Posted 23.04.2021 in Lifestyle
The research is for a project we have undertaken to understand better what has led to their business’s successes, personal lives, and personal finances. Over time, this research will be collated and shared with the wider business community and hopefully making us better advisers along the journey.
The interviews have yielded many unique, positive insights that have contributed to the success of these business owners that have been generously shared. I am also amazed at some of the challenges and fears that many people still face. It reminds me that everyone ‘puts their pants on one leg at a time’ and that a significant amount of wealth can sometimes be a burden as much as it can help lift you, and the people around you, up.
Whilst there is no ‘secret sauce’ to running a successful business, in this article, I will share some key themes around how these business owners have been able to increase the value of the business and extract wealth.
1. Always have the business prepared for sale.
It was clear that almost all successful business owners increased value and gained personal freedom through having structure. This is nicely captured through the concept of always having your business prepared for sale. The most successful business owners we talked to were either working towards or had in place:
2. Never Stop Innovating
In this day and age, the rate of change and potential disruption in any industry is growing exponentially. The most successful business owners recognise this and are always looking to, and investing in, the future. They are never satisfied with the status quo. They regularly travel to trade shows (or have built national/international networks) to understand global trends and the best way to do business.
They are also very clear that their margins and the value of the business is highly dependent on their key differentiators relative to the marketplace and ruthlessly protect their competitive advantage.
3. Surround Yourself with Mentors and Coaches
It can be lonely at the top. Ultimately the buck stops with you on all the key decisions. As a result, business owners often feel a strong sense of responsibility for their own family and their employees and their families.
The most successful business owners understood that no one can succeed alone and had a small network of highly capable and trusted mentors (within the industry and external) that acted as sounding boards and wise counsel. These were usually friends, business coaches or collaborative groups like TEC, CEO Institute or EO.
Almost every business owner reflected on mentors or coaches that exposed them to different ideas and challenged them to help take their business to the next level.
4. Never forget that the business works for you
It is easy to see your business like ‘your baby’. This usually shows up through absolute commitment to the cause that consumes your time, money, relationships and is responsible for your sense of purpose in life. The feedback and reflections we have received from business owners are:
In many ways, these strategies are common sense. However, the value is always in the clarity to focus on living your best life and committing your ideas.
Feel free to be added to our email list sharing our findings with the business community, or contact me if you would like to be interviewed and share your story.