You did it! You decided to take the leap and start your own business. You’ve invested in the necessary materials and you’ve developed your website. Now what? How can you make sure that your business will be successful and run longer than six months?
Many new business owners are very excited when they first make the leap to their own business. The problem is the excitement only lasts so long. To really be successful in a business, strategy has to come into play. Without strategy or a business plan, many new businesses fail in the first six months. Do not worry. Just follow the tips from the successful entrepreneurs below to help you develop a business strategy that meets your expectations.
Find a Mentor
“Would you open your own restaurant without ever eating in one, or without trying your hand at working in one? Of course not. Why, then, do so many people embark on a new business without talking to even one successful businessperson in their field? I encourage you to find – and meet – at least a couple of people who already have the kind of business you’d like to create. Find out how they got started. What’s working well for them and what’s not. Ask them what they wished they had done differently. Ask what suggestions they’d like to give you. In short, pick their brains! With this information in hand, it’ll be much easier to develop strategies for your own business. You’ll have the beginnings of a business model – and maybe even a mentor.” – Kathy Gulrich, Real Estate Expert
Developing a Plan for Your Business
“I’m a huge fan of planning and processes. Start by creating a goal plan for your business each year. Set goals that seem slightly out of reach and then find ways to achieve them. You might be surprised by what happens when you put your goals in writing. If you have employees or plan to, develop an operations manual. Countless hours of training time can be saved, not to mention the fact that you can minimize the number of mistakes made. Understand your target audience! Anyone who can fog a mirror is not a target audience for a business! Do you want to target women with children who are 30 to 45? Do you want to reach single dads aged 40+? Do you want to help teenagers who are struggling with math? Once you identify your audience, every action you take should be with your audience in mind.” – Stephanie Chandler, Entrepreneur Expert
SOMEDAY Is Not a Day of the Week!
“Having mentored many new business owners over my 20+ years in Direct Sales management, I would say that one key is to write down a date in your planner to get things done. One great technique is to put all the ideas or “to do” items on single note cards, paper pieces or sticky notes and then arrange them in the order you need to accomplish them. Next transfer these to a planner or calendar to give yourself a roadmap and some accountability. Even when things get bumped back a bit you will still be working on the details (which there are about a zillion of) in a logical order.”- Debbye Cannon, Shortcuts Expert
Follow Your Instincts and Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
“Some of the earliest mistakes I made in business were due to not following my instincts. I love to read business and personal development books. I enjoy getting ideas from other successful business people. But each of us is in business because we had an idea that inspired and motivated us. (If that’s not why you’re in business for yourself, stop right now and find a business that will inspire and motivate you). That same motivation and inspiration can serve to guide us through each step in our business when we learn to trust and follow it. Then just go for it! One of the most common pieces of advice I give people starting out in business is, “Get out there and fail!” Sometimes, we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. “Failure” has become a dirty word as people expect to launch a business and become the next overnight success story. (HINT: Most overnight success stories are 10 to 20 years in the making. We just don’t find out about them until they become successful!). When people meet me today, they assume that the success they see is the success I have always had. They don’t see the long nights of lost sleep, the mistakes along the way, the “lean times” or the times when I wondered if I was on the right track. Do what you love. Follow your instincts. Don’t be afraid to fail. And learn from every experience along the way.” – Brian Rooney, Autoresponders Expert
Design a Strategic Theme
“When designing a strategy for your business, I highly recommend that business owners design a “strategic theme,” which can serve as an umbrella for business direction. As an example, a strategic theme may be to use the power of social capital as foundation for driving the business forward. I also believe in using the Strengths Finder Profile by Buckingham and Clifton, because it will quickly reveal the strengths of the team and who can then drive each aspect of the strategic theme. Business strategies are only as effective as the people who implement them. When the right person is put on the right task, implementation becomes a breeze.” – Bea Fields, Leadership Expert
Start with Clear Vision
“When you start a business, the first order of business is to get clear on who you are and what you and your business are all about. Most everything else is a matter of tactics and tools that can be learned. When you begin with clarity of vision and purpose, making decisions is easy because you know where you are going. Get clear, then move from that solid core and you will bypass a massive amount of struggle and effort that most business owners experience.” – Ronda Del Boccio, Storytelling Expert
Starting a new business can be exciting. However, as taught by the experts above, developing a business plan is a big key for success. What advice would you give in developing a business plan?