Don't Rush Into Business!
Slow Down and Do This First
Everybody wants it now. We live in an instantaneous world – news reaches millions of people as it's happening. Gone are the days of waiting a week for a letter. I remember writing my cousin and then waiting for her return letter, which was always at least two weeks. Do you remember seeing something you had to have in a magazine and ordering it – 6 to 8 weeks delivery time! So be honest, with online ordering and same-day delivery options, we only begrudgingly accept delivery of over two weeks if that's the only option we can find. Many, myself included, will check Amazon first for our wonderful "Prime one day" shipping. I recently saw an ad for a cute animated pumpkin, and rather than go to their website, pay $15.99 shipping and handling, and have it take 2-4 weeks to deliver, I found it on Amazon, and my daughter received it two days later.
I do have a point to make. Many of today's start-up companies and existing businesses have the same mindset. We all want a successful, thriving business with clients lined up around the block, and we wanted it to happen yesterday. Let me pause this thought and tell you I have almost zero patience. I can probably think of over a hundred things that are longer than my patience, such as the time it takes for an embarrassing Tik Tok to trend! My mother would always tell me to have patience, "good things come to those who wait," and that brings me back to my point. A successful business, a trusted accounting firm, or a top dog Realtor does not happen overnight. It won't even happen in a week or 30 days, but if you work at it and start at the beginning, it will happen.
"If you build it, they will come."
I have had five businesses, of which only one is successful. I attribute that to my awesome coach, Tawnya Sutherland, who grabbed my reins and pulled me back. I wanted immediate success. I would get an idea in my head, and I wanted to see it come to fruition yesterday! That is the only reason my other businesses did not survive. I jumped right in without planning and went up the creek without a paddle. I almost did that with TASK Virtual Assistant! But I slowed down and worked on a five-year plan. Let me share some tips to help you build your plan:
Create a Business Blueprint
There are a TON of resources on business plans, business goals, start-ups, etc., so I will not get into the how's. But just like an architect needs blueprints before building a house, so do you before building your business.
Your blueprints should "draw" out:
Product and service development – What is it that you bring to your market? What purpose did you go into business to fulfill? Jennifer Todd, owner FutureView Advisory and FutureView CPA asks, "Are you selling the right thing?"
The definition of a business person is someone who solves problems for others at a profit.
Marketing and Sales - This is easily the most essential part of any successful business. You may have the most remarkable invention on the planet, but if you lack marketing and sales, you are setting yourself up to fail in business.
Learn About Your Target Audience and Industry
The more you understand who you are marketing to, the better you can convert them into paying or loyal customers. Interact with them on social media and ask for feedback after they purchase your products, services, or content.
Be Ready For Financial Setbacks
I was always told not to expect a profit in the first five years. Educate yourself regarding business finance. This includes paying yourself and the costs to create content, accounting systems, other tools, and much more. A poor grasp of finances is one of the most common reasons businesses fail, which is why you should set it up correctly and find the appropriate funding before you start.
Know Your Wants, and Don't Wants
You would think that with all of the opportunities, technology, and variety available in the world today, people would have an easy time defining what they want. Unfortunately, the opposite is actually true. Our world has become so fast-moving and hectic that many people have lost touch with themselves and what is important to them. When asked, many will quickly respond with a quick (and immediate) want: "I want my mortgage paid off."
List out a few wants and don't wants, then write out WHY next to each one. This exercise will help you when it comes time to create your mission and vision statements.
I cannot guarantee that by following these tips you will see a five-digit income or that your accounting firm will hit the Forbes Best Tax and Accounting Firms, but I do know that without a plan, you will not grow your business.