Having the drive to survive
By Dean Williams (Print-Print.co.uk)
Do you have the personal qualities to propel your new business to success?
Many people think all you need to go into business for yourself is a good idea and a bit of courage. While that may be true, if you want your new business to succeed, there’s a bit more to it than that. Before you take the plunge, ask yourself if you have the necessary mental, emotional, physical and financial wherewithal to withstand the first turbulent months and years.
Passion and drive
If you’re not filled with passion for your business and the drive to overcome obstacles, your business will fail. Getting started is tough. Keeping going when things don’t go well is a hundred times tougher. Encouraging staff when you’re despondent yourself is probably one of the hardest things any entrepreneur has to do.
Find something that reminds you why you started this business in the first place and keep it in front of you. Feed your passion daily. When your passion fades, so will your business, so it’s either time to sell up and move on, or rekindle the fire.
Running a business takes organisation. Do you know how to keep accurate records, stay on top of invoicing and keep track of clients and suppliers? Can you delegate tasks, or do you have to do everything yourself to make sure it’s done well.
While organisational skills can be learned, you might find it better to learn to delegate this side of your business to someone who is good with details, allowing you to focus on the big picture. If you’re not good with numbers, find an accountant or book keeper. If you need to stay on the right side of legislation, get legal advice. Create a team around you, and you don’t need to know everything.
Before you start your business, invest time to plan. Do some market research to ensure you have a viable idea, and don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board if the numbers don’t work. You can always find another business idea.
Marketing and promotion
You don’t have to be a top notch copywriter, but you do need to be able to explain your products and services from a benefit perspective, rather than focusing on features. What that means is, you have to be able to see your business from a customer’s perspective. Ditch the jargon and think about how your offering makes life easier for your customer.
You’ll also need to learn to be canny with your budget, because over-advertising in low-performing channels can kill your cash flow quicker than anything else. On the other hand, not advertising at all can stunt your business growth and starve you of new customers. Consider a print marketing campaign which is a very cost effective way to get your message across to potential customers, start small and monitor the success and build on it from there.
If you have the passion and drive, the organisation and the flair, you should be able to get your business up and running. With a sound business plan and the ability to talk with enthusiasm, securing funding still may not be easy, but it’ll certainly be easier than without them. After that, all you have to do is look after yourself so you don’t lose your health or your mind, learn to spin all those plates and make it look easy and stay confident in your ability to navigate every crisis.
Sounds easy if you say it fast, doesn’t it?