A lot of us have a small business in us. That kernel of idea that’s been bouncing around inside your head for years now but that you’ve never really thought all that seriously about actively pursuing.
Whether this is because you don’t think that you have the necessary resources, you don’t think you have the patience or skillset or because you don’t think the time you’d have to sacrifice building the business will end up being worth it, it’s probably going unexplored.
That’s the unfortunate fact about our aspirations, we tend not to follow them out of fear and anxiety and there ends up being a huge number of potentially lucrative small businesses which never get past the idea stage.
The truth is that you shouldn’t be scared. Because if you have a good idea and you approach trying to turn it into a business in the right way, then there is no real reason why it can’t be a success.
I mean there is no real guarantee, no matter how hard you work on it you can’t ensure that it will turn into something prolific, but if it is going to become successful it’s going to be as a consequence of persistence and dedication and making the right choices.
Don’t go into this venture without a plan, know what the secrets to success are before you start and prepare yourself for putting these secrets into practice and reinforcing them as habits all the way through your life as a small business owner.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important things to remember if you want to become a successful small business owner:
Outline Your Goals
You need to know why you’re starting this business and where you want it to go. Setting yourself goals and deadlines forces you to hold yourself accountable for the progression of your business.
What you need to do first, is think about what service or product it is that you want to deliver and make sure that you’re being as specific as possible. This will allow you to more effectively envision where you want to be in the future.
Have long-term goals. Look ahead to five years time and know where you want your business to be at the end of each of those years. These goals should be about things like, if you want to have a certain number of employees or if you want to be moved from an online service to an office space.
But you should also set yourself financial goals. As greedy and materialistic as it might sound, it is a business you’re trying to grow and the way to do that is by making money. So set goals of where you want to be financially.
And don’t stop with long-term ones. Set yourself monthly goals, weekly goals and even daily goals too. Have this all planned out and scheduled in advance so that you can visualize how the future is going to go.
You’ll be surprised at how much of a sense of structure this will give your business and how much less intimidating it will make the project feel because you can show yourself how endless the possibilities are.
So, speaking of financial goals:
Make a Budget
There’s a number of reasons why small businesses so often fail, but perhaps the most common cause is a lack of money. Some people don’t start with enough and then are unable to get off the ground and some just aren’t smart about the money that they do generate.
You need to make a budget and then be strict with yourself about sticking to it. Know every single expense that you have, everything from employees to rent to supplies to stock and how much each of these things costs on a monthly basis.
Craft your budget around that and also make sure that you have an emergency fund too as well as some extra every month for really urgent issues. Do not allow yourself to slip up even a little bit.
Similar to how you should set your goals, I think having a budget that’s based on a monthly structure is how you should approach this. You will be tempted to spend on things your business doesn’t need but financial complacency is the enemy.
You have to force yourself to resist those temptations and know that if you stick to your budget now, in the future your business can have a greater degree of financial security which will allow for some more financial freedom too.
Build a Support Network
You can be the sole owner of this company if you want and you can minimize the number of employees you have, but you don’t have to do everything by yourself. If you isolate yourself in a business sense and avoid looking for help, you’re limiting your potential.
There’s a lot of people who have already tried what you’re doing and have succeeded at it, and a lot of them will be willing to spread their wisdom. The great thing about trying this in the age of the internet, is that your support system can come in the form of social media.
Try to find websites or Facebook groups run by successful business owners who are offering advice. If you can, ask them directly for advice and try to build up a relationship with them so you can come to them when you have a problem.
In addition to that, try to network with local businesses or other people who are also in the process of doing what you’re doing. You can support each other, build up a working relationship and share helpful thoughts and ideas.
It would also be a good idea to find a mentor. Someone who has been working in your industry for a long term and is willing to pass on the knowledge that they’ve accumulated. You could even have a variety of different mentors for different aspects of the business.
There are so many factors that go into the success of a business. Far more than could ever be listed here, but these steps are among the most important things for you to know and if you do this stuff, especially before you actually start growing the business you will definitely increase your likelihood of success.