Perhaps the most often asked question when it comes to starting and succeeding in business is, how do I create, organize and implement a business strategy that will help me grow and succeed? While it is different for each individual business, do to demographic, service/brand, and a few other important criteria, it is safe to say that a solid base plan with key focus points is crucial for any business to succeed. Organizing yourself and creating a business plan from the beginning will not only help you stay a float in our downsizing economy, it will also set you up for success. That is why we have decided to dedicate a page solely to the 7 key steps to success when starting your business. Being an entrepreneur is not for the weak minded. You have to stay dedicated, focused and flexible!
7 Tips for Success When Starting A Business
Flexibility- This is perhaps one of the MOST important keys to success in any business. First and foremost having a written plan (we will get to that next) as well as a set strategy is always advised. However, just like in life there are circumstances and situations that we can not control or prevent. This being said it is important to be able to “roll with the punches” and be able to take what comes your way. This gives business owners an advantage and establishes themselves as a force in the business world.
Now About That Written Plan- Although you definitely need flexibility in business without a written plan your business vision is a dream or just that a vision. It is EXTREMELY important to try to map out your financing, sales and marketing plan. As well as your goals, objectives and your approach. Having written records allows for you to better measure your gain/losses and ensures that your business plan stays both effective and encompassing of all areas of your business. Trust us…WRITE IT DOWN!
Systems, Systems, Systems- This goes hand and hand with the written plan. Having systems in place for EVERYTHING allows you to document it all and thus be able to better measure growth and productivity. It will show proven results later on regarding your business analytics, as well as create a habit forming tactics for employees. It will also be the key factor in gathering data for the reports you will need to measure, revenue, profit, loss, labor etc.
Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself- No words truer than these. Business and your emotions need to be kept seperate. While you definitely should have morals letting your ego get in the way will only hurt your business! It is important that you hold yourself accountable for all things as well as follow through with commitments and responsibilities. Having an Advisor(s) to tell ideas too and to gain another trusted perspective from is also strongly suggested. It is important to see outside the box of just your thinking. Being receptive to others ideas and input will only make you a stronger business owner. To build a strong foundation and valuable reputation you need to understand that your word is POWERFUL. How you act, react, & interact is crucial to the success of your business
No Control Freaks!!- This is up there with that ego we all can have. You want to lead others not be a dictator or control freak. Nobody…Nobody likes to be micromanaged. If you set up guidelines and organized training for employees as well as have WRITTEN guidelines for them to adhere to you create structure. Instead of forcing respect you silently command it by being flexible, open to others and grounded. If you lay the groundwork for your employees and put what is expected of them on the table form the beginning there is no room for excuses, or being unaware. Remember staying calm and level headed is VERY important even when the going gets rough.
Digital Marketing- Its the age of the internet and it only continues to grow and impress. All businesses should have a sound and effective marketing strategy in place when beginning and throughout the life of the business. With 95% of consumers online your audience is just a couple clicks away. Utilize social media outlets to help promote and market your business. It gets your brand/services out there for a wide range of people of all audiences to see and discover! Having a properly optimized website can be of amazing value to any business! Utilize the tools that are readily available right at your fingertips.
Groom & Rejuvenate Periodically- Although the old saying is indeed true “don’t fix what isn’t broken” it is also true that periodically giving your business a little “exfoliation” can prove to go a long way! Just like removing dead skin you need to shed dead weight and having your hands in to many things. Less is definitely more in business. Think Net Profit > Gross Revenue. Focusing on and mastering one service or part of your brand can prove to be of great value for your overall net profit gain. By focusing on one creative advantage you can brand your services and make an impression on others permanently. Many businesses got where they are today as far as growth and success when focusing on one part of their service or brand. Give your business a little “scrub” from time to time to rejuvenate your overall happiness, growth, and productivity.
Stepping out on your own as a new entrepreneur can be quite daunting and scary. It definitely tests the strength of your character and determination. As we said before, being an entrepreneur is not for the weak minded. Staying focused, flexible, and calm will become a big factor in whether you succeed or fail. Simplicity is often the best approach to take when starting any business venture. The seven steps we listed above outline simplicity and give you the key components to focus on when diving into the business world. Remember set your goals and keep your eye on that prize. The first time you see proven growth and development will empower you and propel you forward on obtaining the next goal and numbers you set for your business! Good luck and stay organized!