Starting a business can be scary! Leaving the comfort of a steady paycheck, set job description, and 9-5 hours for the unknown is frightening for a lot of people. Even if they don’t love their job, most professionals don’t take the leap into entrepreneurship out of fear. I understand this and truly believe that being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. If you aren’t open minded and willing to take risks, staying in a job could be ideal for you. There is nothing wrong with that! Life isn’t a one-size fits all t-shirt.
I’ve worked with a lot of new business owners making the transition from a job to making more money with their own business. This is a time to have a solid exit strategy and clarity around the type of business you want to create. If they feel prepared, a lot of new business owners develop what I call Invincible Syndrome. I went through it myself, when I became an entrepreneur. This is when you are so passionate and excited about your business that you think it’s invincible. You might have been extremely successful in your previous job, so you think growing your business will be easy and that you can do it all yourself. This thinking can be dangerous and put you out of business before you really start. In my experience, there are 5 Things Successful New Business Owners Know:
1. Plan Ahead
Planning is vital. Even if you’re one of those people who’ve been successful “winging it” through life, going with the flow, or taking things as they come the reality is that those beliefs aren’t going to cut it with your business. It usually takes a while before a business owner has a steady income. Are your finances in order, with enough money to last while you are trying to get a client or customer? The entrepreneurs who reach their goals plan their marketing, business development, and cash flow far in advance.
2. Be Flexible
The key is to be a flexible planner. While you definitely want to have a plan and process for things, keep in mind that obstacles and new scenarios will come up. How can you adjust things on the fly to keep moving forward? If you’re too stuck in your routines then it’s possible to miss the new opportunities that come. Being flexible helps you build momentum and you never really know what’s going to happen next, so don’t close yourself and your business off.
3. Network A Lot
Unless you have some sort of business funding, most new entrepreneurs don’t have a lot of money for marketing. Despite what you may have heard, putting thousands of dollars in digital marketing and social media is not the best idea when you’re first starting out. Networking with other professionals face to face is a much better strategy and will get you results (signed contracts and paying customers) a lot faster. Successful new business owners are out meeting people and getting referrals.
4. Be Organized
Without some sort of system for keeping records, business files, supplies, and your money it will be very tough to reach your goals. If organization isn’t your thing, then I suggest you get help with this NOW. You could get a cleaning service or friend to help you. A cluttered space = a cluttered mind. How can you possibly bring your best in meetings or with clients when you’re looking for your notes, business cards, and contact information? Being organized helps you get focused on the things that are really important to your business.
5. Get Support
All of this may sound like a lot. It is! The business owners I’ve met that are struggling the most are the ones trying to do everything themselves. For many entrepreneurs their life is similar to being a yo-yo. Their emotions tend to go up and down. When they make a new sale or get a new client, they’re ecstatic and on top of the world and if they don’t make any sales the next month they’re depressed and down in the dumps. Having a support system with a coach or mentor is imperative. Yes, your friends and family can mean well, but they usually don’t have the experience or objectivity to truly help.
The first three years of business can be the most difficult time for new business owners. You’ll be taking risks, moving through fears, and investing countless hours to reach your goals. All the while, people might be telling you how easy it would be if you just went back and got a “real job.” As a coach and consultant, I’ve noticed that there are a few things successful entrepreneurs know that keep them above the fray. What area can you work on to get the results you want?
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