by Rachel Theron

Can I admit something, just between you and me? I think business inspirational quotes are bullshit. They’re malarkey because it takes more than positive memes or gazing upon inspirational sunrises and sunsets to run a successful business.

We have this false cultural assumption (in American at least) that hard work will eventually pay off, and if it hasn’t yet, it’s because we haven’t worked hard enough. The crux of this belief is that we all participate on a leveled playing field, but most recognize success is much more complicated than this simplistic view.

With that said, I still believe there are qualities all business owners must possess in order to be successful, while recognizing the Success Ladder is longer for some than others.

Pick Up The Phone

At the tender age of 25, a leading national marketing firm hired me as a project manager. It was my first “real” job– salary, benefits, bonuses– and we even had an office supply room in our building, which blew away my naïve mind (I was use to employment gigs where we ran down to the local Staples for printer paper and other office supplies).

One thing that has always stuck with me from my time there was the guidance to pick up the phone. In other words, don’t email a client about something when a 2-minute phone conversation will solve it.

Emailing is convenient (you can jot out an email anytime and from practically anywhere), but it’s a passive form of communication, and sometimes it’s just plain lazy. When a phone call will quickly solve an issue or question, always go that route; it’s more professional, and will also help build rapport with your client.

Always Make The Deadline

This one is simple– always meet the deadline. Period. Not doing is unprofessional, but it allows the client to not meet any future deadlines either. Don’t believe me? Test out this theory for yourself. Be true to your word and never make excuses, and you’ll find most clients won’t either. Integrity, reliability, and clear communication are the stepping stones for a successful business.

Be Nice Yet Professional– Even To The Jerks

My philosophy has always been to remain professional under all circumstances, even when the client is completely out of line, unreasonable, and clearly in the wrong. Why remain cool and collected? Because it’s a small world, and remaining professional at all times will only benefit you in the future. Not doing so will only hurt you and your business.

It’s Just Business

The great thing about business is you’ll meet a lot of people with varying personalities and temperaments. The worst thing about business is you’ll meet a lot of people with varying personalities and temperaments. Always remember to not take things personally; it’s just business. Thick skins are helpful, but a sense of humor about business, life, crazy people is essential too.

Contracts and NDA

Anyone you do business with or who works for your company as an independent contractor, should sign a contract plus a non-disclosure agreement. This applies for your neighbor, best friend, sister-in-law, and brother– a n y o n e.

We hope this tips help you in running a successful web design and/or online marketing business!