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8 Secrets to Success in Business Follow these secrets to success to make 2023 a standout year for your business. Remember, success is achieved in your personal life as well as your professional life. Be sure to enjoy the entrepreneurial journey along the way.

By Lauren Gall Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Yearly small business growth takes a vision and a plan. You need to envision where you're going and develop a step-by-step guide to get there. Most of the time, growing your business requires doing things a bit differently.

Many entrepreneurs get so bogged down in day-to-day operations that their growth goals become a distant memory. You may look back in Q3 and realize that what would have been possible if you started in Q1 may not be feasible this year at all. Avoid this scenario by understanding your goals and setting a path toward growth.

Here's what you should do differently to catalyze small business growth.

1. Set 3-5 goals for the year

Always start with goals. Set three to five overarching goals for the year with detailed steps on how you will achieve each one. Break down the plan by quarter. Assign due dates and add them to your calendar. Make room in your schedule to prioritize each step.

Building a digestible structure helps you achieve your goals systematically instead of having them all on your plate at once, which might end up overwhelming and demotivating. Allow your team to assist with bringing your goals to completion. Share due dates on when each step will be finalized each quarter.

Related: 7 Steps to Achieving Any Goal in Life

2. Be transparent with your team

Bring your team into the process. Be transparent about what you aim to achieve this year and how you plan to get there. By sharing your vision, your team gains visibility into their roles in accomplishing each goal. This enables collaboration and helps your team feel involved in what the business achieves.

Further involve them by asking for input and ideas. You might be surprised by how helpful their perspectives can be. Stay open to recommendations as long as they point to more efficient strategies or better solutions.

Related: 5 Things Preventing You From Being Transparent

3. Get to know your customers or clients

Be creative in getting to know your customers or clients. Send surveys and check in personally. Share in their wins as often as you can. Go beyond merely following them on social media and reposting content. Surprise and delight them by sharing their goals, growth and other exciting news they may share.

Offering special attention to your clients enables them to envision a strong, long-term partnership with you. That mindset leads to raving fans who sing your praises and help grow your brand.

4. Challenge yourself

Challenge yourself each week to be 1% better. Reaching for that small 1%, even broken down over the year, will enormously impact your success. Think about continuous, mindful and meaningful improvements. Address your weaknesses and fortify your strengths. Make your impact through small wins over time.

Related: 12 Actions You Can Take to Become a Better Person and a Better Leader

5. Do what you love

Determine what you love and do more of it — in business and life. This keeps you motivated and combats burnout. For example, traveling will be at the top of my list this year. With careful planning, a workcation — or an extended stay vacation with a mix of fun and work — is one of my main priorities and a practice worth following.

Find what you enjoy (i.e., a big city, ocean, etc.) and take a workcation as part of your upcoming plans for the year. You will return re-energized and ready to tackle the road ahead. Plus, you more than likely have new business ideas that you discovered while away from your business's day-to-day activities and stresses.

6. Practice listening

You gain so much more from conversations if you simply learn how to listen. So often, leaders listen to respond as opposed to genuinely listening to what is being said. In doing so, they miss out on subtext and depth in the conversation, especially since much communication is nonverbal.

When you focus on listening, you gain a more accurate sense of what is being said and why it matters. And truly, doesn't it feel great when you know you are being heard?

Related: How to Listen to Your Employees

7. Find a mentor or coach

Find a mentor or coach. More specifically, find someone in your industry that you admire because they perform better than you in your space. They will help you develop better strategies and overcome challenges.

A mentor or coach will provide a learning experience, offer a bird's eye view of your company and help you reach the next level. Working with someone who understands your challenges and has risen above them can be priceless.

8. Set your goals high

Knowing what is truly possible, set your goals high. As an accidental entrepreneur, if you had told me 11 years ago that my business would grow to a more than two million dollar business, it would have been hard to imagine — it would have felt crazy.

With hard work, delegation, a dedicated co-founder and a team that supports us, it is now our reality. We continue to put goals and systems into place to sustain and multiply this growth.

Follow these secrets to success to make 2023 a standout year for your business. Remember, success is achieved in your personal life as well as your professional life. Be sure to enjoy the entrepreneurial journey along the way.

Lauren Gall


Lauren Gall has been in business for 11 years and is the co-founder of VaVa Virtual Assistants, a highly successful Virtual Assistant Agency. She is the co-author of A Self-Funded Journey to Growing a 7-Figure Business with the passion to help businesses achieve success and work-life balance.

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