What’s the secret of success? Nine business owners and directors share their top tips

What’s the secret to business success? We asked nine business owners and directors to share their top tip with us. 

What makes one person or business successful, when others struggle? And can the secret to that success be boiled down to one simple thought, habit or action that can be copied?

To find out, we asked nine business owners and directors what their top tip was. And this is what they shared with us.


1) Hire good people

“The best management tip I’ve ever had was simple: hire good people and trust them. Trust them to make the right calls and to do their job so you can focus on other problems.”

Vincent Naigeon, Managing Director at BRIDGE

2) Colour code your calendar

“I colour code my calendar by value. It means that I know what I can move and what I really can’t afford to. I’ll then go back and review my calendar to see what has had the most value. This helps me to forward plan and do more of the activities that have the biggest impact.”

Chelsea Blacker, Managing Director at BlueGlass

3) Be decisive

“Making a decision is often better than not making one and doing more analysis or more research. Timing can be everything and once you’ve made a call whole new opportunities that you couldn’t have anticipated can arise.”

Paul Johnson, UK & IE General Manager at Hire Intelligence

4) Turn off your emails

“I turn off my emails for an hour at a time. It means I don’t get constantly disrupted, and get quality time to solve a problem rather than mix between tasks.”

Jamie Stanford, Managing Director at Liberty Games

5) Don’t be afraid of making mistakes

“I like to believe that it’s often better to be assertive and make a decision when needed, because we shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes – it’s usually the best way to learn.”

Patricia Hernanz, Senior Digital Manager at Expedia

6) Know how to sell

“Every entrepreneur is a sales person whether they like it or not. Developing differentiated products/services is absolutely necessary for any SME, but the ability to sell is essential.”

Mike Lander, Director at Ensoul Interior Architecture

7) Don’t accept every meeting invitation

“The best tip I ever received was: You are always busy so carefully consider which meetings you have to attend. If there is no agenda for a meeting decline it as it will likely not have an actionable outcome.”

David Iwanow, Owner at Travel Network

8) Do the most important work first

“Do the most important work first, not the most urgent. This will save you from fighting fires and allow you to be more structured in what you’re doing.”

Aron Gelbard, Co-founder and CEO at Bloom&Wild

9) Prioritise tomorrow’s tasks

“My top tip would be to spend 15 mins at the end of each day prioritising tasks for the next day ahead. This means when you start your day you already have an idea of what success looks like before the phone rings or you read your emails. This will therefore be a more focussed list.”

Fiona Oliver, Partnerships Director at Partners Wealth Management

What are YOUR top business success tips? We’d love to know – please share them with us on Twitter.