If you do a Google search about business in today’s culture, you’ll find numerous articles from sites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Ted.com (home of TED Talks), or Inc.com covering all sorts of topics, full of tips, tricks and keys to running a successful business. However, the swelling tide of information can be overwhelming to navigate.
Think about your vision – you have a passion, a product, a service that you want to give to the masses. How do you transform that into a thriving business that will last for years to come? How do you inject your vision into today’s culture, and make positive change for yourself, your employees, your customers or your community? After scouring the web, here are some of the best pieces of advice we’ve found to make your business the success it should be:
Be Ready for Bumps
Anyone thinking about starting a business needs to be prepared to deal with all kinds of obstacles. You have to decide whether or not you’re the type of person who can push through those challenges to see the rewards. You have to be able to cope with a lot of ups and downs – nothing is perfect, and when you’re just starting out, you’re going to make mistakes. A good starting point is to find someone to mentor or coach you – someone who has done what you want to do and is (or has been) successful at it. They can make you see the bigger picture when your focus becomes too small. They can help you navigate the bumps in a productive way so that they help you grow rather than hinder your future success.
Prioritize and Think Long-Term
When looking at your life and trying to fit a new business venture into it, you need to prioritize so that what’s most important to you stays at the top of your list. Whether it’s your family, your community, your faith, your personal health or well-being or something else, it is so important that your top priorities stay at the top. Know your core values – it is easy to think of core values as things to worry about when your business is already successful, but the reverse is true: core values are what make you successful in the first place. Having and showing respect for your people, believing in doing a good job in the right way, giving the customer a good experience, communicating with people, giving something back to society – all these things are critical. Do things the right way and you’ll have a better chance of success.
Start Strong – Vision is Key
You have a dream of starting your own business. You see the pros and cons, and you’ve decided that it’s time to take the first step. But what should that first step be? Do your research and create a vision for your business! Anyone can have an idea, but it takes time, determination, passion and wisdom to know your audience, your product, your field. Build something YOU believe in! The amount and type of research you need to do will be determined by the field you’re in, but knowing your business inside and out is imperative to reaching as many people as possible. Have a plan. Develop your vision. Allow for change, but stand firm on your vision and passion.
Find the Right People
More than likely, the business you want to start is not something that you can do on your own – it’s something bigger than you. If that’s the case, make sure you find the right people to help you succeed, and that you can accurately communicate your vision to them. The right people are those who can run with your vision and provide positive feedback and support when and where you need it most. Learn how to delegate – knowing your people and their strengths and weaknesses will help you determine who needs to do what for your company. If you’re weak in this area, find someone to help you – a good leader never stops learning. If you want to provide the best leadership to your people, you need to be growing along with them.
Make Changes as Needed
Your vision is probably very specific, with your intention being that your business will look and feel a certain way. However, those who launch their own businesses are often surprised a year or two down the road when they realize that their product or service has evolved into something they didn’t even see coming, oftentimes serving a different audience entirely. If this is where you find yourself, always be ready to re-evaluate as both you and your environment grow. Like we said before – allow for change! That’s truly the only way your business will stay relevant in the years to come.
Innovate and Inspire
When you fully believe in what you’re doing and you utilize the gifts you’ve been given in ways that differ from other companies, and you will inspire those around you to do the same. Make room in your business plan for innovation, whether from your own ideas or from your people – take the time to listen to what is being offered. Accept advice from those who have come before you and be willing to heed constructive criticism. Remember – starting your own business is a marathon, not a sprint. Stay focused and keep moving forward, and those you employ will follow.
There is plenty of good advice out there, but don’t get caught up in the deluge of information offered to you. Hopefully these pieces of advice will help you create and move forward with your vision. One of the many ways to establish a firm foundation for your company is by obtaining a flexible and functional office space. Whether you need a virtual office, a dedicated work-space or the opportunity to co-work, and you’re located in or near the Huntsville, AL area, you can find solutions for all of your office needs at Huntsville Hub. Give us a call to see how we can help you achieve your vision!