And They’re Easy To Remember As They All Start With The Letter “P”:
You need to offer a something of value to others that they are willing to pay you for, whether it be a product or service. Before you go to venture capitalists (VC’s) or plan your exit strategy, first find some customers. You probably do not need a VC or investor if you have an idea or product that people need. Remember business is simple – you need more money coming in than going out at the end of each week/month/year. Don’t over complicate with fancy spread sheets and trying to raise capital until you have proof of this.
One of my favourite business books is: “Good To Great” by James C. Collins and Jim Collins.
This book shows how important it is to have the right people in the right positions. If the business requires sales, you need to find the star sales-person; or if it is highly-skilled labour, you need to find the best skilled people for the labour. If you are trying to win customers online then you need an expert online marketing person. Once you have an organization, make sure your people are in the right positions. It’s really no different than having a great sports team; you would not have a 300lb lineman trying to play quarterback. Find the best people and put them where they will thrive and you will succeed.
This is one area many people that are entrepreneurs run into problems with. They may be very good at the business skill or service they offer, but get so busy and caught up running the business that they fail to see the process could be better. Make sure the business or service you offer is being optimized to its full potential; this could be in any area of the business. For example, maybe by sourcing products or suppliers locally you could save money on shipping, or maybe if you added one more production shift you could increase your productivity and maximize your production. Another possibility is to spend money on new machinery that could increase your quality and/or production and increase your customers. Look at all areas of your business to see how you can improve on your process and you will become more profitable.
In today’s business climate things are moving very fast and you have to be willing to roll with the punches. You will have to face lots of rejection, however you must be willing to get past the ‘no’s until you find enough ‘yes’s.
Keep plugging away, and if you are willing to persist and move past initial rejection eventually you will find enough customers to keep you going. Sometimes you may have to call a prospect more than once or call twenty prospects until you win a customer.
Or maybe you have to stop and pivot and change your product mix or service. Persist until you find out what sticks and works.
Last but not least this is the most important! You need to find something you love to do and are good at. You will face many obstacles and hurdles to get your business going, and more than 3/4 of business start-ups fail in the first three years. You need to wake up with a fire in your belly to change the world and help others. Without this, it will be difficult to get past the start-up phase. Even if you do not have a passion for what you are doing and your business does succeed, what is the point if you are not passionate about it and having fun? Life is too short, don’t die with the music still inside you.