Are you starting your first business? You need to learn a great deal before you set the ball rolling. Learning enables you to become aware of the challenges ahead. You will be equipped to deal with many challenges and also avoid many painful mistakes that cost so much money.
Here are some of the lessons to learn before pouring your hard earned money into your business:
A polished business plan will not only help you achieve your business goals but also attract investors whenever you pitch to them.
Here is how to ensure you knock it out of the park:
Are you starting your first business? Learn to write superb business plans that give you a clear roadmap for where you are headed. If you wish to seek investors, learn how to include the most important pieces they want to see before they consider your proposal.
You must have goals for your business. Most importantly, share them with your team and equip them to understand what your overall goals are for your company. Set both long term and short-term business goals. Ensure you involve your team in the goal-setting process; it helps to combine ideas and come up with SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) ones.
Once you have your business goals in place, you can decide to meet regularly to review your progress. If you want to succeed at achieving your goals, reflect upon what is leading to your success and ensure that you document these wins. Try not to get complacent. Keep setting bigger and bolder goals for the future. Goal setting is crucial for any business to succeed.
The first challenge that you will get if you’re starting your first business is that of selecting your business partners –if it’s a partnership. Be careful how you select your partners and ensure that you have the right agreements in place. Nothing derails a partnership faster than people who simply are not on the same page.
In most cases, all partners make the decisions of the business. You need to ensure that there is mutual respect for everyone in the partnership. If your vision is not the same as your partner, or even if there are differences in personality and work ethic, it can present challenges further down the road. Collaborate with people who share the same vision, values, and goals as you for fast attainment of goals.
The people you employ have the power to either break your business or help you build it up brick by brick. Hire employees who believe in the vision, goals, and the values of your business. Your business can take a long time to grow if your employees are only motivated by money. They need to share a passion for what they do and a desire to see the business and themselves grow. Without this, your business idea may not move forward in the way that you would like.
Once you have good employees, you need to manage them well. Know that they’re there for you; value them just as they value your business. Employees are the lifeblood of your organization, learn how to be an effective leader and treat them with respect, pay them fairly and give them work that challenges and motivates them to be their best. If you are loyal to your employees and they feel valued, they will want to contribute to your success and will treat your customers well.
If your company is not focused on the customers, it will lose customers. The adage “the customer is the king,” plays well here. In any business, a customer can fire anyone in that company if their expectations are not met. You must be committed to exceeding the expectations of your customers.
Many businesses fail because they do not listen to their customers. As well, they often focus too much on giving the customer the solution that they think the customer wants, instead of the solution the customer needs. Ask your customers how you can serve them, and then deliver that and then some.
If you’re starting a business, you know how lonely and frustrating it can be. Sometimes, you will find yourself thinking of throwing in the towel and calling it a quit. Perhaps you’re not getting enough money from the business. You may be struggling to find your niche or to attract the right customers and this may affect your ability to generate enough sales. These are realities that face new business but if you are only motivated by money, these ‘givens’ will push you to give up.
Giving up is not the option. If you have a passion for what you are doing, you will find that you are less likely to fold. Each setback becomes a learning opportunity when you are motivated by a bigger purpose.
If you are going into business, make sure it’s something that you actually want to do. Otherwise, you may not have enough of a reason to keep you going, when the going gets tough.ost business empires started because of passion. Even without money, they were passionate to make it happen.
A strong selling message is essential to differentiate you from your competitors. You must have a USP (unique selling proposition); this will help you plan for your company values, goals, and vision. Think of a selling message as a line of text that define your business.
Businesses that value customers have the upper hand. Don’t make your marketing message me about your business; let it be customer focused.
Things will not always turn out as you expect them. You might not hit all of your goals for the year. Your customers might begin to decline. One of your top employees might decide to leave the job for another lucrative career.
All these mean a potential loss of revenue to your business. However, you need to prepare for it. Have a backup plan for your back up plan.
If you experience something that might be a stumbling block, you need to change plans. Your techniques might change but not your business strategy. Being flexible in any approach allows you to bounce back after a setback or even a recession. If sales don’t hit the required mark, do you have a backup plan to keep the lights on? The key is to be flexible in any business approach.
Business mentors are essential to the growth of any business. These people are far ahead of you in business. Sometimes, a business might go under because we don’t always get what we planned. However, with the right motivation and energy, you can dust off and rebuild what has been shattered.
The kind of person to ignite the fire in your belly is your business mentor, advisor or coach.
Your business coach is someone who can help you to see where you may be struggling in your business. Different from a mentor or even an advisor/consultant, a coach works with you to help you come into your own awareness by challenging you to dig deep and explore possibilities that you may not be aware of.
A Business Advisor/Consultant will guide you to plan, execute and turn your business idea into reality usually by providing advice, guidance and/or done for your support. By spending time with them regularly, you will see how fast you can achieve your business goals.
Are you starting your first business? You need a trusted advisor, coach and mentor to guide you and make your business idea a success. We can help turn your business idea into a profitable business. Contact us today.