Habits and Practices to Grow Your Business

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Over the weekend, I was thinking about a coaching client of mine who’s skillfully juggling the demands of growing their business while still making time for life’s treasures – family vacations, gym sessions, and those small moments that truly matter. This led me to consider the broader picture: the habits and practices that not only forge a successful business but also contribute to a fulfilling life. These practices might not be part of your daily routine yet, but weaving them into the fabric of your business operations can significantly impact your success. More than just boosting revenue, these habits can enrich your life, offering a blend of professional achievement and personal satisfaction. For entrepreneurs at any stage, adopting these habits can profoundly change how you engage with your work and the people who matter most in your business journey.

  1. Keep Learning: Embrace curiosity and a commitment to lifelong learning. Carve out regular time slots for reading industry-related materials, enrolling in online courses, or attending workshops to expand your skill set and knowledge base.
  2. Connect with Your Audience: Develop a keen understanding of your clients by actively seeking their input and feedback. You can use surveys, social media interactions, and direct conversations to tailor your services to their evolving needs. Personally, I recommend having conversations with your audience as much as possible. You’ll learn things in conversations you’d likely never learn from surveys or social media.
  3. Self-Reflection: Regularly assess your business’s progress, identifying areas of success and those requiring adjustment. Monthly or quarterly reviews can help realign your goals and strategies to the current business landscape.
  4. Prioritize Self-Care: Your well-being is crucial to your business’s success. Incorporate self-care practices like meditation, exercise, and hobbies into your daily routine to maintain high energy levels and effectiveness.
  5. Engage with Peers: Connect with fellow entrepreneurs and industry peers for mutual support, fresh ideas, and potential collaborations. Participate in forums, networking groups, and professional meet-ups to broaden your perspective and knowledge.
  6. Build Efficient Systems: Streamline your operations by establishing standardized procedures for routine tasks. This not only saves time but also ensures consistency and quality in your service delivery.
  7. Use Data to Make Decisions: Let data guide your business decisions. Monitor key performance indicators and client feedback to make informed choices that drive growth and improvement. Everyone’s key performance indicators are different, but I’d recommend tracking number of new clients, sources of new clients, lifetime value of a client, etc.
  8. Grow Your Network: Actively invest in building and nurturing professional relationships. Allocate time for networking activities, social media engagement, and industry events to expand your professional circle. When possible, do this in person. Face to face is often where the magic happens.
  9. Manage Your Finances Wisely: Keep a vigilant eye on your financial health by monitoring income and expenses. Adhere to a budget, track financial transactions, and plan for future needs to ensure stability and growth. I’d recommend at tracking your cash flow, revenues, margins, lifetime value of a client, etc.
  10. Balance Work and Life: Set clear boundaries between work and personal life to prevent burnout. Ensure you’re allocating quality time to both professional responsibilities and personal interests and relationships. This is one of the areas where I work hard with my clients to make the most important things in life the most important things on their calendar. It’s not enough to say you value personal care, family, etc. You have to schedule it and make it happen.
  11. Communicate Clearly: Articulate your services and value proposition in simple, understandable terms. Clear communication fosters better relationships with clients and others that matter. If you’re doing this right, you’ll probably get sick of hearing yourself say the same things over and over. The reality is that almost everyone needs to hear the same truths over and over. I remember reading that business leaders should think of themselves as the “chief reminding officer.” 
  12. Stay Resilient: Cultivate resilience to navigate challenges and setbacks with grace. Embrace strategies like mindfulness and seeking support to bounce back stronger from adversities. This may be hard at first, but with practice you can find the well of resilience within. This reminds me of my favorite quote by Albert Camus: 

    “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

  13. Act on Feedback: Be receptive to feedback and use it as a tool for continuous improvement. Encourage clients and peers to share their insights and incorporate their valuable perspectives into your service enhancement efforts. Although the customer is not ALWAYS right, they are the customer, and if you will seek to understand their feedback and avoid becoming defensive, they can teach you so much about your business.

The journey of growing a service-based business is both challenging and rewarding. It requires not just a strategic approach to operations and marketing, but also a commitment to personal growth and resilience. Remember, the path to success is paved with continuous learning, genuine connections, and a balanced lifestyle.

If you’re finding it challenging to incorporate these habits into your daily routine or need guidance on enhancing your business practices, consider seeking professional support. Sometimes, having a coach to guide you through the process can make all the difference. If you’re interested in exploring how I can assist you in achieving your business goals and fostering these essential habits, book a call with me. Let’s discuss how we can work together to bring about the growth and success you envision for your business.

About the Author

Ron Tester is a Certified Executive Coach and Book Yourself® Solid Coach who helps service professionals and solopreneurs grow their businesses without sacrificing their personal lives. With over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, Ron provides practical guidance on marketing, sales, operations, and work-life balance. Learn more at https://www.rontestercoaching.com/about.

Read This: Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

If you’re obsessed with productivity (and I’m going to assume you are), and you’re struggling to improve your habits (again, I’m assuming you are), then you should read this book. For the record, I’ve read almost all of the popular habits books over the past 15 years or so (did I mention I’m obsessed?). And while all of them are helpful, none is better than Tiny Habits by B. J. Fogg.

1. Target Audience

The target audience for Tiny Habits is really anyone who wants to improve their habits. But I’m recommending it to small business owners and solopreneurs who are looking to improve their productivity, efficiency, and overall well-being through small, manageable changes in their daily routines. This book is especially helpful for:

  • Solopreneurs and small business owners who often juggle multiple roles and responsibilities.
  • Busy Small Business Owners who struggle with time management and are seeking ways to optimize their daily habits for better business outcomes.
  • People Seeking Work-Life Flow who want a rewarding work life AND a rewarding personal life (seems selfish, I know).
  • Start-up Founders who need to establish productive routines and habits as they grow their businesses.

2. Key Points and Action Steps

  • Start Small for Lasting Change: Focus on tiny, manageable actions to create sustainable behavior change. This approach is more effective than attempting large, drastic changes. Yes, I know in some circles this idea is controversial, but it’s backed by science. (FYI Dr. B. J. Fogg founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University.)
  • Fogg Behavior Model (B=MAP): Behavior is a function of Motivation, Ability, and Prompt. All three elements must be present for a behavior to occur.
    • Motivation: Often unreliable and less crucial than commonly believed.
    • Ability: Making a behavior easier is key to the Tiny Habits method.
    • Prompt: Acts as the trigger for the behavior.
  • Behavior Design Process:
    • Define clear aspirations or goals.
    • Brainstorm a variety of specific behaviors to achieve these goals.
    • Identify impactful and doable behaviors (Golden Behaviors).
    • Scale down behaviors to their simplest form.

3. Unique Insights

  • Fogg’s approach challenges the common belief that significant changes require high motivation and drastic actions. Instead, it emphasizes the power of small, incremental changes.
  • The book takes a scientific perspective on habit formation, moving away from moral judgments of “good” and “bad” habits, focusing instead on the practical aspects of behavior change.
  • Fogg’s method stands out for its simplicity and ease of implementation. Unlike other self-help methods that may require substantial shifts in lifestyle or mindset, Tiny Habits focuses on tiny, non-intimidating steps that can be integrated easily into daily life.
  • The B=MAP model offers a unique, structured way to dissect and understand behavior, providing a clear framework for habit formation that can be applied in various contexts, including business.

Transforming our habits and, by extension, our lives, doesn’t have to be daunting or overwhelming. Whether you’re a solopreneur struggling to balance work and personal life, or a seasoned business owner looking to refine your daily routines, this book offers a practical, science-backed roadmap. By breaking down habit formation into small, manageable steps, Fogg not only demystifies the process but also makes it accessible and achievable for everyone. For those looking to make lasting changes with small, confident steps, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by B.J. Fogg is your go-to guide.

About the Author

Ron Tester is a Certified Executive Coach and Book Yourself® Solid Coach who helps service professionals and solopreneurs grow their businesses without sacrificing their personal lives. With over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, Ron provides practical guidance on marketing, sales, operations, and work-life balance. Learn more at https://www.rontestercoaching.com/about.