36 Truths Anyone Who Wants To Start a Business Must Know!
Are you ready to embark on a brand new business adventure? Here are 36 important truths you need to take to heart for success.
- The best way to foretell the future is to create it.
- Determine where you want to spend your time. You only have so much time, energy, and ability to focus. That means, as much as you would like to, you can’t do everything at once. The places which receive your full attention will do better than the places that won’t. You need to make hard choices about what you will do and what you will not. And it is really is the most important decision you can make, because everything else you do will flow from it.
- If you want to be a successful business owner, there is no such thing as work-life balance. This is not to say that you should spend all your life working on your company–-nor ruling it out. Most successful entrepreneurs are either too preoccupied with their business or too casual and relaxed about it –- there’s no exception.
- The best entrepreneurs do not magically come up with great ideas. In reality, they are more focused on solving market needs. Anyone can come up with marvelous ideas all day long but unless they satisfy a need, one that can support a business, a mountain of ideas usually don’t do much.
- Most successful entrepreneurs have a common desire to make an idea a reality. What owners need most, above motivation, focus, hope, financing, marketing skills, and a million dollar idea—is the burning passion to transform their idea into the real thing.
- Action trumps everything. Stop thinking and get started.
- Most successful entrepreneurs are not bet-everything-on-one-roll-of-the-dice types. Contrary to the popular belief, they are surprisingly conservative. They take a small, smart step toward their goal; they pause to see what they have learned from that second small step, build that learning in and then take another small step. They don’t take large risks haphazardly.
- A business will not grow bigger than one person can handle. Since everything will have to flow through you, you will create a blockade; you won’t get the best ideas out of your people. Once they understand the company is set up so everything revolves around you, people are not going to take the time to develop their best ideas.
- Don’t waste time working on your weaknesses, play to your strengths instead.
- You need to be able to turn every obstacle into an asset. Yes, every single one.
- Marketing, simplified: Figure out who you want to sell to, and then determine what it is that will get them to buy.
- Market research, simplified: Get your product out in the market and see if it sells. If they are willing to put their money where their mouth is, you are probably on to something. If they aren’t, then you would know that you still have a lot of work to do.
- Figure out how you are going to collect what you are owed. Nobody thinks about this before they get underway and suddenly they learn firsthand what “cash flow crunch” really means.
- You need a really smart team. They will give you new perspectives and ideas plus provide honest feedback.
- Having a checklist is a proven method to guarantee you don’t overlook anything. This is true whether you’re an executive chef preparing a feast or if you’re about to make a big presentation to a client you really want to sign.
- Starting anything new is hard and the number of obstacles you are going to encounter can easily get overwhelming.
- You don’t determine what a good product is. Only your customer does. And if they don’t like your product, it’s a bad product. Period. In others words, the customer is always right.
- Unpopular products are going to remain so. It is better to come up with a different version, than to keep trying to sell–at a discounted price–the one that customers don’t like.
- If you are going to fail, and sometimes you will, fail quickly and cheaply. Always take calculated steps toward your goal and pause after each one to make sure you are staying on the right path.
- You are going to make mistakes. It’s okay, as long as you truly understand what went wrong. You must really learn from failures.
- Learn from others’ mistakes. This is true in business and in life. Don’t expect that you can learn all the necessary lessons from your own faults. That’s why it’s essential you watch others and learn how not to repeat their errors. Average people learn from their mistakes. Smart people learn from other people’s mistakes. In the end, try to pay attention to other people’s missteps to keep yourself out of trouble.
- Creativity and innovation must be attached to a business objective. Listen up home-based businesses and startups: Creativity is wonderful, but if it isn’t tied to making money then it isn’t a viable business concept.
- Get out while you still have your marbles. You never want to stay too long at the fair, even if you own the fair.
- Don’t do it if you don’t enjoy it. Running a business takes blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of coffee, too. But at the end of the day, you are building something you will be proud of.
- Perfection is unattainable. There’s a terrible danger in letting people think that they have perfected something. When you believe you’ve made it, you tend to sit back and rest on your laurels while many others work furiously to improve.
- You can’t do it all on your own. Delegation is one of the many skills any aspiring entrepreneur must master. It’s impossible to do everything as well as be good at everything you do. If you hire for your weaknesses, people can fill in the gaps and take the tasks off your plate that you’re not strong in or that you’re too swamped to do on your own.
- Hire carefully. You can’t hire effectively unless you realize what that person is going to do. Spend two weeks in that position even if you hate it or are not that outstanding at it. This will help you get a sense of the job and the pay. Each new hire should be able to be dropped into a job with all of the things they need to succeed.
- Explore uncharted territory. There are still many things out there that haven’t been discovered, invented, or achieved. Exploring unmapped areas can spark new ideas and innovations.
- A good mentor will understand how to work with and guide you. Going at it alone is admirable but very foolish and a flawed approach to taking on the world. Find someone who is older than you and more experienced than you. They don’t necessarily have to be in the same industry, but if they are, that’s a bonus. Ask them what their biggest failures were and what lessons they learned.
- The first impression is everything — so is the second. The first impression is extremely important, but the second is just as crucial. How you present yourself and your brand in unexpected and unfavorable situations says a lot about how your brand maintains good customer relationship and handles roadblocks.
- Seek a second opinion, and then a third. You must learn to be a good listener in order to succeed, and that means bouncing every idea you have off countless people before finally deciding whether you will trash or go through with something. In business, seeking a variety of opinions can save you a lot of time and money. Don’t tell people about others’ suggestions until you’ve heard what they have to say.
- Change shouldn’t be feared, but it should be managed. Companies aren’t future-proof and nothing lasts forever. An entrepreneur should be prepared to adapt, and avoid being nostalgic about the company itself. Sometimes you have to take your company or home-based business in a new direction because circumstances and opportunities have changed. The more responsibility you give people, the better they will perform.”
- Make your own luck. It’s not saying you shouldn’t believe in luck. But believing it’s something you can change and manipulate simply by not being afraid to fail. People and businesses that are generally considered fortunate or luckier than others are usually also the ones that are prepared to take the greatest risks and, by association, are also prepared to fall flat on their faces every so often. Anyone who wants to make the effort to work on their luck can and will seriously improve it.
- You can’t run a business without taking risks. A smart man once said that the brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. Every business involves risks. Be prepared to get knocked down, but success rarely comes from playing it safe. You may fail, but there’s no such thing as a total failure.
- When it comes to making mistakes, bounce back, don’t fall down. Your decision won’t always be the best decision. Everyone makes mistakes, but the best thing you can do in the face of a mistake is own up to it. Honesty isn’t just the best policy, it’s the only policy. When a mistake is made, don’t let it consume you. Expose the problem and get to work fixing it.
- You have to be patient. Don’t expect miracles to happen overnight.
Subject Matter Expert – Home Business