You started a small business and are ready to take on ANYTHING that can come your way. Small business is a dream of so many people. To own a business and have autonomy over your life, control of your time. Ahhh, what a vision??!!
Control of your life? HA!
Starting a business is about getting up everyday and doing many many tasks you don't want to do. Ideally each day, you will also end up having time for the things you do want to do. The point is, if you want to be successful you are going to have to be brutally honest with yourself.
Can you do the things you don't want to do ?
1. Make phone calls to people you don't want to talk to?
2. Listen to young marketing professionals offer you advise?
3. Come up with catchy marketing messages to drive sales?
4. Can you honestly evaluate your products and get customer feedback?
5. Can you build a consistent BRAND and message?
6. Go to 2-3 network marketing events each week?
7. Tell people what you do in 30 seconds or less?
8. Pick up your dry cleaning, get your groceries and still run your business?
At the very least, can you hire people to HELP you do the things you don't want to do? Ask yourself honestly! And truthfully, the list above represents maybe 1/10 of questions we can ask. Here are a few more.
I have met some of the most organized people in the world. Great personality. Clean store. Great Product! Still, their business fails.
I know stories of WORLD RENOWNED money managers that managed BILLIONS in money in a big business, that left to start their own company and failed miserably.
I know stories of accountants that have graduated top of their class only to make $10,000 in their first year as a practicing accountant. Hardly enough money to feed a family of 4.
People vastly underestimate the time it takes to do anything. Even if you are a world class professional, the day you start your own business, there is NO GUARANTEE you will succeed.
So what is my advice?
Their is just ONE piece of advice I can give you when running a business. One action will increase your chances of success. TAKE THE TIME TO THINK!
Ideas Come From Isolation
So many businesses go into business with a poor plan and very little strategy and very little thought into what it really takes to be successful in business.
Have you created a budget, do you have a good understanding of what it takes to be profitable? Do you know your break even point? Do you know what you are going to do if your perfect idea doesn't work the first time? Do you have a buffer?
Most successful businesses can adapt. The good news is most people don't have it completely right the first time. If you are completely honest with yourself, and you take time to think about what your day-to-day and longer term priorities are, you might just make it through the crazy of owning a small business.
What to think about?
- Think about collecting data from your customers, this will help you define your product to what the customer wants and not what you want them to have.
- Think about marketing, and clean messaging. Sometimes, we have really good ideas, we just can't convey them.
- Think about, who you can bring in to fill a void (and be honest) in the skills you have
- Think about why something DID NOT work. Hey, everything is not going to always turn our like you first visualize.
- Think about it. Do you love what you are doing or is the challenge too much? Being honest here is a tough one, but ultimately it will save you in the long term.
What do I NEED to know?
- Most businesses take 3 years to acheive strong sustainable profits.
- Most businesses fail to develop strong marketing plans and follow through on them. Consistency
- Most businesses fail to bring in the support they need to handle the administration. Make sure you hire an accountant or at the very least a book keeper to keep you organized.
- There is NO time for quitting! The first 3 years are going to be the toughest 3 years of your life.
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU DID IT! You decided to get out their and try your hat on something you always wanted to do. Get out there. Go get em! Just by trying you have done something so few could even imagine!
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