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  • Pittsburgh Investor

How To Run A Business

From the outside, it might seem like some people just have the secret sauce to run a successful company. They work long hours, are dedicated, and seem to always make the right moves. Through working with hundreds of business owners in Pittsburgh, and running several myself, I've seen all the common attributes to what makes someone a great business owner.

It might be different from what you'd expect. Most people will think it's someone who doesn't fail and always avoids risk. In reality, any business owner will tell you they've learned the most from failure, not their successful years. These lessons not only create a knowledge bank to use for the future, but mold you into dealing with tough times. Right now we are all going through a rough period with the corona virus. You must adapt if you want to survive financially and from a business standpoint.

Here is a list of characteristics and behaviors all successful business owners in Pittsburgh have....

1. Passion For Their Craft

Just like any skill, if you don't love what you do, you'll never be the best. This is true with sports, school, business, and life. Every skill is difficult to master. There will be hurdles no matter what path you take. The only way to make it through these without giving up, or having your competition blow past you, is with passion. If you love what you do for work, those tough days will be nothing more than a motivation to get to the next level and keep progressing in your field. It also makes working fun. When you don't "have" to work, but want to work, you'll dedicate more time and energy to making it the best it can be.

2. Adaptation

Adapting is the only way to survive in business. The world is changing faster than ever before. Just think that a decade ago it was almost a luxury to have a mobile phone. Fast forward to today, we have cars driving us around and phones that have as much technology as NASA! As things continue to change, a business must be agile. At anytime, your product or service can become obsolete. A new service or product may be created that makes your business of no use to the public anymore. A virus can come in causing a pandemic and causing regulators to shut down your business. The only thing constant with business and life is change. It is imperative as a business in Pittsburgh that you constantly innovate, adjust your strategy, and never be emotional about how you make your money. If the market changes, you must change with it. It has no feelings for you, so you should have no feelings about the market.

3. Focus

Focus is probably the most difficult behavior for any entrepreneur. The reason is because we are positive thinkers and see opportunity in everything. I call this the "shiny object syndrome". We want to take advantage of any solution to a problem, a way to make a quick buck, and ways to make the world better. It causes us to lose focus and a lack of clarity on our long term goal with the business. Will branching out is important, and adding other services can be extremely profitable. The problem is when it takes a way from the main focus. The core of the business must always be top priority. Everyday should be dedicated on making it better, more efficient, more profitable, and progressing. That lack of focus can make you spend your time doing 5 things decent instead of 1 thing great.

4. Outsourcing

Continuing from the need for focus is a step that is required to KEEP that focus. Outsourcing is the skill of finding fantastic people and vendors to handle parts of the business that you are not skilled at, or don't have the time for. It is best to outsource the lower cost tasks to focus on the things that make you the most money for your time. It is also crucial to realize that as an owner, you can't be the best at everything. You must trust others to play a role in your venture and find other businesses in Pittsburgh to handle some of the tasks that you will never be the best at. Most commonly owners will build a team around them for their marketing, insurance, finances, construction, and real estate.

5. Sacrifice

The most important part of running a business is sacrifice. While I believe this is the most important piece for anyone's road to success in any field, in business it is especially so. You must be willing to give up your time, extra money, standard of living, and even friends and family. This journey is difficult and there will be times when money is not great. There will be other times where money is flowing in, but you need to grow the company not buy what makes you happy. There will be countless times that you'd like to enjoy your personal life, but the business requires more dedication and time than is available. Making the sacrifices consistently is a key in building a successful business in Pittsburgh. There are so many distractions in the city, but keeping the company as the main focus is what get's you through the temptations of days and nights off.

Is owning a business right for you? It isn't for everyone. There's a special group of people out there who are willing to master these 5 behaviors in order to reap success in business. As we continue another month during a pandemic, it's going to be even more difficult to run a business. Just remember the 5 steps above will always help you find a way to make it to the other side. Each business is different, and everyone will be affected differently by this, but success comest to those who overcome all obstacles.

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