Do You Exhibit the Traits of a Successful Business Owner?

CAF August article 1

In business, it’s easy to think that your lived and learned experience gives you all the knowledge you need to succeed. However, the reality is that learning is not finite; to succeed in life and business, you must commit to a continuous learning journey.

How willing you are to learn and accept change will determine how successful you are in an ever-changing environment, as we saw during the pandemic.

At OnDeck, we conducted some research recently to shed light on the leading qualities that can contribute to small business success.

What the Research Tells Us

According to our Australia-wide survey, the top personal qualities required to achieve success in business are, drum roll, please:

  • Being a good communicator – 73% of respondents
  • Having a willingness to learn and grow – 73% of respondents

Meanwhile, 72% of SME owners say technical skills relevant to the industry are critical for success in small business.

Other attributes also identified as being crucial to business success were:

  • Having a sense of purpose and passion – 68%
  • Resourcefulness – 67%
  • Being personable – 64%
  • Creativity – 56%
  • Knowing when to delegate or outsource – 48%
  • Being willing to take risks – 48%

Do you exhibit those traits?

“Small businesses have had to deal with considerable change as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and being able to communicate clearly to clients, employees, suppliers, and even regulatory bodies, such as the Australian Taxation Office, has been critical,” said Cameron Poolman, CEO at OnDeck Australia.

A Significant Challenge for Small Business Owners

While many SMEs cited having a willingness to learn as the leading factor for success, access to cash flow was a significant challenge for business owners during the pandemic.

“OnDeck’s research shows that three out of five (57%) SMEs agree that access to cash flow will help their business be better prepared for recovery and growth,” Cameron said

“Thankfully, brokers are well-placed to help their small business clients by doing the legwork to identify funding sources offering rapid turnaround times that give small businesses the funding they need on a timely basis.”

Dealing With Challenges and Sustaining Growth

There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for small business success. However, research by the Australian Centre for Business Growth at the University of South Australia found some common threads of business failure.

Based on the responses of 650 SME CEOs, the study identified several key reasons why businesses don’t succeed. They were:

  • Lack of leadership and poor management – 25%
  • Lack of marketing skills – 17% (1 in 5)
  • Poor governance structures – 11% (1 in 10)

Ready to Grow Your Business Sustainably? Follow These Tips from the Team at OnDeck.

1. Marketing works best if you establish some realistic goals

According to Ollie Wade, Head of Partnerships & Marketing, small business owners should consider setting themselves realistic goals around acquiring new clients, growing website traffic, and building revenue from marketing efforts.

“Run a quick website audit. Look at whether your sales copy is tailored to your target market. Is your Google Analytics tracking properly set up? Are your contact forms working? All these details can make a huge difference.”

2. Find out where your target clients spend their time

Social media can be a powerful marketing force. If your business is not using social media, now is a great time to start.

“Think about where your clients are most likely to be – Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, then focus on that social media platform,” Ollie said.

“Start by interacting with your audience and build up a following today so that you’re ready for future peak periods. If you’re already active on social media, take the time to browse your competitors’ profiles to see how you compare.”

3. Provide great service to keep your clients loyal

Larger companies can fall short in delivering great service, but this gives small business owners an opportunity that shouldn’t be taken for granted, said Nick Reily, National Channel & Partnerships Manager.

“Wherever possible, aim to go above and beyond to provide great service. It will help to build loyal clients and referral business,” Nick said.

4. Build strong relationships and leverage every lead

When a new client comes on board, don’t take your foot off the pedal.

“Focus on surprising and delighting your new clients – it’s easier to sell to an existing client than a new one,” Nick said.

“Work every opportunity that comes into your sales pipeline,” he adds. “Be persistent and don’t give up easily on new business opportunities.”

Tap into the wealth of tools available to support sales growth. “There are some very affordable tools for small business owners such as CRMs to manage your leads and client data, and software to help run loyalty programs,” Nick said.

Get in touch today to find out about OnDeck’s funding options that could support your small business’s sales and marketing planning.