With 10 years of experience in corporate marketing, I often get the question, ‘What does it take to be successful in business?’ Today, I’m sharing my top 6 tips to be successful in business whether you own your own business or work for someone else. Most of my tips follow the ‘golden rule’ of treat others how you’d want to be treated.
Be prompt with communication & deadlines
One of the best things you can do no matter where you are in your career is to be prompt with communication and deadlines. People that are successful in business respond to all email communication within 24 hours of receiving it. A best practice I’ve learned over the years is to set aside 20-30 minutes every morning and at the end of every day to answer all of your emails.
Being prompt also means delivering on time. I always recommend striving to deliver 24 hours early. If you can’t achieve 24 hours early, deliver on time. Do not miss a deadline. Although it’s unacceptable, missing deadlines happen from time to time. If you’re going to miss a deadline, highlight that you need extra time as soon as possible. You should highlight a missed deadline at least 24 hours before and be realistic about how much additional time you need.
Demonstrating that you’re organized is a key criterion for anyone who wants to be successful in business. The more organized you are, the more reliable you appear and the more interested people are in working with you. For meetings, be sure to send agendas before a meeting and recaps after a meeting so attendees know exactly how you plan to use their time. It shows that you’re respectful and mindful of everyone’s time. Being organized also helps you to be more prompt in responding to people. If you have an answer easily at hand, your more inclined to quickly respond. I’ve shared 5 apps that have kept us organized at Girl Meets Party that I highly recommend checking out and investing in.
One of the best investments we made in Girl Meets Party from the beginning was Honeybook. Honeybook is a software platform & app that has the capabilities to streamline emails, generate contracts and other templates as well as collect payment. We use it for every event to capture everything for our clients include:
- A proposal
- A mutual contract
- All email communications
- Any invoices and payment tracking
Honeybook also helps me to keep track of our financials. I can link our Honeybook account directly to Quickbooks so I know all expenses, income and ultimately our profit, which is how we were able to get an office.
Being decisive is more important than you think. When you’re decisive, you show that you’re confident. Confident people are successful in business. People want to work with someone who knows how to assess a situation, put together a clear recommendation and run with it. Being decisive and being rash are two different things. A rash person will just make a decision for decision’s sake. However, a decisive person is clear in their thought.
Be concise & direct
There’s nothing worse than someone talking in circles or, even worse, repeating their statement to get their point across. In my 10 years in corporate marketing, I’ve seen many people who love to hear themselves speak. This does not show that you know more about the topic at hand. If anything, it demonstrates that your thoughts on organized and you may not know a lot about the topic. Being concise helps people quickly understand what you need, your point of view and what’s next. Do your best not to use flowery language and get to the point. Always be polite but clear.
Knowing how much you can handle is another key to being successful in business. It’s important to be ambitious yet realistic about your goals, bandwidth and ultimately deadlines. Always strive to over deliver so don’t sign up for too much. Plus, you can increase your productivity by waking up early to workout or have time to yourself like Suree. Also be realistic about your skillset. If a freelance project pops up and you truly have no idea how to execute it, politely say, ‘That’s outside of my skillset, but I could help with X if you’re interested. People appreciate when others are honest with them about what they can deliver vs. being disappointed with a poor result.
Last but not least, be proactive! Always try to think a few steps ahead of your boss or your client. Anticipating their needs before they arise is a secret key to being successful in business. When you’re able to anticipate their needs or proactively solve problems, people begin to trust you more. With more trust, you’re able to assume more responsibility and ultimately be more successful.
Have you used any of these tips? If so, have they worked for you? Share with us in the comments!
Featured image by Lauren Barger Photography.