Regardless of the type of business you are venturing into, you will need several essential resources in order to get off the ground running, and grow at a steady, viable pace.
- Business Plan: Whether you‘re opening a posh restaurant or selling handmade ceramic vases, you need to create a business plan. Your plan should have several components, such as an executive summary, market analysis and strategy, business description, sales strategies, financial projections and funding requirements. In other words, what is your business going to do, how is going to help people and who is your target market? Profit projections and funding requirements are especially critical if you’re going to need funding from a lending agency. Loans for small businesses are much easier to acquire if you have comprehensive information and projections to show your lender. You have to instill confidence in them that your business is viable and that you have the knowledge and skill to make it succeed.
- Education: Starting an accounting business? You better have a university degree in accounting; opening your own restaurant? Are you a certified chef, or do you have a degree in business? No matter what industry you’re in, make sure you are well qualified. Read trade magazines, learn everything you can and talk to others who have been there before you. Join some networking groups with others who have experience and ask questions. Never stop learning. There is always someone to learn from, and something new to find out. Experience can be the best teacher; learn from your mistakes and you’ll get better at doing what you love.
- Build a knowledgeable and diverse team: Ask any ‘entrepreneur’ about how they became successful and they will tell you that they surrounded themselves with great people. Find people you trust and can count on for advice, build a great team of employees (and treat them right), and you’ll find that they, in turn, will help grow your business. How? They will be loyal to you and your company, provide great customer service and recommend your products and services to others. Make a point to surround yourself with people who have views that may differ from yours – this will give you greater perspective when it comes to running and growing your business. The best entrepreneurs are those who listen to and consider views that are not necessarily the same as their own.
- Location, location, location: If your customers have a hard time finding you, or they have issues with parking, they will soon come to think that it’s not worth the hassle and find your competitor. You definitely don’t want this to happen. On the other hand, you don’t want to extend your expenses so much that you’re re finding it hard to pay the rent in a high-end neighborhood. Do your research beforehand and find something that fits both your budget and your needs, an area that customers won’t find hard to reach.
- Self-Care Rituals: Make no mistake – starting and growing your business is tough, especially the first few years. You’re going to be putting in long hours, and it may be hard to balance your work and home life actually, it will feel that it’s impossible sometimes. That’s why you have to establish routines and ‘me time’ on a regular basis. Spa days, engaging in your favourite hobbies (anything from white water rafting to hiking), and quiet time are all important in your quest for self-care. Schedule quality time with your family, and ‘unplug’ at least once a week to recharge your own batteries.
Owning and running a business is not easy, and there are going to be rough patches along the way. But if you start off right, you can make it the success you’ve dreamed of, and keep a legacy that will last generations.
*featured post made possibly by Jenna S