Running a Successful Business
Whatever led you to your business idea, your chances of success will increase many times over if you make optimum use of every minute in your day; if you have genuine belief in your idea and a passion for your business plan. If you find yourself constantly distracted from the task at hand, ask yourself what you are focusing on instead. What is your true goal? The important thing is to know what you want, why you want it and to make sure that every day your actions and behaviors take you closer to your true objective - and are aligned with what matters to you the most.
1. Know why’ you want to build your business. If financial reward is your only goal, you may struggle to stay motivated should you need to make personal sacrifices in terms of time and money, especially during the initial stages of the business.
2. Self-belief. Belief is what keeps you going when others knock you back; it’s what helps keep you going when you are tired; it’s what helps you to overcome unexpected obstacles and to see challenges as surmountable rather than a reason to quit.
3. Be an expert. Trusting your knowledge and expertise will increase your confidence. Don’t be tempted to set up a business in an area you know nothing about, unless, of course, you are partnering with someone with the necessary experience, or you are investing in the business and not necessarily working in it.
4. Know what makes you different. Having a Unique Selling Point that distinguishes you from your competitors will help you to sell your concept and help others to understand what you are offering and why they need it.
5. Get real’. About your strengths and weaknesses so that you plan, prepare and put things right before you get started. Knowing where your weak spots lie and seeking professional expertise, or recruiting team members with those abilities to balance your skills, can put you in a position of strength.
6. Seek the company of others who want to succeed. Not everyone has a can-do’ attitude and it is easy to be discouraged by those who are negative about you or your chances of success. Success breeds success. That’s why sports people like to practice by competing against others who are better than themselves.
7. Plan ahead. Having a strong belief that something can work is not the same as blind optimism or letting your heart rule your head. Pour your belief into the practical structure of a business plan, stating your objectives, your financial plan and including a strategy and a time frame for achieving your goals.
8. Love what you do. It’s not enough to know the business; you need to love it - from targeting your sales to planning your marketing to cashflow management. If you stay on top of the details the results will be worth all the preparation.
9. Don’t expect it to be easy. Most new ventures take more time and money to get them off the ground than initially anticipated.
10. Don’t should’; always will’. Valuable lessons can be learned from mistakes, but getting stuck in regrets will hold you back. Ditch the shoulds’; ask yourself why’ you will succeed - and get ready to Do It!
If you put as much energy into running your business for 50 weeks of the year as you do enjoying your 2 week break, your annual accounts will be more fun to read than a holiday postcard.
Do It! or Ditch It: Turn ideas into action and make decisions that count - 8 steps to business successâ€ (Virgin Books)