The 16 Simple Means To Getting Ahead In Business

by Paul Hudson

This is the era of the self-starters, Gen-Y has been gifted with the entrepreneurial space and prowess to recognize and fulfill its business dreams. But, in order to succeed, we have to set ourselves apart from the pack.

Real business techniques are developed over lifetimes and recognizing our individual strengths and weaknesses is integral to getting ahead. However, there are some tips and truths that remain steadfast for us all on the path to success, and here's where we can help you.

These are 16 Tips To Getting Ahead In Your Business:

1. Start Now.

You can’t get ahead in business if you never start. People will convince themselves — for whatever reason, most likely because of fear — that the right time to start is sometime down the line. People believe that the circumstances must be just right in order to succeed. What you will come to learn is that the time is never right. The stars never line up just right and starting later won’t be any easier than starting now. Stop making excuses for putting off starting your company and start it now.

2. Don’t Let Mistakes Hold You Down.

You're going to make mistakes no matter how experienced you are in business or in the particular field that you are starting yours in. Mistakes happen and problems present themselves seemingly out of nowhere. In other words: sh*t happens. Deal with the issues that arise and trudge ahead; there are more problems down the road, so get used to solving them.

3. Prioritize And Organize.

Not only should you prioritize your business and organize your business strategy, but the same must be done for your life as a whole. Too often people will separate themselves from their business — in order to truly succeed, you must integrate your business with your life and whatever needs you already have. Prioritize the things that you need to do each day, each week, each month and organize your schedule in such a way as to get the most things of the highest priority completed most efficiently.

4. Avoid Investors If Possible.

Investors have a tendency of becoming a headache real quick. They seem great at the start — mainly because they believe in you and your idea enough to put money behind it — but as you will learn, they can quickly turn into the source of much stress. If you can bootstrap a project then do so. Owing others money is never fun…especially when they begin to bug you about it on a regular basis.

5. Only Take On Investors That Are Willing To Go The Extra Mile.

Sometimes, however, you can’t avoid bringing investors on board because you simply can’t afford to back the entire project yourself. If this is the case, then only bring those on board that are willing to do more than just write out a check. You want investors that believe in your cause and that want to help the company grow.

Of course, you want to stay in control of the company and its direction of growth — so make sure the investor’s input is understood as only a suggestion and never as a demand. The best investors are those that have the connections to market your company and your products. Ideal investors will be helping you grow your client base.

6. To Get Investors, Make Sure To Cater The Pitch To Their Needs.

Getting investors on board your project is not always easy. The one thing that you need to keep in mind is that while they may really like you and truly believe in your cause, at the end of the day, they want to know how they will personally benefit from putting their money behind you. If you are going to be pitching to a potential investor then talk more about how the investor will benefit from working from you and how their needs will be met rather than what it is that you need from them.

7. Accept Help When It Is Offered And Ask For It If It’s Needed.

Too many entrepreneurs like to go "lone wolf." They allow their egos to get the better of them and refuse help when it is offered. Even worse, they are too afraid to ask for help when they need it — feeling that they would appear too weak. Your priority at the end of the day is to get your business off the ground and into the profit-making zone. If you have to ask for help then do so. What’s more important to you: your pride or your wallet?

8. Put Your Health First.

You can’t work your best if you don’t feel your best. Eat right. Exercise. And get plenty of sleep. The better you feel, the more positively you will approach your work and the more efficient you will be.

9. Make Sure To Fulfill All Your Human Needs.

You may be an entrepreneur, but that still makes you nothing but human. You have psychological and physical needs that need to be met. A lot of first time business owners will sacrifice their time with friends and family in order to focus on work.

The issue is that when you begin to neglect your needs, your work suffers for it. Cut down on what you can for as long as you can up to the point that it begins having a negative effect on your work. You are more than just the head of your business; you are your business and you should be treating yourself with as much respect and care as you do your company.

10. Socializing Is A Great Way To Network.

Going out and socializing is not a waste of time. In fact, one of the best ways to help your business get off the ground is via word of mouth. Go out and meet new people, talk and have conversations. Don’t be afraid to talk about your company and what it is that you do. Hand out business cards — maybe even throw a coupon code on them — and don’t be shy to ask your newfound friends to help spread your company’s name to their friends. Socializing is the perfect way to mix business with pleasure.

11. Allow Your Business To Become The Center Focus Of Your Life, But Not Your Life.

At the end of the day what should matter most to you is you. Above all else you want to be happy. Making your business your life can quickly make you feel a if your life is nothing but work — because that’s what you’re making it. While you should keep your business as your focus, you have to understand that if your happiness and/or health goes down the toilet, then so will your business.

You need to enjoy what you do because that is the only reason anything is ever worth doing. Your life is not your business; your business is just a part of it — a big part, but still only a piece of the whole.

12. Minimize The Time You Waste.

Time wasted is time lost forever. Everything that you do in life should be done with purpose. If you don’t have a good reason for doing something then don’t do it. You have set your priorities and now it’s time to abide by them.

13. Maximize Your Efficiency; Don’t Multitask.

Cutting out time wasted from your schedule is one thing, maximizing the efficiency of completing tasks that need to be completed is another. The key to maximizing efficiency is remaining focused — as focused as you can be for as long as you can be.

The same task that took a person 5 hours to complete most likely could have been done in 3 or 4 had they focused on their objective and only their objective. Don’t multitask. Do one thing at a time because you will surely get more done by the end of the day. Plus, as an added bonus, learning to focus intensely will literally make you more intelligent; that’s something that never hurts.

14. Stay Up To Date On The News And Read Books. As a rule of thumb: the more you know the better. Books can be used to teach you tactics and theories on how to run your business and/or personal life better, while the news will keep you up to date on the fluctuation in markets and the possibility of newly emerging markets. No matter what happens in the world, no matter whether good or bad, there is a way to make money off it in a way that not only brings you cash flow, but also makes the lives of others better. Read the news every day (or even several times a day) and read at least a few pages of a book every day and you and your business will be better off. Also, if you need some time to clear your mind and get away from all that is hectic in your life than turn off the TV and pick up a novel. 15. Realize That You Can Have A Love Life While Running Your Business. It doesn’t have to be either or. You can date and be in love while making money. Some of us don’t feel that we need to date, get laid, or be in love at the moment — but eventually we all will. If you feel that you are ready for a committed relationship then don’t feel that you can’t be because of your work. You’ll have to find someone that can respect the work you do and the time that you need to do it; it may not be easy, but when is finding the love of your life ever easy? 16. Always Be Thinking Of Ways To Improve — Both Yourself And Your Business. You are your business. For this reason, and because the main goal in life is to progress, you ought to be continually thinking of new ways to both grow your business and to grow yourself as a person. We may never reach perfection, but that is no reason not to try. Work on yourself and your flaws. Work on your company, its flaws and all the improvements that could and should be made. You and your company are never good enough because they could always be better. That’s the beauty of life: there’s always more to learn and more to understand. Top photo courtesy Tumblr