How to Achieve Business Success.
How Entrepreneurs, Start-ups, and Small Business Owners Can Achieve Business Success.
Recently, I have been receiving a lot of inquiries from business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs about the best practices they can use to launch a successful business. Following is a list of my favorite recommendations and strategies that my clients use to plan, launch and grow a successful start-up business. Happy reading.
Launch your business where you were born/grew up: Chances are you will be more successful if you launch your business win your home town or the place where you have lived most of your life. Given that home is where you made most of your contacts, conducted most of your past business dealings, and feel most comfortable as your base of operations this makes perfect sense. Of course, if you receive funding from a Venture Capital firm and they ask you to relocate, you will follow the money to go where they ask you.
Dare to fail greatly: I have found that a universal trait shared by all successful entrepreneurs is an innate willingness (actually a desire) to take tremendous risks. all the most successful entrepreneurs embrace the creed of failing greatly. They understand that taking risks is a win-win proposition. Either they achieve phenomenal results OR…even by falling short they achieve results fr beyond what most people unwilling to risk failure can ever hope to achieve. This does assume that people actually learn from their mistakes, which is a true pattern of behavior for most successful serial entrepreneurs.
Pursue and combine what you love doing and are best at: Spend considerable time in self-assessment to determine the things that you are MOST passionate about, and are best at. The intersection of these two will tell you where you should focus on starting a business. It simply is NOT enough to be passionate about something if you lack expertise, nor is it enough to be technically competent but lack passion for something. Only when you are most engaged, feel the greatest passion about something you are really good at will you ensure that you will be successful.
Have a (written) plan: Your business plan is your road map, and an effectively written one will serve as your blue print for business venture success. You do NOT have to have an overly detailed and complex plan. A concise, sharply focused business plan can and should be approximately 20 pages, and you can always have a more detailed version which is significantly longer.
Prepare to work harder than you EVER have before: Entrepreneurs that I provide business coaching to are always amazed just how hard it is to launch a business. Well, the fact is you never will work as hard in your life as you do when you launch a business. BUT…you will never be happier, feel more engaged or happy when you succeed, as when you go into business for yourself.
Here is a GREAT article from Forbes…Start Up Success: Is Hard Work Enough
Surround yourself with nurturers: Since you will be working harder than you ever have before and invest all of your time, effort, resources and savings into this life calling, the LAST thing you need is for relatives and/or friends who try to convince you to give up. People in your social circle will tell you you are making a mistake. You need to tell those people they have to support you or, you must distance yourself from them as you plan and launch your business. Starting a business is hard enough. It is a huge monster of a roller-coaster ride of emotional highs and lows. It is going to be hard enough for you to maintain your positive mindset as you go through the process of starting your own business, without having nay-sayers doubting you at every turn and warning you to quit.
Maximize your investment through self-funding: After you have thoroughly research your proposed business and completed your 20 page business plan, you should have a clear understanding of the total capital required to launch your business and support your business venture for the first year of operation. To the extent possible you will have to contribute as much up front investment yourself, with business partners, and family & friends, then pursue other traditional sources such as local/community banks. also consider non-traditional lending sources such as advertising agencies, business incubators, and micro-lenders.
Ask tough questions, be BRUTALLY honest: Two of the hardest questions that any entrepreneur can ask her/himself as they plan to start a business are:
1. Why am I choosing to launch this specific business; and
2. What makes me uniquely qualified to be successful starting this business.
The answers that you provide to these two critical questions will enable you to effectively articulate your vision statement, mission statement, and your unique selling proposition. your answers will also help craft your personal brand as a business owner, and scope the promotional copy you will use to market/sell your business.
Following are some very useful and inspirational resources for your business start up pursuits:
* Top 10 list of why some business ventures succeed (and why many more fail) from BusinessInsider.
* An article on failing gracefully: “Failing Gracefully: The Secret to Start Up Success.”
What do you think? What additional characteristics do you think make for business start up success?