10 Habits of Successful Small Business Owners

Top 10 Habits of Successful Small Business Owners

by Lauren Newcomb

There are two Korean Barbecue restaurants on our block. The food is very similar, so are the prices. Yet one is very busy and the other is not. Ever wonder why some small business owners succeed, while others, in the same industry, fail?

Small business owners don’t have it easy. Becoming successful requires hard work, perseverance, and a profound understanding of the customer. It also takes a certain amount of discipline. Let’s look at the top 10 habits of successful small business owners to see how you can soar where others crash.

Build Relationships

Great small business owners build relationships before they need them, so that when the time comes, they can use those connections. It’s hard to ask for help from acquaintances or from people you’ve just met. It’s much more natural to receive support from people you already know professionally or personally. Network with customers, other businesses, employees and contractors.

Stay Organized

No matter how many great and innovative ideas a business owner has, the ability to successfully execute them lies with the ability to stay organized. Make a schedule and stick to it. Keep appointments, meetings, and deadlines. Staying organized despite a hectic schedule will help you advance and succeed.

Be Decisive

Making decisions can be really tough. Whether it’s choosing brand colors or deciding if an employee should be fired, it can be difficult to come to a decision. Make tough decisions quickly and without deliberating for long periods of time. Every moment you spend deliberating is time that could be spent doing something more productive.

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Build a Strong Team

According to Lorraine Pirihi, Small Business Owner Coach, “successful small business owners invest time and money in their team and themselves”. A great business owner hires well and then trusts each member of the team to complete their assigned tasks adequately. Respect each employee’s area of expertise. Trust each employee to do exceptional work without micromanagement.


Great small business owners know that if the pilot is in the cabin serving the passengers, nobody’s in the cockpit flying the plane. The most successful business owners realize that they can’t do everything on their own. When your business grows, learn to delegate to employees and trust them to make good decisions. Know to recognize when your employees need training and help, and when to let go.


Small business owners don’t procrastinate, and are therefore very productive. Set one session per week arranging your to-do list by order of urgency. Review and revise your priorities daily. BizAhead suggests breaking big ideas into smaller tasks and then achieving success by taking small steps forward.

Stand Out

According to small-business consultant Jim Connolly, it’s important for small business owners to make their business stand out. Instead of being indistinguishable from your competitors, strive to be personal, one-of-a-kind, unique. You will stand out from the crowd, and potential clients will remember you.

Don’t Be Afraid of Failure

Studies show that a key quality of successful people is their ability to keep trying. In fact, most entrepreneurs are NOT successful with their first business venture. Understand that every business venture is inherently risky. When you fail, learn from your mistakes, and do better next time.

Have a Life Outside of Your Small Business

Although many successful small business owners are workaholics, this can eventually lead to health problems, so their success may be short lived. According to Forbes Entrepreneurs, whether your business is doing well or not, be sure to lead a balanced life. Do not let work overtake your health, your family or your social life.

Be Creative

Successful small business owners are innovative. In fact, many are often the first to implement new technology. While your competitors use the same old methods, try new methods of doing things. Stay abreast of new trends in your industry and embrace creativity. Your customers will take notice and your businesses will shine.