Most of us do not enjoy the feeling of rushing from one thing to the next. Starting a business can make you feel that way, particularly if you did not take enough time to plan from the beginning. It does feel chaotic at times. You might need to deal with customer requests, follow-up from networking events, there’s ongoing employee issues and responding to that last minute request for proposal, all in the same day. When you start a business without a plan there will be many days when you will feel like a chicken with you head cut off. Running a successful business has a long learning curve. It’s 7 course meal, not a fast-food experience.
Here are 4 P’s to starting and running a successful small business.
Passion — Determine your calling in life and make that your business. Determine what you would do for free and figure out a way to get paid for it. When you love what you do you are far less likely to burn out. Your #1 job is to be enthusiastic about your business. If you are not excited about your small business no one else will be.
Planning – Success doesn’t just happen by default – it’s something you plan for. You must understand what skills you have and what skills you need to make your business successful. Plan your life and your business. In the beginning you may feel like your business owns you, but make sure to take at least one day a week to recharge yourself. Plan your finances before you start your business. 98% of the time start-up businesses are self-funded. Save your money and get your credit in order before you start your business. Read as much as you can about your business. It is important to know your market including the trends in your industry and make sure you have a niche focus. Once the business starts rolling, plan for growth and a rainy day.
Perseverance -If starting a business was easy, to everyone would be millionaire entrepreneurs and no one would have jobs. When you step out on faith with the determination to earn your own paycheck that is one of the bravest things you will ever do. You will hear “No!” more than you will hear “Yes!” Your ability to stay optimistic will be what separates your business from the competition. Take responsibility when you do not keep a promise to a customer, and then work to build a better relationship with them. Give them plenty of attention. You would be amazed how a mistake can build an even stronger relationship. Stay away from negative people, and if you are married to one try not to talk about the business at home. Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs -you will gain strength from each other.
Patience – Keep in mind that you will need to be patient with your customers, patient with your employees, and patient with yourself. Things will never happen as fast as you thought they would in your business plan. Starting a business is a learning process. Do not waste time dwelling on mistakes. If all else fails, learn the lesson and know that tomorrow is another day.
If you have another P to suggest, leave a comment. I want to know what has worked for you in your business.