By Hannah Whittenly

Starting or expanding a company can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience. After all, some decisions could make or break your business. Yet, knowing what is important can make a huge difference in your success. Even if you have a groundbreaking idea, knowing how to implement it will be the key.

The Hard Facts

One of the most important aspects of success is to know everything there is about your company. For instance, know what products are the most popular and what your competition is doing. If you are unsure, then talk to your competitor’s employees or customers.

As well, it is essential that you consider the viewpoints of others like your business associates and friends. Also, never forget to consult with certain specialist such as a marketing director, sales representative or other types of managers in the business. You can also gain quite a bit of knowledge about your industry by joining certain organizations and groups.

Put Emphasis on the Results

Always envision the ideal “business” and what you ultimately desire. This includes focusing on your short term goals as well as the long term. For instance, all aspects of your financial statements need to be kept up to date so that you know which direct you should take your company. As well, this should be applied to other aspects of the business such as your employee’s drive, mission testimonials and business goals.

Moreover, putting emphasis on results will project a winning and positive outcome. Like the old book says, “You are what you think”. So think positively and successfully. Also, commit to a process and keep thing simple. Instead of putting a heavy weight on your shoulders in regards to the “ultimate” business goal, focus on the practice of doing and not the performance itself.

Just Breathe

Sometimes just breathing and relaxing can make a huge difference in making important decisions. You cannot do everything at once and do it well. Take one step at a time so that each step is a building block for your business. And when you get the urge to rush ahead with spontaneous decisions, take a walk or a few deep breaths to gain composure.

Deep breathing exercises give your brain more oxygen resulting in clear and unrushed thinking. In addition, a “time out” allows your brain to relax so that you will have a fresher perspective. In fact, relaxing the mind helps you make not just good choices but the best choices. So remember to slow down because, as Dallin Larsen—CEO of Vasayo—says, “A life of significance is a byproduct of making the “best” choices.”

Learn From Your Mistakes

One of the most difficult challenges for many businesses is being able learn from your mistakes. However, you have to be able to see your own mistakes before you can change them. Once you recognize what went wrong then you need to reevaluate the process. In fact, learning what you did wrong will help you correct any issues in business decision.

On the other hand, what you did right is also very important. Analyze all positive outcomes from your past businesses and apply them to your current company. For example, you decide on a certain marketing plan for a new product. Later you discover that sales where poor and customers were dissatisfied. The first action should be to find out from your customers why they were unhappy with the product. You can do this in several ways such as a survey, a drop box or personally ask them. Not only does this show concern for your customer but it shows that you care about their satisfaction. And when the customer feels appreciated, they will spread the word and frequently shop at your establishment.

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.