Business Coaching

Are you thinking about or getting ready to start your own business?  If so, you’ll want to give some thought to a few of the most critical areas of building a successful business.  Here’s a hint….  It’s not the product or service you plan to launch! 

As reported by the Small Business Administration (SBA) there is currently 27 million small businesses in the US today.  And although the failure rate is still unacceptably high at 51%, it has shown improvement over the last 10 years.  Much of this improvement can be attributed to the availability of technology and marketing on the internet.  So, the services available to help you get your business up and running are almost limitless but that’s not what enables small business owners to succeed. 

The things that will ultimately position you for a successful business journey have to do with how prepared you are before you take the plunge.  Here are some of the most critical areas based on my experience coaching and consulting with small business owners that have already started their businesses: 


1.   Incompatible state of mind 

Much of your ability to go the distance until your business transitions from start up to a stable operation has to do with how you think about what you have chosen to do.  If you left the employment world to start your business, you’ll need to shift your thinking from ‘I work for someone else who pays me’ to ‘I run the show, make all the decisions and generate my own pay’.  It might sound subtle, but it’s what will keep you focused and support your desire to get through the usual ups and downs of starting a business. 

The other mindset change that you’ll want to hone is thinking strategically vs. tactically.  Much of getting a business off the ground involves knowing where you are going and what needs to be in place before you get there.  It requires a level of foresight and confidence to take the necessary risks associated with getting your business to a sustainable level of revenue.  Tactical activity is necessary for getting things done but too much tactics leads to a loss of focus and the feeling that your journey is just too much to handle. 


2.   Lack of planning 

Most people who are bitten by the ‘I want to own my own business’ bug jump into their new venture because what got them to that point was driven by emotions.  Take some time to think rationally about where you are going and what you will need to get there.  First, do you have a plan?  There are plenty of resources on line to help you with a business plan.  Business plans need not be complicated; they just need to be specific and directional.  This will be your roadmap for the near future.  Second, research the market or industry you plan to enter.  Allot can be learned by the people who are already there and what they focus on.  If you know someone who is in this industry, pick their brain. 


3.   Financial Acuity 

Unless you have investors to support your launch, you will need money!  Trying to finance a business while you are working full time somewhere else will only prolong your ability to become self supported.  If you have money in the bank or access to funds, you should think about having 18 months of capital to work with.  This includes the cost of operating your business as well as money needed to live on.  Once you have a budget, stick to it!  Lack of financial discipline is one of the top reasons businesses don’t make it. In fact, it ranks #2 and #5 on the list of reasons identified by the SBA. 

What makes this area so difficult for business owners is the need to balance their desire to grow with their ability to make sound decisions about what to invest in and when.  Always remember, cash is king in small business and when you run short, you limit your ability to be flexible and take the appropriate actions.

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Originally posted 2015-08-15 12:00:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter