I appreciate how difficult it is to succeed in business and understand the complexities of being a business owner so today I would like to share with you five secrets that start-up businesses should follow that will reduce the risks of being in business and increase the likelihood of long term success.
With 35 years of experience across the construction, contracting, manufacturing and service industries, I am passionate about helping business owners and leaders make the effort, energies and risks of being in business worthwhile by growing profits, increasing business value and improving work life balance.
The statistics of failures amongst business start-ups is well published and quite disturbing and in many cases the failures could have been avoided.
Here are my five secrets to success.
Secret number 1 – Have Passion
Are you incredibly passionate about what you want to do? There are many obstacles to overcome on the pathway to success. If you are not passionate you will not have the drive, motivation, determination and commitment to overcome the hurdles placed in front of you on your journey. Be sure to start with the end game in mind and never forget the passion that drove you to start your business.
Secret number 2 – Develop your Business Model
Develop your business model before you start your business. Your business model is a collection of integrated strategies that work together to solve a person’s problem and satisfy their want or need at a sufficient profit to allow for sustainable growth. Many business failures are due to fundamental flaw in their business model or in some cases the complete lack of a business model at all.
Secret number 3 – Manage your Cash Flow
As a priority, ensure you have a financial management system that provides accurate reporting of your profitability and enables effective management of your cash flow. At start-up, ensure you work out how much cash you need to provide for capital purchases, working capital and to fund any losses before you turn a profit, then double it as it will take longer and more money than you think.
Secret number 4 – Seek assistance early
Seek assistance early from someone who has experience and can mentor you. They will be able to provide critical guidance and review your business model and plans before you start. I also recommend that the person you adopt as your mentor provides some early accountability to ensure your actions from your plan are implemented.
Secret number 5 – Write a Business Plan
Once you have developed your business model you have to bring your model to life and this is the function of your business plan. It does not have to be extensive however it will provide a structured approach to develop the strategies and actions required to achieve the goals you set as part of your business model.
There are many elements to be successful in business however these five secrets, if followed will assist you greatly in your business start-up. The business journey is long and very rewarding both financially and personally if done well, and on the downside can be very expensive and challenging.
I cannot express strongly enough that you should seek assistance if you don’t have the knowledge or answers. The most powerful tool a business owner can use is the ability to ask questions of people who have more knowledge than them.
Unfortunately in business many do not do this until it is too late. I believe many owners are too embarrassed or see it as a sign of weakness, when in reality asking for assistance is a sign of good leadership, a trait which is critical to long term business success.
I hope you found the article of interest and if you would like to know more about the critical success factors in business, please contact me for a complimentary copy of our white paper “Profit is not a dirty word.”