It’s often said that if you want to be successful at something, one of the best things you can do is talk to someone who already achieved success and learn from them.
With that thought in mind, we’ve reached out to a few small business leaders, and this is what they had to tell us.
1. Create a daily plan
Phil Gerbyshak, speaker and B2B sales trainer with The Sales Chronicles, says that the key to greater success is to “create a personalized learning plan and dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to it.” Gerbyshak’s plan first consists of, “every year, I choose something I want to learn about. Some years it’s a piece of software, or a new skill, or something fun and personal.”
Gerbyshak then searches all types of media about that topic—YouTube videos, podcast episodes, books and articles—calendaring 15 minutes every day to take in a portion of the information compiled. “By the end of the year, I’m 50-90 hours smarter about the topic of my choice, even if I skipped a day here and there,” says Gerbyshak.
Gerbyshak also uses this as a networking opportunity, reaching out to the content creators and thanking them for teaching him something new. “The reward is not just the new skill, but the new ideas, new people and new ways of learning I’ve introduced into my world,” says Gerbyshak.
2. Stay focused
Justin Seedman BS, ACE- CPT, CHC, owner of JustinFit In-Home Personal Training offers just one piece of advice, and that is “to remain focused. The more successful you become, the more opportunities will present themselves. Be cautious of distractions disguised as opportunities.”
Before following any new path, look at it objectively and ask yourself whether it will help you advance your business in the right direction. Also consider the risks and potential drawbacks so you don’t make a move and then find out that it was the wrong move for you.
3. Revisit your business plan, often
Along the same lines of staying focused, Avivit Ben-Aharon, founder and clinical director of Gr8 Speech Inc, says that “frequent review of your business plan is essential for growth and development.” In fact, “your business plan should be visible to you at all times,” says Ben-Aharon.
A well-developed business plan serves as a road map for your business, helping you make decisions that will take it down the paths you’ve envisioned. It also provides a big-picture view of your chiropractic practice, something that can easily get lost in the day-to-day grind.
4. Specialize your services
“Be a specialist not a generalist,” says Karen Dennis, freelance healthcare publicist and president of KSD Public and Media Relations. “Take your time, explore your strengths and evaluate your competition before choosing a focus for your business which you enjoy and is financially rewarding.”
In chiropractic, this could involve specializing in rehabilitation services or sports medicine, for instance. Or maybe your specialty could revolve around a particular treatment method, such as the Gonstead or Diversified Technique, or the use of a particular instrument.
5. Have a strong ‘why’
Mindy York, founder of Baby Otter Swim School says that being successful in business requires that you “wake up every day excited about the possibilities and never let the challenges get in the way of the dream.” When you have passion for your work despite the obstacles, it can help you to keep moving forward, even on days when you’re feeling tired, stressed, or overwhelmed.
York adds that Tony Robbins says it best with his quote, “If your why doesn’t make you cry, then that is NOT your why.” Sometimes you have to dig pretty deep to realize why it’s so important for you to succeed.
Is it because of your desire to help others live higher quality lives? Maybe it’s because a chiropractor once helped save your life and you want to pass that same experience on to others? Keep looking until you find the ‘why’s’ that are strong enough to help you through the difficult times.
6. Don’t do it alone
Luisa Szakacs, ND, CNC, doctor of Naturopathy and certified nutritional counselor with Marpé Nutrition says that, while passion is great, “after a while, this passion doesn’t seem to be enough. We realize we also need to be organizers, bookkeepers, managers and delegators. This will often lead us to get caught in the day to day busy-ness of running the business.”
This is where hiring staff can help.
“One of the tips I highly recommend is hiring those that can take away the operational side of the business so I can focus on that which fuels my passion, helping people,” says Szakacs. “I had to decide if I wanted to work in my business or on my business. Working in my business meant I could focus on my passion to help others. Working on my business meant I had to still take time on the operational and the administrative side of the business.”
7. Choose trust over skills
When hiring new staff, Joe Palumbo, president of Ice Dam Guys, LLC, adds that the key to success is “surrounding yourself with people you can trust versus only looking at their skill sets. Someone can be the best technician to come through the door, but if he or she is unreliable or doesn’t gel right with the team, those skills are going to be useless.”
When you have an opening, consider whether the person you’re interviewing has a history of showing up on time and staying until the work is complete. You can provide training related to your specific techniques, policies, and procedures, but if your applicant doesn’t have a strong work ethic, you might want to pass.
8. Identify what sets you apart, then exploit it
Kate Alcaraz, co-founder of Beauty Advisor, says that taking your business to newer and higher levels requires that you “discover your ‘unfair advantage’ and exploit it relentlessly.”
What do you do better than other chiropractors in your area? What services do you offer that they don’t? Why should patients choose you as their chiropractic provider?
“Once you identify that difference and improve it, it’s your job to educate the market on its benefits,” says Alcaraz. Tell people how your unfair advantage can make their lives better, healthier, or happier. Get them to envision themselves better off with you in their lives.
9. Start small
Brandon Wheeler, owner of Gulf Beach Weddings, suggests that business success starts with testing your ideas before jumping all in to ensure that what you’re about to do will actually move you forward. How? Use the same types of techniques utilized in other industries.
“Real estate investors often list a property for lease prior to buying just to ‘test the market’ and confirm rental rates,” says Wheeler. “Once they’ve tested, they move forward with the original plan.”
In chiropractic, this could involve using a new technique on just a handful of clients to see what they think before deciding whether to add it to your list of services permanently. You can take this same approach with any new products you’re considering selling as well.
10. Get better before you get bigger
Once you start small, Kyle Klement, founder of The Vet Marketing Firm says that you should also “get better before you get bigger. So many companies experience such a level of initial success that they immediately swing for the fences before they even know how to swing a bat. This will often come back to bite the business owner in a number of ways, from work flow, staffing, payroll, operating income, and expenses, and so on.”
How does Klement suggest you avoid this type of issue? “By starting small and then committing to a holding pattern to confirm your idea works, you set yourself up for continued success,” says Klement. “Once you’re certain your idea works, that’s when it can be scaled in a manner to really launch your business to the next level.”
11. Use social media wisely
Though Erika Taylor Montgomery, CEO of Three Girls Media, Inc., says that, “social media marketing is a must,” it’s also important to realize that your business doesn’t need to be on every platform that exists to be effective. Instead, Taylor Montgomery suggests that you “just choose one or two and manage them really well.”
Which ones can potentially give you the best response? “In our experience with the chiropractic companies we’ve worked with at Three Girls Media, Facebook and Instagram are the most advantageous,” says Taylor Montgomery. Also, you should aim to “post updates at least once or twice per day.”
12. Surround yourself with the right people
Finally, David B. Moadab of Solutions Squad Inc, says that you should “always surround yourself by people who know more than you, are smarter than you, and are more successful than you.”
These types of individuals can motivate you, share helpful tips, and serve as a sounding board for all of your business-related ideas.
Where do you find people who fit this definition? “These could be your peers, employees, or even competition that you have a friendship with,” says Moadab, adding that it’s important to “leave your ego outside, and learn from them!”