Got a great idea that you know the market is just dying to get their hands on? Sick of working for a manic dictator and ready to chance your hand at making your own way in the world? Ready to pursue your dream of being a rich and famous entrepreneur?
Lots of people are in the same boat as you and the reality is about 80% of them will fail. The main reason they will fail is that they head down this path with blind optimism and excitement for what is posÂsible, reacting and adapting to circumÂstanceâ€™s as they unfold until they crash into an insurmountable barrier that sinks the ship. Or they sink slowly into a scenario where they are working long hours for no or very little pay. They end up stressed out, burn out and kicked out and head back to a day job, their dreams of business success in tatters.
If you donâ€™t want this to be you, take the time to explore these ten tips and build a solid foundation for your success
Â 1 . SET UP FOR SUCCESS.
Be clear on what you want. What you want is one thing, but being crystal clearon why you want it is what really pushes you to achieving it.
Get really clear on why itâ€™s important, why itâ€™s a must do and there is every chance it will happen.
Take a while to write down WHY you are going into business and what it is that you want to achieve. It will most certainly revolve around one of two things:
FREEDOM – the desire to do what you want or have enough money to do what you want with whom you want when you want.
FULFILLMENT – the desire to do someÂthing worthwhile, to contribute, to be sucÂcessful.
When you have clearly mapped your reasons for being in business, put it in a frame and keep it close by so that it serves as a reminder of why youâ€™re still working at 111pm at night. Or why you havenâ€™t had a holiday for two years, or why you are paying staff a fair wage and receiving a pittance yourself.
2. CONTAIN COSTS.
No you donâ€™t need a company car, helicopter, office, wiz bang telephone system, and the latest and best computer. The reason you hear that people like Steve Jobs started a business in their garage is that costs are the thing thatâ€™s going to kill your start up quickest.
Avoid adding costs at any cost. Be as frugal as possible. Bargain and negotiate at every single turn for the best deal. Do not spend any money that you donâ€™t haveÂ to. Learn to get by on the smell of an oily rag.
For meetings use someone elseâ€™s office or boardroom or use a serviced office. Get a mobile phone and plan that does the job but doesnâ€™t cost you an arm and a leg. In the beginning, you donâ€™t even need busiÂness cards or a website because people will buy:
a. YOU – the passion you have for what you do or the product or facility you proÂvide.
b. – The relationship they have with YOU, so trust, respect and credibility come into play. Yes it IS all about YOU
3. DONâ€™T DO STUFF.
Initially you have to do everything. You are sales, marketing, operations, accounts, cleaner, CEO, employer, employee, but as you progress do not conÂtinue to do the things youâ€™re not good at.
If you can spend an hour making a sale thatâ€™s worth hundreds or thousands of dolÂlars then donâ€™t waste your time doing your own bookkeeping (which you hate and you canâ€™t get it to add up) when you can pay someone else to do it in a fraction of the time.
Donâ€™t spend 2 days sorting out your website when a 19 year old `gen yâ€™ can doÂ it in 15 minutes for $50. Choose carefully where you allocate your most valuable asset – your time. Itâ€™s easy to get bogged down in the nitty gritty when you should be doing what you do best.
4. PLAY HARD.
If you are going to be a big success, you have to put in a big effort. In any game that you want to win you have to play hard.
So donâ€™t go at it half-hearted, give it everything youâ€™ve got. You donâ€™t want to be left wondering that your business might have been more successful if you had tried harder, put in a little more effort or stayed at it a little bit longer. If you are going to play the game of business, play all in and flat out.
Itâ€™s easy to look at successful people like Richard Branson and think “I would love that lifestyle.” Trust me, that lifestyle didnâ€™t come easy; he worked hard at it and so does every successful entrepreneur. They got, to where they are because they worked hard to get there. There are few shortcuts in business. It takes effort but if you are clear on what you want out of it and stick at it, it will be worth it.
5. DO IT
In a business world where trends, techÂnologies, markets and customer needs are changing at an ever increasing pace, 5 year plans just donâ€™t cut it. In fact 2 year and even 1 year plans can be useless. I prefer to work in 90 day blocks. 90 days gives you enough time to get some momentum going but not lose touch by sticking it on the backburner and get lost or swallowed up by everything else.
Ask yourself. What do I want to focus on achieving in the next 90 days? In fact what would be the next best thing for my business. Then get cracking on that makÂing sure it gets done. Thatâ€™s how you get ahead and make progress. For more details on how to choose your priorities, create a plan and execute on that plan check out my new book “Play a Bigger Game.”
6. PURPOSE OF A BUSINESS.
I believe the purpose of a business is to create and keep customers. Most people would say it is to make money or make a profit. However, ultimately its customers or clients that make a business survive. When you get the margins on your prodÂucts right (lets say you make $10 from every customer) and you have 1,000 cusÂtomers, thatâ€™s $100,000 dollars, if you can keep those customers coming back and if you create 1,000 new customers, you have doubled your profits to $200,000.
Customers are the key, turn them into raving fans and the dollars will look after themselves. It worked for Richard Branson and Virgin, it worked for Steve Jobs and Apple, it works for Harley Davidson, Disneyland and Nike and it has worked for me.