Once you have determined that you have the necessary traits, skills, and passion to join the ranks of successful entrepreneurs, the next step will be getting your business started. Getting your dream business up and running may be the easiest part of the process, or it may be the hardest. It really depends on your specific situation. Some would-be entrepreneurs are raring to get started, while others are bogged down with doubts and procrastination. Whatever your personal circumstances, here are tips you can use to get your business started.
Entrepreneurs: Getting Started
Your core beliefs will be a major building block of your business, so make sure that these beliefs are worthy. They will also determine how you proceed to make decisions in the future and which direction the business takes your life.
Running your own business takes leadership. For many new entrepreneurs it can be difficult to make the switch from employee to business owner. There are ways that you can prepare yourself for this transition. For people who have built-in leadership skills this transition may be easier, but anyone with the proper drive and motivation can develop leadership skills.
Learn how to listen – A good business knows how to
listen to their employees, associates or hired professionals, and how to recognize good ideas. For a lot of people the concept of being a good listener is hard to contemplate. Learning how to listen probably represents one of the most difficult aspects of turning yourself into a successful business owner.
Invite creative thinking – Another trait of successful entrepreneurs is the ability to invite others to share their ideas with you. You will want to create an atmosphere where your employees, or business associates, will want to share their ideas with you on a regular basis. Great ideas move your businesses forward.
Learn to delegate – Maintaining control of your business also means delegating certain responsibilities, and good entrepreneurs know how to do so successfully. Listen, it is literally impossible for you to everything yourself. You absolutely MUST enlist others who are good at what they do help you get to where you want to go.
Take downtime to reflect – The responsibility of an employee to learn from their mistakes is not as great as the responsibility of entrepreneurs to do the same. It is important that you take the appropriate amount of time to stop, think, and reflect upon what you have learned. Only through reflection can you truly learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them in the future.
Expect respect – Business owners require respect. When making the transition from employee to owner, it is important to expect respect from your employees and business associates. Being a person worthy of respect makes it much easier for people to respect you.
Earn respect – While you should be prepared to expect respect from your employees and business associates, it is also vital that you be prepared to earn this respect. This is accomplished through honesty, fairness and by giving respect.
Starting up a new business requires detailed planning. This means creating various options for how you are going to run your business and then choosing which of these options is the best choice for your business. It is important to keep your options open throughout the start-up process, and even through the day to day operations of your business, in order to create a resilient and successful business.
Run forecasts – It is always a good idea to run through a series of forecasts for your business. Run through the various ‘business as usual’ forecasts, then add in other scenarios. This will allow you to better forecast your business’s future and create different options for dealing with these scenarios. This is especially true hen first for starting your business.
Gather real market information – Very few businesses actually end up following their business plans. Plans change all of the time. The best way to create a valuable and functional business plan is to ensure that you create it using real market information. One way to do this is to use Google Alerts. Simply create alerts using specific keywords and phrases used in your particular niche to stay informed of current events and news.
Understand your market – Gathering real market information for your business’s plan means understanding your business’s trends, customers, competitors and various marketing conditions. This kind of information can only be gathered through detailed research. Again, Google Alerts is perfect for this.
Plan for failure – Sometimes, things will not always go well
in your business. Keeping your business options open means understanding this fact and making plans for dealing with failures in advance. Please, DO NOT take failure personally. “Failure” is simply the act of finding a way that didn’t work. Do this enough times and you’ll get rich!
Deal with what you can control and let the rest go – While you are making plans for dealing with failures along the way, make sure that you are focusing on dealing with only the things that you can control. Constantly obsessing over the things you will not be able to control, or attempting to figure out how to control things you simply cannot, will get you nowhere.
Set realistic goals – Business planning is all about setting up goals and then striving to achieve them. Just make sure that the goals you are setting up for your new business are actually achievable so that you are not setting your business up for failure.
Remember your dreams but plan for goals – Dreams are what you want to accomplish with your business, but goals are how you will actually go about accomplishing things. Plan for specific goals as a smaller part of accomplishing your dreams.
Obviously, as an entrepreneur, your primary business role will be as business owner. But this is not the most practical way to plan what you will be doing for your business on a day to day basis. Odds are your business will be more successful if you are able to create a niche for yourself that fits your specific personality.
Determine your strengths and make them your business role – If you are more confident in one aspect of the business, say selling your ideas to other people, then that is the best way for you to position yourself in the business.
Always play to your strengths. Avoid being in charge of the technical aspects of your business if you suck at technology. Outsource this task to a “techie” in order to free your time to focus on what you are good at doing.
Avoid doing it all – Very few successful entrepreneurs do it all themselves. Part of being a great business person is sharing the load in the most effective manner. This will be the reason why you will hire competent and useful people.
Since you won’t be able to do everything required to create a
successful business yourself, you will have to bring in others. Who you choose to help you operate your business will go a long way towards determining how successful it will be. One of the most important tasks entrepreneurs must master, is the art of hiring the right professionals for the job. You simply cannot afford to lose time, money and results by hiring the wrong people.
View your employees as investments – If you have employees, then realize that each and every one of them is an investment in your business. On average, depending on the size of your business, the cost of hiring a bad employee for a company is between $25,000 and $50,000 a year. Add in training and finding new employees, and you can see just how important it is to ensure that you get the proper return on your employee investments.
Hire slow but fire fast – It is important to take your time and do the right research when it comes to going through the process of hiring an employee. This helps to ensure that you hire the right person for the job. But be ready to get rid of that person as quickly as possible if they aren’t working out. Remember that employees are investments and you want to drop bad investments as soon as possible.
Look for competency – Valuable employees are competent people. They have the skills, education and experience to get the job done. Figure out what skills you need and hire only professionals who can prove they have the competency to perform those skills.
Check for compatibility – A good employee can not only do their job properly, they can also fit into your work environment. You will want to find professionals that are compatible with your business, its goals and its ethics. You also want to hire people who will get along with your employees and customers.
Gauge commitment – Turning a startup into a successful business requires tons of commitment, from both you and your employees. The right employee is serious about helping the company succeed and has the commitment to see it through. One way to gauge a potential employee’s commitment level is to look through their work history.
Choose capable people – When looking for a new employee you will want to find out if the person is indeed capable of performing their tasks and if they are likely to go beyond their required functions. A capable employee will grow with the company and take on new responsibilities as they become necessary.
Choose people that fit into your company’s culture – Every company has its own distinct culture. This refers to how people communicate with one another, the different expectations they have regarding daily work and the various policies of the company. Employees that don’t fit into this culture can often cause problems and diminish efficiency. Therefore, it is always a good idea to hire people that will fit well into the culture of your company.
Plan to compensate appropriately – It is extremely important for an employee to feel appreciated and appropriately compensated. If they feel like they are not being paid what they are worth they will probably under perform at their job. Plan to compensate new employees according to what they are worth and ensure that the new employee is truly satisfied with what you are willing to offer them.
Speak with former co-workers – Every candidate will provide you with references, but odds are these references are going to provide only positive answers to your questions. You may have to dig a little deeper to discover the real facts about a potential employee. Therefore, it is always a good idea to speak with the candidate’s former co-workers, including their past bosses.
Entrepreneurs are a rare breed. They follow the beat of their own drum, are fiercely independent and, most often, control freaks! In my 30+ years as an entrepreneur, I have failed to meet very few business owners who weren’t control freaks. This is not a “bad” thing, unless you become overly controlling and are unable to let loose of things that you either cannot control or should not control. The key to becoming a successful entrepreneur is acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses, focusing on what you are good at, and then outsourcing the rest. Or, if you have employees, hiring the right ones the first time and then let them do their jobs. Put these tips to good use and get started building your dream business!