Monday, August 18, 2008

10 Tips for Success in Business

Lesley Mattos is Owner of Adesso Albums, Inc. and creator of the original instant photo guest book that combines retro, funky and fun Polaroid instant photos with hand written sentiments from guests. She left a high profile job with Cisco to form the company.

After a trip to Italy, far away from friends and family and immersed in a culture that lives in the moment, she realized what she’d lost sight of. That’s where the idea for Adesso Albums was born. Six years later, Adesso Albums is an international company with more than a million dollars in annual revenue.

So how did she do it?

Leslie shares her 10 tips for Success in Business – Based on her Personal Experience:

1. Embrace change. It’s an inevitable part of running a business. Rather than fighting it, wasting valuable time and eventually losing, you’re better off anticipating, planning for, and embracing change. As a small business owner you should be nimble and react quickly in a variety of ways. If you look at change as an opportunity to grow, you will!

2. Use technology. Do more with less by automating routine processes with web-based applications. These applications increase productivity and free you, your staff and your resources to focus on more important tasks. And, these applications can be accessed from anywhere

3. Keep your eye on the ball. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day minutia of running a business. Constantly ask yourself if your daily activities get you closer to your overall goals for the company. It will keep you on track and stop you from spending time on the wrong things.

4. Know your differentiators. Compare your products and services to the real, as well as the perceived competition. A competing concept can be even more threatening than an actual product. Unless you have thought about what differentiates your product or service from everything that’s out there, your marketing efforts will fall short.

5. Lead by example. Peers and subordinates alike will learn from your example. They “listen” with their eyes more than with their ears. Your actions mean more than what you say to them. Make sure your processes and actions both inside and outside the office are things you want emulated.

6. Give the illusion of participation. Everyone likes to feel like they are part of the decision process, so let them! Then do what you think you ought to do anyway. It’s not necessary, and often actually a hindrance in a small business environment to employ the decision by a committee process.

7. Control timing. We often miss opportunities because we think we have to respond immediately to stimuli such as phone calls or emails. Just because the phone is ringing or an email comes in, it doesn’t mean you have to react. Your day shouldn’t be a series of interruptions. The more you control your distractions, the more effective you’ll be.

8. Know what you don’t know. It’s inconceivable that you could have an in depth knowledge of every aspect of your business. Acknowledge your weak areas and surround yourself with competent resources and trusted partners and learn from them.

9. Stay organized. It is critical to update, edit, add and delete from your list of to-do’s on a daily basis. Nothing feels better than crossing things off. And, with a well-maintained list for you and your team, everyone will stay on track and your chances for success are enhanced.

10. Plan for success. Formalize your processes as you go. Plan for and build infrastructure ahead of your growth. So when your growth spurt comes, you’re ready for it. And don’t forget to celebrate your successes along the way. Stop and pat yourself and your team on the back as milestones are achieved.

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