You’ve probably seen this story in a couple of different media locations. By eliminating smoking and alcohol, eating right and exercising moderately, you can essentially add 12 years to your life span. But what habits can you set in motion to extend the life of your small business?

1. Learning. Success isn’t gained in a vacuum and these days you absolutely must commit to lifelong learning to stay innovative, lean and focused. Read your local paper, a trade magazine or two, a great business book, catch up on Wired and Fast Company for cutting-edge business trends and attend the occasional conference. Set aside 15 minutes of your work day to learn something.

2. Humor. Look. We only go around once and yes, running a business is a serious endeavor. But if you cannot laugh off or take some things in stride, you will fail and make those around you miserable. Plus, customers are more likely to patronize a happy, laughter-filled place.

3. Marketing. We talked about that here so I won’t repeat it. Just do it!

4. Financial management. This is about your business and your personal financial management. Hook up with a certified financial planner, get an accountant you can trust and stay on top of things like taxes! If you’d like to sign up for my new tax alert emails, please go here.

5. Rest. Again, along with humor, rest is crucial. All the learning and marketing and financial planning in the world will get you nowhere if you do not take time to regroup.


by Steven Schlagel