Whether you’re thinking of starting your own business or are already running one, you may wonder if you have what it takes to make it successful. With nearly 50 percent of all new businesses failing within their first five years of operation, you have good reason to be cautious. If you have the right combination of experience, capital, and confidence, you might have what it takes. Here’s what will give you the edge you need to succeed as a small business owner.
Passion for the Product or Service
Before jumping into a business idea, you need to examine whether or not starting a business is the right choice for you. First and foremost, you need to have enthusiasm for your product or service and a passion for promoting it.
The start-up phase is the most stressful aspect of being a business owner. When the hours are long and the profits are lean, you’ll wonder if you made the right decision. Ultimately, the deciding factor is your energy and passion, because that’s what will hook customers, land deals, and attract investors.
Having great ideas and a strategic vision will only get you so far when starting your own small business. If you want to close the deal or get your employees to follow you, you’ll need leadership skills like:
- Strong communication skills to share successes and failures with your people will provide context and a sense of belonging to the company.
- Identifying and developing the best staff to work for your company by surrounding yourself with talented, courageous, and loyal people.
- The ability to delegate tasks and admit you can’t do everything all the time. Sharing goals and directives also serves to empower your staff and encourage teamwork.
Willingness to Make Sacrifices
The idea of being your own boss may have brought to mind certain freedoms that you weren’t offered as a regular employee. However, when it comes to running your own business, there is no nine-to-five shift. It’s likely you’ll be the manager, laborer, receptionist, payroll clerk, bookkeeper, and whatever else is required, and juggling all these roles will require late nights and weekend shifts.
If you have a family, you’ll need their support to manage the additional demands on your time. Though, keep in mind that you must take care of yourself to make your business grow. With your business depending on your passion and zeal, the better you feel, the better your company will be.
The Right Tools
Running a business is challenging, but it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. To consider the long-term vision and needs to keep your business running, you need the right tools.
- Business plan
If the most crucial characteristic of running a successful business is passion, the most essential tool is a business plan. Serving as a guide when making any decisions as your business grows, your business plan will outline your mission statement, goals, and core values.
Financial resources are necessary no matter how small your business. Without the capital to keep your company running, you won’t be able to pay your staff or your vendors once your operations costs are covered.
- Marketing strategy
As a small business owner, you need to consider the type of customer you’re trying to reach and develop a marketing strategy to generate interest in your product or service. This can be done by creating a mass mailing, buying advertising space on the radio or local newspaper, or a massive social media campaign. However, you choose to market your business, keep in mind customers won’t patronize a company they don’t know exists.
Are you Ready?
Spend some time to review these points to determine if you have the passion, dedication, and know-how it takes to run a small business. And remember that it won’t happen overnight. It takes hard work over time to turn an idea into a successful business.