Three Keys to Small Business Success
The stats say that most small businesses don’t make it past 5 years, in-fact, according to Bloomberg, eight out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn, so I guess that makes LDP’s 6 & ½ years a small success story. For me, the three keys to making it this far are:
Partner with expertise
My mantra has always been that “two heads are better than one”. Insights clearly show us that others strengths can be your weaknesses and vice versa – therefore working with everyone’s strengths gets a much better result! So make sure you have a great IT guy and someone to help you market etc. Upon reflection, marketing has been my weakness – I have survived on networks and contacts, but I wonder where I would have been if I had spent more on marketing or focused on it more. Watch this space, I will let you know my ROI as I work through mediums such as this blog and “putting LDP out there” with The Brand Collective.
The beauty I have found in running a small business is that people want to see you succeed and often know there is little money, therefore, they will give you a chance and try your services. You could also arrange a “trade-swop” for skills you need. There are ways to make it happen – the first step is knowing what you want and why and then getting there. Find the resources you need to make it fall into place (this is part of our Coaching Philosophy – contact LDP to find out what you want and what will motivate you).
It is still paramount that you understand specialist functions you partner with, especially your finances as mentioned in my Financial Understanding blogs. Join LDP’s Finance for non-Finance workshop to ensure you understand the basics or contact us to consult with you for the day on your business’s finances.
Know what you offer – it’s ok to say “No”
It took me ages to “specialise” and know what I really wanted to offer. When you go on your own you feel like you need to take all work that comes your way. The need to pay the bills and see money flowing in is often too strong to ignore. But then you spend time doing what you don’t want to and doing it not as well as you should be, often losing focus.
See Forbes, Surviving Your First Year As A Small Business Owner who agrees with my theory stating, “Don’t say yes to every request that comes your way. When considering each customer request, event, marketing, or partnership opportunity, think about how it fits into your overall game plan and priorities.”
Use LDP’s Coach to identify your overall game plan and priorities.
Know WHY you are in your business
As SA officially hits a recession, economic times are hard and working by yourself or in a small team can be lonely. I’ve reached the point of throwing it all in and searching for a regular “paying job” a couple of times. I’ve sat in front of recruitment agents and told them what I want and I hear myself describing what I have! The last time I did this I told the recruitment agency that I wanted a flexible or half day job and I’m sure I heard her stifle a laugh. I then realised again that the environment I have is ideal for my personality, which likes variety and a challenge. I can’t stand playing the political corporate game and I get to watch my son learn to swim and pick him up, most days. Plus I love the value that I can add to my clients in teaching them about money (according to one participant thereby saving her marriage); helping people understand themselves; work with others better (recent feedback from a department head in Aspen was “I was personally pleased with the results as it has provided me with insights, as to how different team members approach tasks and ideas with varying results and how to deal with the lack of self-confidence in others”) and being there for the Entrepreneur when he has no one else to lean on. At times like this, I rediscover
my WHY – focus on working on my business again – hence the flurry of newsletters, blogs and website overhaul instead of getting lost in the detail of the daily working IN my business.
As a Coach, it’s my job to make sure that the WHY behind something is compelling enough to make people achieve what they WANT… sometimes I need the reminder too. 😉
Need a sounding board to help you think through options? Want to be challenged to reach your full potential? Give LDP a call and set up a Business Coaching session.
WATCH — FAIL ACADEMY: Top Reasons Startups Fail