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Ten key ingredients for a successful business

Today on a networking call we talked about the ingredients for that secret sauce we all want.

A successful business.

Take a pop at Googling "what you need to make your business successful" and you’ll discover a million and one opinions on the subject.

Like these:

  • Prepare to make sacrifices.

  • Don’t marry your plan.

  • Take a few minutes to laugh every day.

  • Commit to your business idea.

  • Use a breakeven analysis.

Where do you start?

When you Google top tips for a successful business, you’ll find a slew of articles listing the top seven steps you can take to succeed. And very few of those have even one step in common with any of the others.

So allow me to throw my hat into the ring on the ingredients you need to make your trademark Special Business Success Spicy Sauce!

After all, I’m a business mentor who tends to work with businesses that are either just starting or have been around for less than five years.

Unsurprisingly, I have pretty strong views on how to build a business. I mean, it’s what I get paid for right?

So here’s what I believe you should include in your secret sauce:

1. Everything starts with you. Be clear on your strengths, your weaknesses, the types of people you enjoy working with. Understand your five, ten and twenty year life in order to understand how your business fits into and contributes to your life.

2. Understand what you and your business stand for. That’s not necessarily the same thing. Make sure you understand your values and the legacy you want to create. Your business needs its own identity made up of values, a vision, mission and purpose.

3. What exactly are you trying to sell? Seriously, what are you selling? Who to? Why do they need it? When do they need it? When is it too early or too late for you to sell to them? What transformation does your service give them? What feelings do your products evoke in them? Why are you selling it? Why should someone buy this from you?

4. Organise yourself. Two hours of planning can boost your productivity by up to 15%! Create a weekly calendar template with time blocks for personal activities, planning and productive working. Then fill in the blocks weekly. Review them your plan twice a day, in the morning and the end of the day. Solopreneur or running a small business? Move away from that corporate mentality of working in quarters and instead work in six week periods – you’ll be more effective, more able to keep the momentum going and go further, faster.

5. Review, review and then review some more. Yes, as part of your six week planning review your business – what wins have you had, what lessons have you learned, how has your audience increased, how are your financials looking? But you also need to review you as a business owner: what are you doing to learn and grow as a business owner, what opportunities are you missing out on (hello mindset blocks), how are you dealing with the fear that comes with running a business and are you setting and sticking to boundaries so you don’t burn out or start to hate your business?

6. Make sure you know where you’re heading. Today, this week, this month, this year. Where do you want to be in three years, in five? What’s the final destination? What’s the ultimate achievement? When do you want to exit? What’s your exit strategy?

7. Learn those business foundations. Running a business means using systems, planning, selling and marketing are all important parts of running a business. Learn how to create a budget and stick to it. Avoid feast and famine by learning how to build a working pipeline. Learn how to set effective goals that stretch you and move your business forward on the path you desire. I’ll say this as long as I have breathe in my body; if you want a successful business treat it like a business.

8. Know your numbers. Oh my god, this is a monster. I don’t know how many people I’ve worked with who have no idea how much it costs them to run their business. A hassle when you’re selling a service, a potential business-ender when you’re running a brick and mortar business. Check your bank account regularly, daily if you need to. Establish financial KPI’s and track your progress. Keeping track of what you’re spending your money on means cancelling whatever you’re not using and seeing what you might need to run a cost exercise on.

9. Find support. Running your own business is hard. And it can also be incredibly lonely. You need a tribe to help you. You people around you going through the same thing, people further ahead of you. Friends, mentors, coaches. They will all bring a unique form of support to you. They’ll also help you stay sane and happy on your journey!

10. I’ve saved the most crucial one for last. Get. Your. Mindset. Right. Nothing will kill your business faster than the wrong mindset. Can’t find clients? Do you have a visibility block? Are you lacking confidence in your ability to provide what you’re selling? Struggle with sales calls? Do you have a success block? Hate creating content? Do you spend so much time looking at other people’s content you’ve got imposter syndrome? Steering clear of your financials? There’s a ton of money mindset blocks that are stopping you. You owe it to your business to get your mindset in order so you can step into your power as a business owner.

Professor Google makes it very clear that there is no definitive list of ingredients for your special sauce. Because the single most important key ingredient is…


Your experience, personality, strengths and weaknesses will always influence what you find to be most helpful in building your business. And if your business is working and growing, yay! You’ve nailed what works for you.

But if you’re not growing how you want to be, if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing take a look at this list and see what’s calling out to you as a missing key ingredient for your special sauce!

Or book a free call with me, you'll be surprised how much we can uncover in half an hour!

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