Business Owners (BizOwners) need a lot of habits in order to succeed. Before answering the questions we should define what a habit is. In general terms, a habit is an action or thought pattern, developed through repetition, which is for the most part automatic. Business Owners use habits to always give the best service, check their balances at the bank on a daily, weekly basis, return phone calls and e-mails on time, and taking care of all the mundane details of running any business.
To pick one habit over another as far as importance is a very tough job, because each of habits necessary for success is important in their own way. For me the one most overlooked and underutilized habit most BizOwners should have is the CAP habit. CAP stands for Customer Acquisition Plan. A Customer Acquisition Plan is what you do on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to generate new business. For some successful business owners it is making 10 calls a day to new customers. To others it is canvassing a neighborhood once a week for 3-4 hours, and for some it is sending out 30 e-mails a week to prospects. In any case, for a CAP to work it needs to become a habit. Routine and repetition are keys to successful long term growth. Doing something once doesn’t make it a habit. Doing something twice or three times doesn’t make it a habit. Doing something 20 times begins the process of making a habit.
Habits are very much like New Year’s Resolutions. We make a resolution and have great resolve to succeed in the beginning. However, week two’s resolve isn’t quite as strong as week one. As time goes on the resolve to continue goes away and most New Year’s Resolutions never get past week three! Habits are exactly the same. Most habits take a much longer and firmer commitment.
If you want your business to grow in 2011 then let me give you a challenge. Take a four hour block of time each week and do nothing in the block of time but look for new customers. Use your strengths and your knowledge to figure out the best way of doing the prospecting, but do it for four hours and do nothing else in that time period. Block the time off in your calendar and don’t let anything get in the way of this activity. It is important that you pick the same time each week. This makes it easier to develop a habit. If you do this for a minimum of 20 weeks, you will develop the CAP habit, and you will be amazed at the growth you will be experiencing.
I will be writing more about business habits (bizhabits) in the coming weeks so check back often. If you would like to contact me you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.