1) Enjoy Your Business
Never forget why you started your business in the first place.  Whatever drives you needs be at the forefront of your business goals. And do find ways to make running your business as enjoyable as possible. You likely started a business in something you are passionate about.  Allow this passion to invigorate you when times are hard.

2) Networking
Making contacts through strategic networking is key to building a successful business. Attend conferences, meetings, symposiums, exhibitions and take advantage of networking opportunities at these events. Always remember the key to effective networking is looking for ways you can help others. Offer up your own contacts. Offer to make connections for others.  You’ll be surprised others in your field will seek to repay the favor by connecting you with people who can help advance your business.

3) The power of “No”
Learning to say no is paramount to running a profitable business. For everything you say yes to, you’ll be taken away from a task that could be building your business and taking it to the next level.  The more successful you become, the more others will make requests of your time. It’s up to you to practice astute time management skills by saying yes only to projects/endeavors that will advance your overall business mission, vision and goals. 

4) Sincerity
Always remain sincere. Be a person of your word.  This is especially key when first starting off your business. You’ll be better served in the long run by building your business on a foundation of trust and sincerity.  Your staff, colleagues, customers and even competitors will respect you and the standard you uphold. Your industry is a small world. Your business reputation will spread fast. Take an active role in controlling how your business is perceived by being honest and sincere in all you do.

5) Get Personal
Successful business owners make it a point to know their customers well.  Business is about building relationships. Customers know that it’s challenging for any business to know them personally.  So they are very impressed and become your business advocate when they sense you are taking the time to get to know them.  Get their birth dates when they buy your product or service and send them a Happy Birthday email or card when it’s their birthday.  Send them a  thank you note after their purchase.  Call to check in on them after a major purchase to make sure everything is going ok.  These seemingly small gestures make the difference between a business just coasting by and a successful, profitable business. And happy customers are your best advertising tools.  They’ll attract more paying customers to you at no cost!

6) A Positive Attitude
A negative attitude is like a flat tire; you can’t go far with it. Negativity is counter-productive and draining. A positive attitude is addictive and opens your mind to all the possibilities.  Running a business will probably be one of the most stressful things you will do in life. There are countless ups and downs.  Business success stories are defined by how well they handle challenging situations.  A positive attitude is the most valuable asset in your arsenal of tools needed to build a succesful business.

7) Industry Knowledge
It pays to have in-depth knowledge of your business industry. Industry knowledge in all forms drives a profitable business. Every great entrepreneur should know at least a bit about every aspect of running their business e.g. sales, marketing, research and development, etc. However, they should have a solid, sound expertise in specific areas related to their industry niche.