The Big Dream of any entrepreneur really has very little to do with the entrepreneur. If you truly love repairing automobiles, chances are, you'll be a lousy business owner. Likewise, if you are fascinated by debits and credits, the dream of building an accounting firm with you at the helm is probably best left unfulfilled.
Your success starts with how you are able to get clients in the door, get their business, and leave them satisfied. If you, personally, have to spend too much time doing that, you have simply bought yourself a job, not an enterprise. Take hints from success stories all around you!
People crave predictability, and when you design and use systems, you give people predictability. More importantly, when you build systems, they can help you orchestrate, and orchestration helps you create the habits that continuously improve the systems!
The entire idea of building a series of systems in a business is simply this - to create the tools that allow you, as a business owner, to increase productivity and get the job done. The idea behind these systems, of course, is to quit needing your judgement or input in every area of the business.
Look at what is average in your area, your industry, and your company and then be better. That could be as simple as reading another book each month or attending a seminar each year. On the other hand, it also means acknowledging what 'average' actually is and how you, as the owner, arrive at that figure.
'Product life' is measured in months, not years, and as soon as you introduce a 'product,' understand that others in your business are going to reverse engineer it to duplicate the results after they circumnavigate the patents, the trademarks, and the intellectual property.
Don't look at small business as a means to an end and a way to make money until the corporation hires you; look at it as a chance to create something of immeasurable value and beauty in a world that desperately needs it.
Most people who go into business for themselves and, therefore, believe they are entrepreneurs, are doomed to struggle because they don't have a true Entrepreneurial Perspective. They have a Technician's Perspective.
Your goal as an entrepreneur is to understand not only what your business does but the clients that it serves. If you really have your pulse on their needs and wants, then your 'absolute' failures are always going to have limits.
Strategic Work is all about the big questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? Tactical Work is all about answers: This is the system we use to do each task. This is how we do it, how we measure it, how we monitor it.
After decades of studying the men and women that make the decision to open their own Great, Growing Company, I'd have to say it comes down to the Vision they have for that business - do they expect to build the company or just have some income for the short term?
Have you ever noticed the fact that once you begin to think about something, you see it everywhere? Anyone who has ever begun the search for a new automobile can attest, from the moment you Google it, you begin to pass that model in traffic everywhere. Of course, they were there the whole time; we simply didn't have them at top of mind.
Be honest: if your pitch is 90 minutes and you only have 60 set aside for a business lunch or a cup of coffee, there is no way that you can give an honest representation of your company or products. You're lying to yourself and wasting your own time as well as that of your prospect or partner.
Opening a business is going to be hard work, no matter what choices you make. If you decide to fall on your sword and just slog through all the work as an operator instead of an owner, then you take responsibility for the entire operation and the actions of the business.
As a small business owner, you may not have the luxury to throw good money after bad, but if you can ascertain the 'why' of the failure, you can draw some significance from it and then turn it into something that clients will buy.
Your target market and their demographics realistically need to be in alignment with your own beliefs and morals, or you may have trouble reaching out to them - or keep them once others have entered the market.
As an entrepreneur and a small business owner, you are intimately familiar with goals. You've dreamed of the 'right' ones, you've projected 'real' ones for the banker and the investor, and, secretly, you've imagined how life can be if you can reach the ones you've set.
It is one thing to seek out new ways to grow your company and new potential streams of income from new services or products, but it is quite another to take on responsibilities that are far from your primary job as Entrepreneur.
The entrepreneur rarely thinks in terms of what he or she wants, but dreams about results - always results and nothing but results - that can solve someone else's problem or contribute to making someone else's life better.
If you expect to grow your business, you need to be plotting out your schedules days in advance. Until you get that most basic of steps orchestrated, you can never get to the critical steps that I outline in any one of dozens of books.
I'm not really into the business of giving out tips, but if you are not using an all-encompassing software to integrate and sync your schedule, then you might be losing time. Most of these are free, and they can allow you to keep track of everything in one place and then access that from your computer, phone, or tablet.
Everywhere you turn, there are lists and statistics. Any business, any sport, any hobby - we will try to categorize who is the best at some component of that endeavor. It's part human nature and part technology, since we have been conditioned to have access to answers and trivial problems at our fingertips.
For over forty years, I've been one of the most passionate believers in entrepreneurs. From day one, I've learned that too many small businesses are predicated on business models that the owner barely understands, and then, those same men and women are baffled when their business dreams are overwhelmed with struggles they never foresaw.
When I say, 'doin' it, doin' it, doin' it' to a group of small business owners, they immediately respond. They recognize the experience of doing the same things over and over. Keeping the business afloat without ever getting ahead. And it's more than frustrating - it's heartbreaking.