There are myriad resources available to help entrepreneurs with their startup endeavors. There is no shortage of books, web sites, magazines, companies, consultants and organizations that focus solely on helping new business owners grow their business.
One can be easily overwhelmed by all of the assistance that is available. And, trying to apply all of the advice and guidance at once can be truly daunting; one simply cannot focus on all of it all of the time. However, there are three key tips to keep in mind the entire time when building a company.
1. Think about how to define success.
Success will look very different depending upon at which stage an entrepreneur is on the startup journey. If success is tied solely to the bottom line figure on a financial report all of the time, it’s easy to be disappointed and/or abandon the startup concept too early.
There are other ways to measure success, especially in the very early stages. And, don’t just think about success; really absorb it and believe it. Be prepared for the first “failure.” And then the second, and the third.
For example, an untapped market may be identified, but perhaps the product just isn’t the right product. Keep going if there is a legitimate need and market. Try another product. Don’t be deterred.
One must have a strategy, and there is something to be said about a having a strategy that includes throwing spaghetti at the wall to see which noodles stick. In other words, avoid tunnel vision, and be open to trying multiple routes to get to the destination.
2. Remember, overnight successes are rare.
A second critical thing to never forget is that building a successful business takes time. Remember the story about Michael Jordan not making his high school basketball team? Reaching a monetary profit may take years.
Being featured in the local press probably will precede being highlighted in the national press. Having 500 followers on Twitter will come before 3,000. Forty attendees will pay to come to an event before thousands of people show up.
Growth can feel really slow to Chief Everything Officers of startups. Recognize that there are only so many hours in a day. It’s important to remember that, on some days, baby steps are okay, as long as the baby steps are heading in the right direction. Worry about when the steps head backwards instead.
3. Know when to recognize and seek the right people to help.
It’s very easy to fall into old patterns of thinking from the past and get stuck in one’s own head ruminating about which way to go on a business-related decision. Poor attitudes and mindsets can sink businesses.
Seek out mentors and/or business and mindset coaches, especially for the times when an answer isn’t being easily found in a book or on a web site. Interact with and build a trusting relationship with a professional coach or mentor that has experience in identifying roadblocks commonly faced by entrepreneurs. It’s helpful to hear, “You aren’t performing well in your business because you aren’t taking care of you first.”
Or, huge leaps can be made if the right person delivers the message that “You aren’t selling anything because you are sitting at your desk all day and not getting out there to meet people.” This may seem very elementary to some seasoned professionals, but perhaps not to a new entrepreneur who has never sold anything in his life.
And, family and friends may not be able to see what an entrepreneur can’t see in herself when it comes to successfully building a business.
Keeping these important tips in mind at every developmental stage of a startup can help prevent stress and sleepless nights and even allow a supportive spouse or friend to have a little break. And, the earlier these recommendations are truly believed, the better.
Paula Bisacre is publisher of RemarriageWorks.com. She can be reached at 443-226-8110 or e-mail publisher@RemarriageWorks.com.