There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, it’s been around for ages! So save yourself some early strife and stress with your new business, and know what you have in store. Owning a business can be the most rewarding career and way of life, but there are speed bumps that are inevitable, and others that can be avoided. Why learn all the hard lessons yourself, when others have been there and done that? When you start your own business, these trials and tribulations will manifest themselves for you in their own unique way, but you can expect to learn these life lessons, and learn them quick!
1. Can’t Build a Tower Without a Foundation
There’s a reason why engineers, when planning large skyscrapers, concentrate so much attention on the foundation and the infrastructure as opposed to the decorative exterior. The insides matter, and the foundation matters foremost. Think of it as the life blood of your business, the root system of the mighty oak. A business needs a business plan, and not just to get that bank loan. The business plan not only forces you to think through the endeavor, and gives you food for thought for issues you may not have foreseen when you first had the idea, but it gives you something to fall back on when you are faced with a difficult hurdle. A well-thought out business plan is not only valuable, it is essential.
2. Build Relationships
Some business owners naively think that their product and their store, of properly planned and designed, will attract loyal customers. In part that’s true, and it can happen. But even more effective is to actually be there in your store or restaurant and make personal connections with the clientele. Someone is much more likely to return to a place if they know the first name of the owner, it makes them feel special and cool, particularly when showing off their town to a out of town friend or relative. Warm relationships breed good business.
3. Help Is Not a Sign of Weakness
If you are afraid of asking for help, you will be letting your pride ruin your business. Friends and neighbors helping others is part of community and success. Knowing when to ask for help – and that it’s okay to do so – is not only and important business lesson but it translates well into your everyday life. Many folks will be honored to help and not expect anything more than the trust that you will help them if they ever need it. The world does not have to be so materialistic and cash-based that we can’t help others anymore. Asking family to pitch in at the holiday season, for example, is perfectly acceptable and can help your business, something that your family certainly wants, too.
4. Do What You Love
If your business involves something you love, you have a chance at really succeeding. If you choose a business that is something you think you’ll learn to love, or that you think you should love, you’re setting yourself up for regret and for failure. During the wean times, you want your business to be a place that you want to go and if you have zero sales for a day, you can still be in a good mood and a good mental place. Don’t start a guitar store if you have a passion for antiques, and don’t start a greeting card store if you have a passion for vinyl records. Owning your own business is more than a 9-5 job, so you’d better enjoy it if you want it to last.
You’ll learn these lesson eventually, so might as well start off on the right foot, with a solid foundation, so that your business can succeed.