Running your own business has both pros and cons. In venturing into the ever-evolving world of business ownership, one accepts both the glory and the pain. The pros far outweigh the cons for those who choose to remain in business and being savvy, strategic and smart increase chances of success.
The freedom to innovate and implement new ideas, manage systems and processes and take risks as the key decision-maker and change-driver of your business is liberating. It also comes with great responsibility. The wrong decision can wipe out your profits or capsize your business altogether. Wisdom is key.
Initiating ideas, nurturing them and watching them grow into valuable products or services gives the feeling of accomplishment. There is much satisfaction in feeling like we have contributed to society whilst doing what we enjoy.
Although there are business women who do not do what they do for recognition, it is rewarding and affirming when your hardwork and success is recognised by your peers, your community or your industry.
“Profits are better than wages.” A principle made famous by America’s foremost business philosopher, the late Jim Rohn. As a business woman, you get to live by the principle of investing time for profits rather than swapping time for money. The value of your investment and the resulting compensation is determined by your input.
Laying the Foundation
Starting a business or taking over the running of a business is not a walk in the park. There may be some sleepless nights involved and massive capital outlay depending on your venture. Solidify the foundation for long-term survival. Get professional help to get started right and stay on course. Financial advisors, lawyers, coaches or mentors and business consultants may seem costly but it’s more expensive to fix problems that could have been avoided by seeking their services from the start.
In business, cash is king. If the business doesn’t make sense it literally won’t make any cents. Some businesses are more cash-intensive than others and require massive capital outlay. Other businesses require fewer overheads and for these it is easier to start-up and maintain. Investors look at the viability of the business before they accept any proposals. A good business plan offers better chances of attracting monetary support. Without a well-researched and documented plan, expect rejection.
Building a Team
“Your network determines your net-worth” is the mantra of todays’ entrepreneurs. Finding like-minded individuals willing to work with you is not very difficult. However, finding like-minded individuals who are passionate, committed and consistent is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Choose your team wisely.
Not everyone who knows you will understand your passion, drive or vision. It doesn’t mean they are enemies. It just means they don’t understand you. Don’t get hang-up on hoping they ‘get-it’. The proof is in the profits. And even then, there is no guarantee they will understand you. Be very clear about why you are doing what you’re doing, plan carefully and confidently go in the direction of your dreams.
When things fall apart
There will be good days, bad days and hurricane days. Good days are when everything works like clockwork, invoices are paid on time and you owe nobody money. Bad days are when certain plans fail to work out. Hurricane days are when the business looks nothing like the business plan and you need help cleaning up and rebuilding. Have multiple contingency plans in place and the right support network around you. Your support network could be family or friends, business clubs or paid professionals like business consultants, coaches and mentors. Be prepared.
Time management and work-life balance
One of the major challenges for many female business owners, especially those with dependants, is time-management and having a healthy work-life balance. Sleeping on your feet or waking-up with your face on your keyboard is not fun. The foundation-laying phase of building a business can be hard work. It’s important to manage your diary and your time effectively, and to have a good balance of working and resting. Learn to confidently say “no” to activities that do not add value to your experience or those that drain your time and resources.
Be very clear about your identity (who you are), your vision (what you want) and your purpose (where you are going). Any confusion you feel about these will show up in your life, your business and, eventually, your results.
Be yourself. You will build more business relationships by being yourself than by trying hard to present who you think you should be. People never like to feel like they are dealing with multiple personalities.
If people can’t trust you, they won’t want to work with you. Be who you say you are and do what you say you will do. And if neither is possible, be honest about it. Integrity is an integral part of building long-term trust in business.
Build your credibility by investing in your knowledge and skills. Delivering an excellent product or service consistently builds your confidence and wins the confidence of those you serve.
Never give up. Follow-through on your promised to yourself and to your clients. Don’t give up midway. Develop “bull-dog tenacity” and don’t let go until you’ve accomplished your goal of running a profitable business that adds value to the marketplace, to society and to your own life.
Success Coach, Speaker & Business Development Strategist.
Here’s my blog site: www.themotivationallistener.com