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7 daily habits of successful small business owners

Editorial Team

5 min read
Business owner tapping Clover Station POS screen

Whether you own a hair salon in Halifax or a boutique hotel in Vancouver, as small business owners, one thing you’re likely to agree on is that each day brings on something new.

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From coast to coast, Canadian entrepreneurs know the amount of time, dedication, and hard work it takes to run a business. With so many roles and responsibilities, creating a routine to fit your ever-changing days can be a challenge – but success is often found in the details. In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs invest in themselves through daily habits that promote their personal, professional, and financial growth.   

If your goal is to become a successful entrepreneur, below are seven habits worth weaving into your schedule.

1. Be thankful

Life comes at you fast. It’s easy to fall into a rut, get angry, or become depressed when situations don’t work out as planned. 

Yet, many successful business owners sit down every day to journal or write down things for which they’re thankful. This daily habit helps put life in perspective, allowing you to appreciate the tiny victories you’d normally overlook. 

The act of “counting your blessings” is scientifically proven to make you happier, healthier, and more successful.1

2. Set aside time to read

Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, and Mark Zuckerberg are not small business owners — but they used to be. When asked to explain their success, “love of learning” consistently came up again and again. 

More specifically, these titans of industry are all avid readers who devote a portion of each day to books. Some of them even get through a whole book every week.2 

Don’t have time to read? Check out the next habit.

3. Wake up earlier

Most people don’t enjoy getting up early, but there’s a reason why: 

  • 90 percent of corporate executives wake up before 6 a.m.
  • 50 percent of self-made millionaires are awake three hours before their workdays begin.4 

Getting up early allows you to tackle those projects for which you simply don’t have time — whether it’s exercise, business planning, meditation, or reading books (see tip No. 2). 

We all have the same 24 hours every day, but successful entrepreneurs consistently make the most of that limited time.

4. Delegate more tasks

As an entrepreneur, time is your most valuable asset. You should use it to work on those jobs that only you can complete. Every other item on your “to-do” list should be delegated, outsourced, postponed, or removed. If you’re worried about handing the reins to subordinates, keep reading.

5. Create processes and checklists

Successful small business owners use systems to create order in their workdays. If every product launch follows the same basic formula, for example, it’s best to work from a standardized template with clearly delineated checklists. 

The same goes for monthly conferences, annual tax prep, holiday sales, or anything else that you do on a regular basis. 

Even for the most routine tasks, a checklist can help ensure you don’t forget minor steps. Once your templates are perfected, you can more easily delegate those tasks to others (see tip No. 4).

6. Batch repetitive tasks

There are some mundane tasks that you can’t easily delegate — at least not at first. Still, that doesn’t mean you should let these less-important to-do’s dominate your workday. 

Instead, batch repetitive tasks and do them all at once — at specific times throughout the day (or week). Rather than continuously balancing your books every hour, you might set aside time at 5 p.m. to reconcile all the sales and expenses for that day. 

The same goes for: 

  • Checking your inbox 
  • Cleaning out folders 
  • Returning phone calls

7. Have fun

Even if you’re writing gratitudes and regularly reading books, running a business can be stressful.

That’s why you need to inject a little fun and creativity into your schedule on a weekly or monthly basis.  Holding a regular team lunch, having a trivia day, or incorporating dress-up or dress down days, are all ideas that can help create cohesiveness in your team and bring fun into the work place. 

Make it a habit

Starting a new habit isn’t easy at first. In fact, it feels unnatural and takes a lot of work. However, anything you do consistently every day will eventually become automatic — like brushing your teeth in the morning. 

Pick at least one of the habits outlined above and: 

  • Commit to doing it every day for the next 30 to 60 days 
  • Once it becomes routine, move to the next habit on your list 
  • Sit back and observe an improved work-life balance

Have questions about accepting payments for your business? We’re here to help. To get started, contact our team of payments experts today.

The above is provided for information only and should not be relied on for other purposes.
 

1 “7 Science-backed reasons to count your blessings on Thanksgiving,” Irish News23 November 2017
2 “The Reading Habits of the Wealthiest People in the World,” Blinkist Magazine, 20 January 2021
3 “12 Things Successful People Do Before Breakfast,” Inc., 23 January 2014
4 “A man who spent 5 years studying millionaires found one of their most important wealth-building habits starts first thing in the morning,” Business Insider, 7 April 2016

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