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Alone in a Big, Bad World
With renewed energy and laser-like determination, you powered into your entrepreneurial journey brimming with confidence.
And at first you started strong, but then the unthinkable happened. Work dried-up and potential prospects lost interest.
Instead of giving up, you started working harder and committed to the ill-fated social media trend of getting up at 4.30 am because it was believed (by someone) that this is the most effective time to work.
Yet it seemed the harder you worked the more burnt out you became without the reward for effort.
All of a sudden the words of your former manager rang true and doubt set in.
Maybe you don’t know how to run a small business.
Maybe you should have stayed safe.
Maybe you’re not that good at what you do.
Most people don’t get this far but if they do, this is where they stop.
While ideas should be encouraged, ultimately they’re meaningless without a strategy to turn them into a profitable reality.
This is the missing piece in most people’s failed small business journey but it doesn’t have to be.
7 Principles Every Small Business Owners Need to Live By
When it comes to small business success, the numbers are stacked against you. It estimated that up to 80% of small businesses fail within the first three years. While this number is sobering, it doesn’t actually have to be the case.
What if each of those small businesses went into operation armed with the core principles needed for growth? I bet the data would tell a different, more successful story.
Having built and sold my first business, I know there are 7 principles that inform the direction and viability of any small business.
Build a business not a job
This is where most fall short. They leave a job to effectively start another job masquerading as a business. It’s not about working harder, it’s about making your business work on your terms.
Build on stable systems
If you’re not operating using workable systems, there’s no way in which you can grow. As staff come onboard, they need an approved system to inform how they carry out the requirements of their role.
Understand why your customers do business with you
Have you asked why they signed up? Not many small business owners do this. But the answers your customers give can be telling. Once you know, you can use it to your competitive advantage.
Create the right strategic plan
Would you circumnavigate the world without a plan? I hope not. So, why should business be any different? Creating plans for your business, including rolling, succinct quarterly action plans, keeps strategic goals in focus
If your customers don’t find what you offer relevant anymore, they won’t stick around. Just ask Blockbuster. Competition is everywhere, so in small business you must remain desirable and that means changes to what you do and offer will be needed at different points.
Remove the predictable obstacles
With every success comes difficulties. With every new client comes new demands. With every bit of growth comes pains associated with it. So, make sure you know the obstacles you’re going to face and ensure you can combat them when they arise.
Scale your business back to regain control
Entrepreneurialism is great but it can get out of control and cause you to lose focus on your vision and mission. Scaling back what you do or offer, can provide much more fulfillment and enable you to enjoy life away from work.
With a failure rate of 80%, nothing in small business is easy.
But if you can learn the lessons often missed by others in their journey, you give yourself a greater chance of being successful and living the life you intended.
Download the Core Elements of a Growth Strategy to find out how.