Back in 2012, when my kids were just babies, I made the decision to leave a job I enjoyed in the financial services industry to start my own business. I wanted more than anything to be at home with my children.
However, since I hadn’t hit the lottery or become independently wealthy, I had to figure out how to make money to support my family.
It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride, but it’s been worth every single minute of the ups and downs.
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably on your way to deciding whether running a business is right for you. I hope that the answer is yes! It starts with your mindset, your imagination. A vision and a goal on how you want to run a business, who you want to serve, and who you want to work with. Then it continues on to creating ideas on what products and services to offer.
HOW TO USE YORU CREATIVITY IN BUSINESS
Creative people always have an advantage when it comes to starting a new business. They have an innate ability to produce new things as well as find simple solutions to difficult problems. To be a successful entrepreneur, this part will be critical. Create a solution in a way that no one else has and your audience won’t be able to wait to grab their wallets.
Creativity allows you to imagine wildly about things that might seem impossible to others.
Finding a loophole to create something different from others in your niche will go a long way to helping you build a market that is loyal to your brand.
Now that you know the importance of creativity in running your business, let’s look at something else in sight for future entrepreneurs: Being your own boss. Do you have what it takes to be the boss? What happens when you are leading a group? Little things like this can be a sign of things to come when you’re completely in charge.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU’RE READY TO BE YOUR OWN BOSS
Those who start their own business have a tendency to disregard authority. I’m not talking stealing a car disregard, but rather someone who isn’t happy doing things the way that they’ve always been done.
If you have a hard time working for someone else, chances are that you will eventually branch out and start something of your own.
Do you have natural leadership qualities? The best way to find out if you’re ready to be your own boss is when you are working with others. This could happen for years before starting up your business. I worked as an employee for more than a decade before I finally started to branch out on my own. This characteristic does not necessarily form overnight. It could take years of experience before you can say you have leadership qualities fit to start and operate a business. Don’t get me wrong. There are those success stories of children who have started their own business with awesome results, but these tend to be the exception rather than the rule.
Being your own boss shouldn’t be confused with being able to control the situation or others. Being your own boss is something you do for yourself. Your number one priority should still be the best interest of your company and team.
What else is important when it comes to running the show? Being able to understand your limits as an individual and as a business.
Your ability to anticipate what will happen and prepare for the unexpected might just save your business one day.
HOW TO BETTER UNDERSTAND YOUR LIMITS
Smart people do not take on more than they can handle. They also know the importance of knowing when to ask for help.
Understanding the limits of your business is not limited to the financial and operational matters, but also your limits as a manager or business owner.
Think about the worse case scenario for your business. Look at how this will effect your cash flow and ability to provide your products and services. At what point will you be in trouble?
Most businesses end up going out of business due to a lack of profit or funding sources.
Individually, knowing your limits means understanding your physical limitations for stress and work time. Give yourself a break every one in a while to keep yourself from burning out. Always respect time for relationships, and do not let your business ruin family and friendships because, at the end of the day, it will not be worth any penny you earn from choosing your business over the important people in your life.
THREE BUSINESS LESSONS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE STARTING A BUSINESS
Before you start a business, I’m sure you already know that there are already successful, more experienced people already in your niche. You’ll want to learn the patterns and trends of your business like the back of your hand so you can determine ways to better compete.
When you’re first starting out, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. The important thing is to KEEP going.
Network: Meet like-minded people who share the same passion for business as yours. Sometimes I talk to family and friends about what I’m doing, but they don’t “get it” quite like those I meet who are doing it themselves. You can share stories, swap notes about what’s working for you and be a sounding board for new ideas. While meeting people face to face is always cool, it isn’t necessary all the time. There are tons of online groups and forums you can jump into and be a part of.
A mastermind group is another way to meet awesome people. This group I joined not only includes a great community, but also a TON of resources for helping to build your business.
RESEARCH: Learn everything that you can about your niche. Find out who the top businesses are in your business and find out what they have done to make themselves so successful. Success leaves clues.
MENTOR: Find a mentor. I can’t stress this enough. Of course, you can go through the process of running your business yourself, but a mentor will help you to get there so much faster. One of my favorite mentors is Connie Ragen Green. She helped to push me forward in a way I never would have been able to on my own.
Not only should you invest in the tangible and relationship aspects of your business, but you should also set side some time, energy, and resources to invest in yourself and your ideas.
HOW TO BELIEVE IN YOUR IDEAS
You might have a lot of great ideas, but you have to believe that you can turn those ideas into reality. Failure is going to happen. Don’t fear it, just consider failure as a part of the growing process. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
Start by writing your ideas down. You can then create step-by-step actionable tasks to help you achieve your goals. If you’re more of a visual person, consider creating a vision board to help bring your ideas to life.
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein
Keep an open mind and strong belief that you can make your dreams a reality.
HOW TO ALWAYS KEEP AN OPEN MIND
Most of the time you are only limited by your personal thoughts and beliefs on what you can achieve. Your willingness to accept constructive criticism from friends, customers, and others in your niche can go a long way towards creating success in your business.
Not all of the suggestions will work, but if you are open to critiques and help, you can take them and make them into something even better.
Open mind: Check! Now we proceed to the real, tangible stuff. Building your business is a combination of applying principles and beliefs, as well as real hard work. Your blood, sweat, and tears. Don’t skip any one of these to prevent closing shop too soon. The key is to do it slowly, smartly, but surely. Building a business does not happen overnight, one month, or even in one year. If you have someone promising you that you can make millions of dollars overnight, run as fast as you can in the other direction. It takes a lot of perseverance and patience, but at the end of the day, it will be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll get in your life.
THREE WAYS TO BUILD A BETTER BUSINESS
Everyone aims to build a better business. Some study for years and spend a ton of money perfecting their business model. Others pay experts to help run and perfect their businesses. There’s no exact formula to success with any kind of business. Not certainty that you’ll succeed. But you can start by building things one project at a time. Create a strong foundation for your business to make it resilient and sustainable.
- Why: What is the purpose of your business? Why did you select the products and services you are offering? Why at this price point? What is the inspiration behind your marketing campaign? Your WHYs should be able to withstand financial troubles, operational hiccups, and other changes over the years.
- Product: Your products must be good and reasonably priced if you want your business to last. You’ll need to invest time and effort into developing a product that your audience wants and provide solutions to their problems. A successful business offers a product that your audience can relate to and easily associate with your brand.
- People: Invest in your people and they will return the favor to you and your business a hundredfold. If you are working solo, consider outsourcing to help you grow your business. If it is not a task that is making money for your business, get help. Your people are the greatest asset of your business. They work hard with you to reach the goals of your business. Make sure you appreciate all their efforts by recognizing their hard work. Simple tokens and bonuses may be a little gesture to you, but your employees will feel valued and work even harder.
The truth is, you will never really be ready to run our own business. I’ve been doing this since 2012 and continue to learn something new every day. No successful entrepreneur will tell you about the exact moment they knew they were going to skyrocket to success. Or it was a certain point that they knew they had all it takes to make a business successful.
Want to know the real deal?
It’s like building blocks from the ground up. You need to lay down a solid base to support the height and size of your tower. And sometimes, you won’t even know if the base is strong enough until your tower collapses. This is exactly true for businesses. Time, effort, and money will be wasted if you realize that the “tower” or business base isn’t strong enough. So take your time. Don’t put a lot of pressure on making it perfect. Just face it one day at a time, and you’ll be fine!