You might have your own Laws Of Success. I came up with mine many years ago. You can apply these to any business. I’ve started 33 of them, so I have a little experience. Take from these the ones you like and add your own.
1. Find A Mentor and/or a Mastermind Group – I’ve had a number of mentors throughout my business career. Cliff Wallace was my favorite. I met Cliff at the age of 90 at the tailor getting a new suit made. We had lunch one Friday a month until he died at 95. He was the most positive and enthusiastic man I ever knew. He taught me how to stay positive and count my blessings.
Today, I have a Mastermind Group. I get together with several business owners in my local area and we talk about how to make our businesses better. If an idea works in their business, it might just work in mine. It’s great to have a group of like-minded business owners to bounce ideas off of.
2. Never Stop Learning – You could say that I have a PHD in business, not because of college, but because of the 33 businesses I’ve started. My first businesses were personal sales driven, so I learned everything I could about sales. I have a library of over 5000 business books. It’s amazing how much you can learn from books. I am always reading a business book. I go to conferences and seminars annually to learn more about my business. I’m amazed that the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. Learning is a journey. Learning keeps you fresh with new ideas for your business.
3. Take All The Blame And Share All The Success – You and ONLY you are responsible for your business. Don’t play the blame game. Don’t make excuses. Take FULL responsibility for your business and for your life. Be selfless and share all the success. Give credit to your employees when they succeed. Congratulate them when they take risks, whether they succeed or fail.
4. Jack Welch says: “Face reality as it is, not as it was or you wish it to be.” In 2008 the economy took a nosedive for most of us. What did you do? Did you dig a hole and hide? Or did you continue to grow your business? I have a number of clients that doubled their business from 2008. What did they do? They doubled up on their advertising. They bought out their competition. They realized that the days are gone when you just built a store and the customers showed up. They took action and made their business what it is today.
5. Be Candid With Everyone – I have discovered that sugar coating does not work in the long run. Your employees, suppliers and customers deserve to know where you stand. If you’re in trouble, tell them. If you’re making some changes that will affect them, tell them. I find it to best tell the truth. When you do this consistently, your tribe will follow you to the ends of the earth.
6. Don’t Manage…Lead! – Don’t go by the old mantra, “do as I say, not as I do.” That’s not going to cut it. You must be willing to lead by example. If you’ve decided to knock on doors to get route customers, you better be the first one out there to teach them how to knock on doors. Let your employees know that you’re willing to do anything you ask them to do. Doesn’t mean that you do it all the time, but you’ll do it to show them how it’s done.
7. Change Before You Have To – We’ve really been hit hard by technology in the last 5 years. If you don’t get on the bandwagon, you’ll be left in the dust. You must embrace change. Take it as a challenge, not as a curse. If you need customers, figure out a way to get them. The new trends in our businesses are lockers and routes. If you’re not figuring out how to do this, you’re going to die a slow death.
8. If You Don’t Have A Competitive Advantage, Don’t Compete – How are you better than the other dry cleaners in your town? What do you do that they don’t? If there isn’t anything, come up with something. My members send out newsletters. They send out personal hand-written welcome notes. (When is the last time you got a hand-written thank you note?). They e-mail them weekly with cleaning tips and sell their other services like Rug Doctor rentals, carpet cleaning, drapery cleaning, duct cleaning and bunch of other services. Why should someone do business with you? Clearly define that and then do it!
9. Control Your Own Destiny Or Someone Else Will – Don’t let your competitors, economy or your customers control your destiny. You determine your level of success. It’s up to you and ONLY you. I focus on the “you” a lot. Why? Because it’s only up to you. You succeed; it’s your fault. You fail; it’s your fault. When this concept of controlling your own destiny sinks in, you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
10. Focus-ability – This one is a challenge for me. I think (I know) I’m A.D.D. Here is what I do to get things done. I set goals. I have a penalty if I don’t get my goal. I have a reward if I do. I work at least 3 hours per day without any interruptions. According to Peter Drucker, one hour of uninterrupted time is equal to 8 hours of interrupted time. Start your day at home for 3 hours like David Whitehurst of Champion Cleaners does. This client of mine gets more done in one day than most dry cleaners get done in a week.
11. Maintenance Of A Positive Mental Attitude Through The Assumption Of A Negative Result – Prepare yourself for long-term success by being prepared for short-term failure. Let me explain. My job as a consultant for my members is to get advertising to work—to get sales letters, PPC, websites, e-mails and bag drops to work and to work better, I have to test. Most tests fail. But when I test something, I know not to test that again. So in a way, it’s positive. I know another way it won’t work. My first bag drop letter took me 17 different versions over an 18-month period to get it to work the way I wanted it to. I just spent nine months with a copywriter to redo the bag drop letter to get it to work even better. It does. You must understand that most things won’t work on your way to success. You can literally fail your way to success and that’s what this is all about.
12. Never, Never, Ever Give Up!! – Most of my 33 businesses did not make it. I did not give up. I just went on to the next one. I never thought of giving up and going to work for some company. You can’t either. You are a very powerful human being. You are a rare breed. Most people dream of owning their business, like you do. You did it! You are the master of your own destiny. You made it happen. You MUST never give up on your dream.
13. There Are NO excuses! – Man up! Woman up! Take full responsibility for your business and your life. You and ONLY you can make it happen. When you accept the responsibility that there are no excuses, you will go to the moon with your business and life.
Take from these laws what you will and add your own. I’d love to hear your opinions. Go to my blog @ DryCleaningMarketing.com and tell me. Thanks.
To find out more quirky ideas on how to raise your revenue, go to my blog: DryCleaningMarketing.com or call (888) 661-7992.