea or project and make it something different and better.

You know how to delegate

You recognize the need to shift control and responsibility to other people because you alone cannot do everything necessary for the success of your business.

You are determined to succeed

You can overcome obstacles that are difficult and overwhelming.

You are independent

You are willing to take any means necessary to build a successful business.

You seek knowledge

You are always seeking new information and ideas that you can use to grow your business.

You are a promoter

You speak for and about your business in an effective and powerful way.

You build relationships

You are socially adept and use that ability to build relationships with people who can benefit your business.

You take risks

You are willing to engage in risky behaviors, but you also know how to manage the resulting situations.

How to use your talent

The research seems to indicate that entrepreneurial talent is an innate ability. What does this mean for you? First, you should take stock of what your dominant natural talents are. Once identified, you can work on fostering them. Consider investing in some training or education to make the most of your abilities.

Additionally, if you understand those talents you may be lacking, you can either learn how to develop them or find ways to manage them. Let’s say, for example, that you are not a natural risk-taker. This talent is not really one that can be learned. Rather, it seems more related to personality. If you acknowledge that you do not feel comfortable taking risks, you can seek business associates who do have that trait. Presumably, your joint venture will benefit from your combined talents.

In summary, there is no easy answer for how to succeed in business. One useful tool is to evaluate your own innate entrepreneurial talents and take steps to make the most of them.

Want more help with your business?

If you like the above tips, you are going to love working with Success Harbor.

See the many ways we can help your business on our “Hire us” page.

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George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.