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Innovation Origins often focuses on the story of the starting innovator: the scientists, inventors, researchers, and entrepreneurs, preferably in a combination of all. Besides being important for the future of society, starting your own company is a great career path and can be a very rewarding position to be in. You have control over what does or doesn’t occur inside your workplace and ultimately how far you take your company in the future.

Being your own boss is a significant undertaking and a role you shouldn’t take lightly. We gathered some practical tips for your business life and career to get you on your way to finding long-term success and enjoying your days. Learn from your mistakes and remember to never give up trying if it’s a job you want to have for the foreseeable future.

Set up Your Office Space

One tip to help you succeed when you’re the boss is to set up your office space. You’re going to want a place you can work in peace and quiet and grow your company as well. While it’s beneficial to have a home office it may be time to venture out and secure office space in the public eye. It’ll be useful to have office space you can make your own and where you can staff employees and have clients come and visit you. Take the time to decorate and brand it and make it welcoming so you and others enjoy coming to work each day.

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Define Your Goals & Get Organized

When you’re your own boss, all the pressure to succeed is on your shoulders. It’s essential that you don’t wing it and that you sit down and define your goals right away. Come up with a business plan you can follow and that will help guide your decisions. Get your finances in order and your files and important documents organized so you can easily find and access them. You’ll want to make sure that you have written documents and contracts for the working business relationships you’re entering.

Always be Professional

You want your company and your image to be professional and polished when you’re in charge. If you want others to take you seriously then it’s essential you’re professional in all that you do. For instance, you’ll want to design a logo for your company name, launch a website, and print off business cards. Also, when people hire you to perform work you’ll want to send them a professional invoice so they can pay you on time. Consider using a free invoice generator that’s quick and easy to use and that will sync your data across all devices.

Commit to Better Work-Life Balance

As the boss and owner of the company, you’re going to be pulled in many directions on any given day. However, you can’t get lost in the chaos of it all and fail to take good care of yourself. It’s vital that you commit to having a better work-life balance and set boundaries so that you can plan out your time and energy according to what you have to feasibly offer. Set limits to how long you’re going to work on each project and how long you’re going to stay at the office each night. Find time for activities you enjoy and family so that you don’t become exhausted and worn out because you’re always focusing on work.

Deliver Exceptional Customer Service

Your customers are the foundation of your business or start-up and you must ensure they feel special and valued if you’re going to build a loyal client base. Therefore, work toward always delivering exceptional customer service and address and resolve any problems promptly. Provide and offer many different channels and ways that your customers can get in touch with you. You want to make sure that they know how much you appreciate their business so say thank you often or send messages to them letting your customers know how much you value their business and commitment to your company.

Gather & Listen to Feedback

You won’t know how you’re honestly performing and doing unless you ask. It’s wise to reach out and gather feedback from your employees and customers. Listen to what they have to say without taking it personally and make changes based on what they’re telling you. There may be areas you’re falling short or that they find frustrating that you aren’t aware of. One simple modification or adjustment can make a world of difference and help you improve your business. Stay open-minded and use these conversations to learn new information and truly take a good look at your company as you identify opportunities to do better.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Another tip to help you succeed when you’re the boss is to use technology to your advantage. There are many ways it can benefit you and your business if you’re open to experimenting with it. For instance, you and your team can work remotely, you can improve communication with chat functions and text messaging, and you can keep a better track of your tasks with an online planner or calendar. Bring projects and assignments online so that you and your team can manage what you’re working on and get in touch no matter your location. There’s project management software available that will help ensure you’re moving along at a good pace and meeting and even exceeding your goals.

Study Your Competitors

Keep in mind that it’s not all about what you and your team are doing inside your office walls. You must look externally and study your competitors if you want to get and stay ahead in your industry and the business landscape. Learn what they’re doing to attract customers and the reasons why clients leave and go elsewhere. Find out more about what they’re doing to stay competitive in the marketplace and how you can step in and outsmart them and disrupt their strategy. Information you gather may inspire you to think of new ways to innovate at your company or allow you to pinpoint where they’re falling short and you can step in and take over.

Hiring A Winning Team

You’re not going to be able to handle the workload that will eventually come from running a growing and successful startup business. Therefore, you’re going to need to hire a winning team of employees who are committed to helping you reach your goals. It’s wise to not just hire the first person who shows interest or hire someone because they’re a close friend or family member. This is your chance to step back and think about your needs and who will be the best fit for the job and culture you’re trying to create. Write detailed job descriptions, bring potential candidates in for interviews, and take your time filling each role so you can ensure it’s the right person for the job. Once you have your team in place, then track each person’s performance so you know how they’re doing. Reward your staff fairly and appropriately and treat them with respect to ensure they stick around for the long-term.

Think Before You Act

You must learn to control your feelings and have emotional intelligence when you’re the boss and in a leadership role. Remind yourself over and over to think before you act and not make choices and decisions on the fly. Do whatever it takes to remain in a calm state and logical frame of mind when doing business. You want to avoid situations where you have major regrets or make silly mistakes because you aren’t focused and thinking through the details. It may help to take the time to reflect each morning about your goals and the future of your business so you’re always in a position to make choices based on your plan instead of how you’re feeling in the moment.

Practice Good Time Management

You’ll be more likely to succeed as the boss when you brush up on your time management skills. Practice good time management throughout your days so you’re not spreading yourself too thin or over-committing yourself in any one area. It’ll help to keep a calendar of events and a running list of tasks so you know what’s upcoming and what you want to get done. Learn to say no to others when you don’t have the time or energy to give and need to focus on other important business initiatives. Most importantly, plan ahead so that you show up on time to meetings and other obligations, especially when it involves your clients.

Conclusion

These tips are going to help you better succeed when you do make the leap to be your own boss and are running a startup. Follow your passion from the start so that it doesn’t feel like work and you’re able to keep yourself motivated to continue pressing forward even through the challenges. It’s a lot to take in and digest but once you get the hang of it these pieces of advice will become second nature to you and you’ll be on your way to thriving in your role and career as an entrepreneur. It’s a tough position to be in but one that has the potential to bring you a lot of happiness and success if you approach it right. And, as every starting entrepreneur experienced: keep repeating the circle of building, measuring the results, learning from it, and starting to (re)build again.

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