April 9


10 Ways to Be a More Successful Business Owner

By Andrew Martin

April 9, 2024

successful business owner

Despite what many of the influencers say, being a business owner is hard. Sure, it can be incredibly rewarding like you see in the highlight reels of social media—launch parties, milestone achievements, and the freedom of being your own boss. But those moments are just the peaks of a much larger mountain, one filled with unseen challenges, late nights, and the constant pressure of decision-making.

The truth is building and running a business is usually pretty dang difficult. In fact, the odds are against you — most businesses eventually fail.

But there are some things you can do to give yourself the best chance of being a successful business owner.

In the article below, I’ll share 10 of the things I’ve learned during my years of running multiple businesses that I believe will help increase your chances of being a successful business owner.

1. Develop a Clear Vision

If you don’t have a clear, actionable vision for your business, you won’t know where you’re headed nor how to get to where you want to be.

Having a clear vision guides your decision-making and strategy and also inspires your team and attracts customers. It becomes your North Star, helping you work through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

A well-defined vision sets the foundation for your business’s culture, values, and future growth. It’s what keeps you aligned with your goals during tough times and serves as a rallying point for your team.

Need help finding or refining your vision? A peer advisory board can help you better define your vision by offering diverse perspectives, insights, and experiences.

2. Embrace Continuous Learning

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — the most successful business owners that I’ve met are all lifelong learners. They’re always seeking out new information, new perspectives, and new ideas to become a better entrepreneur.

When you run a business, things are always changing, necessitating ongoing education to stay ahead. You need to use every tool at your disposal — like books, seminars, and podcasts — to broaden your knowledge.

Peer advisory groups can also be a valuable source of learning, providing insights from various industries. In these groups, learning is a two-way street—you gain insights from the successes and failures of others, while also contributing your own experiences.

3. Cultivate Financial Acumen

Some business owners prefer to focus more on the creative side of building a business and don’t like to get bogged down in the “boring” stuff like going over financial statments.

But here’s the thing — even if you have someone else who oversees the financial side of your business, you still need to have some competency here and must keep your finger on the pulse.

Understanding your business’s financial health is crucial to its survival and growth.

Cultivating financial acumen means more than just knowing what’s in your bank account, it involves understanding financial statements, managing cash flow effectively, and making informed budgeting decisions.

This allows you to spot trends, seize opportunities, and avoid potential pitfalls before they threaten your business.

It’s about making strategic decisions based on solid data, from pricing your products or services correctly to knowing when it’s the right time to invest in growth.

4. Build a Strong Network

You’ve heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

There’s a ton of truth to this for business owners.

Having a strong, supportive network you can turn to for advice, partnerships, and even moral support can make a huge difference in your entrepreneurial journey.

And no, I’m not talking about going to boring networking events to build useless connections. Networking isn’t about collecting contacts, it’s about building meaningful relationships with people who understand the challenges and rewards of running a business. It’s about creating a community where you can share experiences, learn from each other, and support one another’s growth.

And you can’t do that at your typical networking event.

Peer advisory boards exemplify this concept by providing a structured platform for connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs. These groups offer more than just networking opportunities. They provide a space for deep, strategic discussions, where members can receive and offer valuable insights based on real-world experiences.

5. Foster a Culture of Innovation

The best entrepreneurs are never satisfied with the status quo.They’re always looking for new ideas to push the envelope.

This relentless pursuit of innovation is what keeps a business dynamic and competitive in a rapidly changing market.

Fostering a culture of innovation within your team means encouraging creativity, taking calculated risks, and being open to change and new ideas.

You should strive to create an environment where your team feels safe to experiment, fail, learn, and try again. This culture of innovation can lead to breakthrough products, services, and processes that take your business to the next level.

A peer advisory board can play a crucial role in promoting this culture. By engaging with a diverse group of entrepreneurs, you expose yourself and your business to fresh perspectives and ideas you might not have otherwise considered. These groups provide a platform to brainstorm, validate new ideas, and receive feedback from peers who have faced similar challenges and opportunities.

6. Prioritize Customer Satisfaction

If you want to run a successful business, you have to put your customers first. Understanding and meeting (or better, exceeding) your customers’ needs is the most important thing you can do as a business owner.

This focus on customer satisfaction drives repeat business, generates positive word-of-mouth, and builds a loyal customer base.

Listening to your customers, responding to their feedback, and continuously seeking ways to improve their experience with your brand are key.

This could mean innovating your product line based on customer suggestions, enhancing your service delivery for better convenience, or simply ensuring that every customer interaction with your business is positive and memorable.

7. Master Effective Communication

You might not think of yourself as a communicator, but as a business owner, you have to master clear communication, both internally with your team and externally with customers.

Internally, being a good communicator ensures your team is aligned with your business goals, understands their roles, and feels valued and heard.

Externally, it helps in building trust with your customers, clarifying your value proposition, and addressing concerns promptly and efficiently.

If you want to be a good communicator, you need to focus on clarity, consistency, and openness. Make sure that your messages are clear and to the point, maintain a consistent tone and message across all platforms, and be open to feedback and dialogue from both employees and customers.

8. Practice Resilience and Adaptability

I said it earlier, running a business is hard. It’s not all good times. Odds are there will be a lot of hard times you have to deal with on your journey to success.

The ability to recover from setbacks and adapt to changes is essential.

Resilience and adaptability help you use the challenges you face as stepping stones to grow stronger and more agile.

Successful entrepreneurs view failures as learning opportunities, allowing them to pivot strategies, innovate, and find new paths to success.

Cultivating a mindset of resilience involves maintaining a positive outlook, setting realistic expectations, and being prepared to face obstacles head-on.

Adaptability means staying informed about industry trends, listening to customer feedback, and being willing to change course when necessary.

9. Seek and Utilize Feedback

No single business owner has all the answers, and that’s okay. The most successful business owners are always looking for feedback and insights from people they trust.

Seeking feedback is a powerful way to fill in the gaps in your knowledge and improve your business.

Make yourself open to constructive criticism from customers, employees, and peers, and using it to make informed decisions.

Feedback can come in many forms, from customer reviews and employee suggestions to insights from your peer advisory board.

Each piece of feedback is a valuable opportunity to learn something new about your business, whether it’s an area that needs improvement, an unmet customer need, or an innovative idea you hadn’t considered.

10. Delegate and Trust Your Team

As entrepreneurs, we tend to wear a lot of hats, particularly in the early days of building a business. It can be really hard to trust others to handle tasks and responsibilities that you’ve always managed yourself.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, delegation is essential for scaling your business and allowing you to focus on strategic planning and growth.

Trusting your team starts with hiring the right people—individuals who share your vision and have the skills and drive to help achieve it.

Once you have a solid team in place, it’s crucial to empower them by delegating tasks effectively.

This boosts their confidence and job satisfaction while also freeing up your time to concentrate on areas where you can add the most value.

Want To Be A More Successful Business Owner?

You need more than just a good idea to be a successful business owner. You need a combination of skills that you’re always sharpening.

Six Figure Dinners brings together entrepreneurs and founders in peer advisory groups to address key business challenges, pool collective wisdom, and share valuable experiences.

Our meetings serve as a springboard for innovation, teamwork, and strategic advancement, providing our members with transformative insights and strategies—known as “Six Figure Takeaways”—to elevate their businesses to unprecedented levels.

Joining a peer advisory board like Six Figure Dinners can provide you with the support, advice, and accountability you need to develop these skills and steer your business toward success.

Click here to learn more and join us as a guest at an upcoming event.

Andrew Martin

Andrew is Founder and CEO of Six Figure Dinners. He's also a co-owner of JARA Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in and operates businesses across various industries, including financial services, recruiting, digital media, and real estate. Prior to this, he owned and managed 11 Menchie's Frozen Yogurt locations and a Menchie's Food Truck, which he sold in 2014. Andrew's other investments mainly target small to mid-sized consumer industries.

He earned his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management, specializing in Brand Management. Before pursuing his MBA, Andrew led a sales territory at The TREX Company in Boise, ID. Throughout his career, he has volunteered in various capacities, such as offering pro bono mediation services and assisting underprivileged families in improving their living situations.

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