Just because your business is small does not mean it can’t be powerful. You can make a big bang with your small business by making smart decisions that will maximize the effectiveness of your limited resources and create a cosmic explosion worth talking about. Accept the challenge of working with a limited budget and decide to go dense and concentrated with a narrowed focus rather than trying to spread yourself too thin. Everything you do can improve your chances for success. Starting a business, given its rewards and risks, is a serious endeavor and requires considerable preparation. Work the following tips into your business plan and your business is sure to flourish.
1. Focus on your strengths. Successful entrepreneurs know that they can’t be everything to everybody. Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses. To be effective, you need to identify your strengths and concentrate on them. You can do this by taking any of a myriad of personality and skills tests. The DISC profile is one of the most well known of these. Once you have identified your strengths you will be able to channel your efforts to areas that you are best at. In business, for example, if you know you have good marketing instincts, then harness this strength and make full use of it. Outsource or get help in areas that you may be poor at, such as accounting or bookkeeping or IT. You started a business to get the business to succeed not so you could learn how to keep the books and fix the fax machine. Advancing the business is done best when the entrepreneur is out in the world furthering the business, talking to customers, coming up with new ideas for products or improvements, not when he is bogged down in the minutia or doing the tasks that he is not very adept at.
2. Work hard and work smart. I know you are not expecting to achieve success just by sitting and staring at the wall every single day, you are probably planning to work hard. However you must understand the value of working smart as well. Every successful entrepreneur works hard and smart. Like I mentioned before you should work hard on your strengths and when possible let others work on the minutia and the things that are not your strong suit. The life of a successful entrepreneur doesn’t start out with breakfast and TV. Almost all successful entrepreneurs work more than 60 hours per week at the start. Lazing around can come after your business best processes and/or exit strategy come into effect. You should be prepared to sacrifice purely social events for some time. If you are in a start-up phase, you will have to breathe, eat and drink your business until it can stand on its own. Working hard will be easy if you have a vision, clear goals and are passionate with what you do. Then you are an entrepreneur on the path to success.
3. Planning, planning, and more planning. Successful entrepreneurs have a vision, and they have enough faith in themselves to believe that they can achieve their vision. They also know how to get to their vision. They create concrete goals that will provide the stepping-stones towards their ultimate vision. Putting goals in writing in the form of business plans and strategies is the first step towards becoming successful. Plan each day in such a way that every action contributes to the attainment of your business vision. Intense goal orientation is the characteristic of every successful entrepreneur. They have a vision, and they figure out how get there. Your ability to set goals and make plans for your accomplishments is the skill that is required for success. Plan, plan and plan - because without plans failure is almost guaranteed.
4. Improve who you know through networking. In business, you are judged by the company you keep including your management team, board of directors and strategic partners. Businesses always need more clients and more alliances. You never know what connections will lead to work or to vital partners in the future. Let go of relationships that are not working for you. Never burn bridges or hurt people, but realize that you can only feasibility retain so many relationships, spend your time in the good ones, create more good ones and let the bad ones go. No matter what your office hours are, always have your business in the back of your mind. Not the stressful and tactical part, but your business vision. Your subconscious mind should see it all the time. Don’t think that a connection is not an important one because you made it at a grocery store on weekend and don’t think that who you hang out with socially has no bearing on your success in the business world. It is important to form alliances with people who can help you, and who you can help in return. Scratching someone else’s back because you are able to will pay off in the future. Successful entrepreneurs know this and they are constantly cultivating new and existing relationships.
To be a successful entrepreneur you have to put in hard workdays. You have to network, plan and focus on your strengths constantly. Doing all these things takes time and effort and surviving the pitfalls of the cutthroat business world, but the endeavor can be one of the most rewarding and best things you do in life. For more information about how to make your small business a successful one, visit www.flourishingbusiness.com.
Elizabeth W. Gordon, founder and President of The Flourishing Business, LLC, is a visionary leader who has a passion for helping others achieve their entrepreneurial dreams and enjoy more of the best in life. With a vast and diverse background in many business arenas, Elizabeth regularly has the opportunity to share her business acumen with clients, large and small. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Atlanta and the Board of Directors of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Atlanta. She is an Accredited Executive Associate of the Institute for Independent Business (IIB) and a certified Life Coach.