You finally have that big business idea and want to get started on your dreams. You have visions of grandeur and believe that you are going to make your idea become one of the hottest things this century has seen. It’s so great that you have an idea and you are ready to get to work! You may want to dampen that enthusiasm and pay attention to some things first. Many businesses do not do well, even if the idea is genius, which could be due to poor planning or missteps taken along the way. Here are six things that you can start doing now to ensure your business’ success later on. Of course, if you want your business to fail, stop reading and go about your daily routine.
Focus Your Product or Market
You can’t be all things to all people. It is okay to focus on one or two demographics, rather than try to sell things to all people. If your product or service would best be suited to young adults 18-29, and you are trying to sell to kids or older adults, then this obviously would not work. Target your marketing efforts to this market, and forget about everyone else. Keep your sights narrow, and you can reach more potential customers that way.
Find a Mentor
You do not have to reinvent the wheel; chances are there are others who have gone before you in this market and can show you what you need to succeed in your business. It is not just good enough to find a mentor, but you need to ask questions and lots of them. A good mentor can stop you from making costly mistakes, and keep your head in the game, giving you a better chance of turning your idea into a multi-million dollar company.
Lend a Helping Hand…
What goes around comes around, and if you are willing to help others, especially if it relates to your chosen market or product, many people will be willing to help you with what you need to get your business going. Being stingy with your help or advice can cost you greatly in the long term, and if you get a reputation for being a jerk, no one will do business with you. Take the time to help. You never know if who you help may be the next big client or customer!
…But Don’t Give away Your Service/Product for free!
Know when to draw the line in helping vs giving away your business. Charge a fair price above and beyond lending a hand. There may come times when a person or business really needs to get a product or service for free, but when you are giving away more than you know you ought to, you may be getting the short end of the stick. Let people know that you will NOT be taken advantage of. This is a fine line to walk, and if you aren’t sober, you could fail the test.
You Are Not Alone
We don’t live in a vacuum world, and from time to time, you may need help. Ask for it. It is okay to call in reinforcements once in a while. This may come when you are either getting so much business that you can’t keep up, or if you have no business whatsoever and need a jumpstart. Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay shows this latter concept in action. He receives requests from desperate restaurant owners who could not get customers no matter how hard they tried, and Gordon would visit to see the problems. Many times, the problem would be obvious–the food was horrible; the wait staff were rude and incompetent, and the sanitary conditions were unbelievable. He would make changes and presto! Customers flocked to the improved restaurant. The moral of the story: Ask for help when you need it and let go of your pride!
Finally–Relax a Bit
What good is starting your own business if you can’t enjoy the journey now? You could potentially work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and still not get far. But why would you want to? The short-term effects of overwork may be acceptable to you, but the long-term effects may not be. You have nothing if your health is gone, and then you won’t be able to enjoy your business. Yes, work hard and get things accomplished, but don’t work so hard that you end up dying long before your natural time. Know when to call it a day, and know when to say “enough”. Take the time to enjoy yourself–even while you are working. Of course, if you are too stressed and dread continuing with building up your business, then perhaps you are in the wrong business.
As with anything in life, success takes time and effort. But jumping in head first without first taking the time to plan will not give you what you want, and will end up costing you money and time. Do things right the first time, so that you can be further ahead with less work.