Four Common Habits of Successful Business Owners

Running a business, regardless of size, can be a huge challenge. There are payments to keep up with, overhead cost to calculate, supply lines to build and maintain, sales to track, customers to contact, and at least a dozen other jobs and hats to juggle. If you don’t keep a careful eye on everything, then any number of problems could arise to spell doom for your company. Thankfully, we don’t have to go out and explore uncharted territory. There are lots of successful businesses owners who have spoken in depth about what it took to lead them to success. Today, let’s take a look at a four common habits successful business owners share.

4 Common habits of successful business owners

1. Save Over Spending

Once you’ve accounted for your profits, a lot of people first instinct is to start spending it. I’m not judging, and I get it. We all have bills to pay and a starving artist is not nearly as romantic as poetry would like you to believe. Sales now, however, is not the same as sales later. Like the noble farmer, you should save in times of plenty to be prepared for a season of famine. Take care of your needs, but place some of your wants on hold for the time being.

This is not to say you can’t spend anything, just don’t spend everything. Find the magic number for your business. The amount of savings you would need to pull you out of most emergencies or the goal amount you need to reach for your company to take the next step forward and put a little profit of every sale specifically towards that number. In other words, try and teach delayed gratification to your business.  Like a kid in an arcade, you can cash in your tickets now for a small prize or save up for the RC drone. One maybe fun now, but I’m willing to bet you’ll get more use and more enjoyment out of the other.

2. Purchase Smart and Less Often

Knowing how your supply lines work is a much needed aspect of any business owner . Following the example of Sam Walton, Alvah Curtis Roebuck, James Sinegal, and Jeffery Brotman buying supplies in bulk will ultimately save you tons in the end. Purchase low and sell high.

The other aspect of purchasing smart is to make sure you routinely check these supply lines to ensure they are the best fit for your growing business. The supplier who provides for the small business might not necessarily be the best fit for a medium or large company. As you grow, make sure you examine your purchasing cost. A savings of a few dollars a purchase can lead to thousands over time.

3. Practice Practicality and Beware the Shiny New

Envy is a real thing. When researching the latest and greatest in your field of business, it’s incredibly easy to became jealous of what you don’t have yet. Trying to always strive and have what is newest and best, however, is a sure fire way to stretch yourself too thin and leave no room for failure, big or small.

Instead of purchasing the top of the line professional backdrop for events and conventions, see instead what you can make for yourself or limit your search to what’s in your price range. Look for used transport vans and trucks instead of trying to purchase new. It’s not that you can’t always purchase the latest and greatest, but its important to remember not to feel too rushed by what others are doing, including your competition.

4. Don’t be Afraid to Fail

One thing almost all successful business owners share is that they have failed at some point. In truth, the secret is not to seek out failure (believe me, I’m not telling you go out and fail), but to learn from failure and develop perseverance.

  • Jeff Bezos once attempted to start a shopping site known as zShops. Even though the zShops went under, Bezos was able to evolve the inspiration behind zShops into Amazon Market Place.
  • Before Fred Smith founded FedEx, he was a normal college student. For one of his business classes, Smith pitched the idea of FedEx to his professor for an assignment. His professor failed him.
  • Tim Ferris is the author of The 4-Hour Workweek. This book is now a best seller, but Ferris received over 20 rejection letters from publishers before his book was accepted.

Failure and rejection is not the end all be all. An idea that never takes off is not one that can’t be successful. Fight through the setbacks and rejection and continue to evolve your ideas. Learn from your own mistakes and the mistakes of others. The only way to truly fail is to quit.

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You may already practice some of these things, but its hard to turn a practice into a habit. With the proper discipline and repetition, you can start incorporating these things into your daily routine without conscious effort. Success is something that takes effort, perseverance, and a little bit of luck. Do you have a practice you have developed to build your success? Be sure to share them in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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About the Author

James McCluskey

James is an English teacher and content writer for WP Ninjas. His daily motivation is to constantly look for something new to learn. This has tragically turned him into a living encyclopedia of largely pointless information. When not teaching, writing, or learning, James is usually working with his wife, Megan, on fundraising and support for several nonprofit organizations. Excelsior!