There are many articles that share how to be successful in your small business venture. However, if you don’t unlimited free time on your hands, which is probably the case since you are growing a business from scratch, you will need a shortlist that gets straight to the point. This is one of those lists.
The biggest decision that you will make in your new business is the process of actually putting your money where your mouth is. Rather than talking about owning a business, you have decided to make the jump and go ahead and get started. Most of the reason the others have never taken the plunge is fear. There are plenty of apprehensions that come with starting a business. Where will the next paycheck come from? Who is going to care about the product? If you are going to stand out from the rest of the crown, you need to acknowledge your fears, address them, and learn how to overcome them. You aren’t alone in the field of entrepreneurship, and many a good and successful individual has gone before you.
Understand the World of Finance
If you are using the story of Bill Gates as your inspiration for starting a business, you might have put aside the magical nature of the rags-to-riches story that landed him a billionaire. The reality of entrepreneurship is that it takes both money and hard work to get going, and lots of both.. There are opportunities for small business loans through traditional lenders or in conjunction with the Small Business Administration, but there is also the possibility that a venture capitalist like Mark Stevens will take notice of your business plan and infuse some capital into your dreams. However, simply making more money isn’t going to sustain your business for the long haul. You need to make your money stretch further and work harder. Financial literacy means knowing how to build financial assets. Investing in things that make money rather than costing money.
Become a Good Leader
You won’t always be operating and managing your business affairs alone. As your business expands and grows, you undoubtedly need to bring in additional help. Don’t wait until you become a leader to start learning how to become a good one. Your success with employees will be about helping others find their potential and create their own success stories. You will need to be a good leader in order to earn the respect and compliance of your potential employees. You must be able to motivate your team members to believe in your product and your mission, as well as convince them to promote that same love and passion to others through sales or service. Take time to read leadership books, speak to other respected entrepreneurial leaders, and attend conferences or workshops.
Use Your Connections
There will be many decisions that come your way as you get your business going. There will be many people who may want to come along and partner with you after they see your success or align themselves as sole vendor contracts as they see the profitability of a partnership. You should be careful about what opportunities you accept or reject in the early period of operation. Think outside the box as you evaluate the potential value in the relationships or circumstances that come your way. You shouldn’t rely on your own accord to get you through the next coming weeks and months, but you should be able to create new opportunities each day when you feel it is advantageous. Using leverage, you can help develop new deals and contracts that prove financially beneficial or strategic with regard to relationships or partnerships.
Define Your Success
There are some who will give up on their dreams of business ownership when their expectations of financial success aren’t coming to fruition. Herein lies the problem. Defining true success will be different for each entrepreneur, with some putting a focus on sales and others looking at profits. Business success equates to what you deem success in private life, and it can all come down to your attitude. Consider the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, in the classic Christmas tale by Charles Dickens. No one wants to be around someone who has a terrible temperament and is always dissatisfied with the progress of the business. You will have a hard time keeping employees and customers if you only define your success by the numbers on your balance sheet. There is nothing wrong with financial independence, but don’t step on others around you on the way to the top. Success should be measured by the value of your relationships and your happiness rather than the wealth you hope your business will bring.
There are many things that you can do to help your startup become successful, but you first need to take care of your needs. Whether it be devising your plan to overcome fears, appreciating your opportunities, or understanding the finances of your venture, remember that everything rises and falls on leadership.
- Pros and Cons of Financing a Business
- Book: The Last Chance Millionaire
- What is OPM or Other People’s Money?
- The Enthusiastic Employee: 16 Myths on Employee and Performance Management
- How to Use the Power of Publicity for Your Small Business