Small business owners, by nature, are risk-takers. They are willing to sacrifice and dig deep, take chances and risks, to carry out their goals. Never do you find a successful business owner who has not fallen off the bike only to get back on and try again. Small business owners are tough and committed to their vision.
But not all small business owners are successful. Truthfully, most small businesses fail. Yet, entrepreneurs learn from their mistakes and try again. You could say small business owners are the most stubborn and focused people you will ever know.
What Makes Success? Wise Business Planning Tips
We’ve talked about reasons to start a business and the different business structures. Each of these are critical in the planning phases of a business. They are pieces in the foundation that ground the business.
To reach success, a business owner ought consider these wise business planning tips and tools. Take what you want, leave the rest, or experiment with a combination to find what works best for you.
Have A Plan – Every Week
They say failure to plan is succeeding at failure. It is true that you must have a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly plan. These plans include expenses, sales, marketing, social media outreach #’s, production, product development, etc. Within these plans are your business goals. Perhaps you want to ship 7 cases of blue, black, and red mittens every month. A plan helps you decide if you meeting that goal. If not, you can look at your marketing, promotion, and sales plans to see if something needs adjusting to meet that goal. Make a few plans.
Dedicate Your Space – Make It Where You Want To Hang
If you are working at home, carve out a dedicated office space. Sure, starting out you may think the kitchen table is just fine. However, you will find soon that the kitchen table is not great for productivity, focus, or motivation. Find a space, dedicate it to your business office, and make it a pleasant space. Hang motivational quotes, buy a calendar you like to look at, set up files, and organize it well.
Here’s my office space. Yup, I’m in the laundry room at the back of the house. It’s quiet, away from the kids (kids do not like the laundry room), and a great place to get my work done for all three businesses.
Schedule Your Day Out
Create a realistic schedule for your day. To avoid the social media vortex, set a timer when you are working on shares. This will prompt you to move on. It is amazing how much time is lost in the world of social media. Create time for bookkeeping, calls, email, product research, marketing, or whatever tasks you are doing that day.
Don’t forget to include personal tasks too. Need to pick the kids up at 2:30? Put it on the schedule and set a reminder.
An easy trap is to grow too fast for your business. Try to keep things small and uncomplicated as long as possible. Startups suffer from lack of cash flow and revenue. Keeping the overhead low will help you grow the business strong and sturdy; not on the quicksand of debt. Perhaps the worst thing a business owner must to is let employees go because of cash flow. Avoid taking on too much too fast.
Research, Research, And Research Again
Check out your competition and target customer. Look at similar products and services. Try to find a way to make yourself different and desirable to the customer. Don’t stop looking. Throughout your business life, you will want to see what the competition is doing, what the customer wants, and where the market is going. All of these elements create your unique business.
Be Yourself And Bring The Customer Back
Customers seek out small businesses because they want personal relationships. They want a unique product. They want great service. They want what a small business can offer — the owner. Your product may be slightly more expensive, but your service and care makes the difference. Give your customers a reason to return and share their experience. Be yourself and give the best customer service possible.
I have learned many of these lessons myself. In the 23 years of owning businesses, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. From those experiences, I’ve learned and applied those lessons to my current three businesses (one with my husband). There is nothing better than learning by doing but if you can avoid a few mistakes along the way, all the better!
What are some of your wise business tips? What lessons have you learned?