Do you think you could succeed in business…if only you had that special something?

Everyone who starts a business wants to succeed. Most businesses fail. How do you beat the odds to become a successful entrepreneur?

In order to be a successful business owner, you should, first and foremost, enjoy what it is that you do. Don’t just pick an idea solely based on money or prestige. At the end of the day, if you don’t enjoy what you do, it will show, and your business will likely fail, or at least make you unhappy.

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of people in businesses they dislike. They have no passion about their own businesses. They can still make money, owning a business they hate. Do you want to live like that? It is much better to start a business you are passionate about.

Remember that your business is going to be a large part of your life from its start. You have to be 100 percent on board with the idea. Not only that, but you need to be excited by your business idea. You need to be compelled by your business plan. You should enjoy sharing your business strategy. You need to nerd out on marketing plans and business plans and product development ideas. If this does not sound like fun, don’t start a business now. You are not ready.

There are some things you need to know, implement and/or consider before starting a business.

The customer is always right. Repeat that with me. It is your mantra and your livelihood. I don’t mean it in a way that the customer is right when he starts yelling at you.

I mean everything starts and ends with your customer.

You create your product with the customer in mind. Your customer pays your bills and what they want to pay for is the business you are in.

You are in business for your customer. Be cognizant that you are selling a product or service to the customer, and ultimately, it matters if they feel well served. How do you make sure they are satisfied at the end of the day? Get to know your customer and get feedback from them. Ultimately, they will decide whether or not to return to your business. Word-of-mouth can harm or even propel your business, so show customer appreciation, or they will spend their money elsewhere.

Get involved in your community. Consumers want to support local businesses and want to do business with people who they see helping the communities in which they live. It’s a win-win situation. You help the community where your business is located, and in turn, they choose to buy from you.

Set your business apart. What is your competitive advantage? Maybe you want to offer a loyal customer reward program. Whatever it is, decide on something to make sure your customers return to you.

Become an expert. You’re never too old to become an expert in something, especially if it is something you love. If you want to succeed in business, you need to be sought out as an expert in your niche.

You must be your best salesperson. Take what you do seriously, and don’t be ashamed to be a self-promoter. This just shows you are serious about what it is you do. If you don’t believe in your product, who will? Show some enthusiasm.

Put forth a professional image with a professional staff. Remember, your staff is the face of your business when you are not available, and there will be times when you are not available. This leads me to the next thought.

Take time off. You need time to replenish your energy or you risk burning yourself out. Your business can’t run with you on burnout, but it can run with you scheduling a planned break. If you have a well-trained, professional staff, you can depend on them to carry on with your goals while you re-energize. If you want to succeed in business, give yourself a break.

When at work, be fully accessible to your staff. Project a positive image and maintain an open-door policy. Remember, your staff can work elsewhere, but you want them to want to work for you. A happy employee is a productive employee. Allow them a sense of pride in their work. After all, they are working to help you with your business, whether you see it that way or not. It’s not solely for the paycheck because they could get a paycheck elsewhere.

Respect good employees and reward exceptional work.

Plan everything. Do nothing on a whim. This is sage advice. A business is no place for spontaneity. Leave that to your personal life. Yes, trust your instincts, if they’ve gotten you this far, but plan and research prior to jumping in without analyzing the task at hand.

While there are many other things you could do, say, or implement to succeed in business, the list above is a great place to start.