I have been in business for almost ten years but I have never forgotten the challenges of being the new kid on the block. Everyone seems to be moving ten paces ahead of you and you are just trying to keep up. This is normal, it takes some time to learn the steps, but once you do, you will start to create your own beat and move forward at your own pace.
What I “started out” doing ten years ago has evolved into something entirely different. Not something that I anticipated, but I think is the real sign of success.
I began my online career as a travel writer, since then, I have progressed into a social media manager, WordPress expert, and inbound marketer. “Who knew?”
Embracing change and taking risks are the two most important things that you will face as a small business owner. If you can meet these two things head on, you have a good chance at success.
Someone recently asked, “What advice would you give to a start-up entrepreneur?” I would like to share my thoughts with you.
- Don’t get caught up in the details.
This seems to be the hardest concept for people, but the easiest to achieve. If you put all of your time and money into making everything perfect, you will not have any left over for growth and development. Chances are while you are making things perfect, someone else is already doing what you should be.
Test the waters before jumping in the lake, but once you know it is safe to swim – dive right in!
Considering the fact that most startups will fail within the first two years, it makes no sense to put all your time, money and effort into it until you are sure your business will turn a profit. Find free resources, evaluate your progress and if your business seems viable, invest the time and effort to make it happen.
- Accept that you will fail and need to redo things.
The moment you realize your business has become successful is usually after a number of failures. If you are able to ride the waves through this trying period and make necessary changes, you are well on your way. This is often referred to as a pivotal or “aha” moment. I had mine about five years ago when I realized that I needed to bring my husband on board to help me.
I was drowning in work and could not keep up. While one might think this a positive sign, it can also mean that you are not managing your resources properly.
- Know the limits of what you can do each day.
It is likely that your start up will not have a huge amount of employees to begin with. It is impossible to do everything by yourself.
Don’t burn yourself out before you have even begun. If you have to, set small goals, accomplish 3-5 tasks per day and outsource what you can. Fiverr.com is a great place to get work done at budget prices. Just make sure to specify exactly what it is you need. You are not the only person who can do it properly, there are many professionals out there who can actually do it better than you can.
This is something a great many people need to understand. You are not the only person who can what you do. There are many professionals out there who can actually do it better than you can.
Be humble and accept the fact that you are not the only one capable of running your business.
If you must outsource, make sure to find someone who gets the results you want otherwise you will be frustrated.
Don’t be controlling, be accommodating. There is nothing worse than a boss who expects everything done their way. This type of boss is never really effective. Getting new perspectives can add a creative element.
- The fastest way to business failure is an “it’s all about me” attitude towards your business.
A business is not a reflection of your personality and you should not take it personally. This is not easy to do because owners often see their businesses as “their children,” and become over protective. Doing this may cause you to make choices based on what is good for you, not the business. I must admit, this was a hard lesson for me to learn.
Make decisions based on profits, not popularity.
- Being good is not enough, you need to prove it.
There is a great deal of competition out there, you need to stand out in front of the crowd and be heard. How do you do that?
Be unique, be different, be yourself and never lose sight of your mission or goals.
- There are things you have to do, even if you do not want to.
“I did not have to work that hard at success,” said no successful entrepreneur ever.
What you put into your business is what you will get out of it and there is no task that is beneath you. Just as much as you need to know your customer, you also need to know your business. The most successful CEO’s are the ones who take the time to visit every department and learn about every facet of their business. They are able to make informed and stress-free choices.
Last but certainly not least, the most important thing you will ever need to know is, “You are always marketing yourself and your brand, act accordingly.”