When You’re Starting A Company And You Need Some Motivation
There are entrepreneurs who after starting a company their first time, vowed to never do that again! But here you are; doing it again – push start business – or maybe this is your first business and you want to learn from those that have been through it once already (smart move!) Studies show that it generally goes better the next time around, but it is no less work and effort. Self-evaluation, vigilant observation, and active solicitation of feedback are the natural personal ingredients that will help lead you toward success. But, there is much more that can be put into practice having learned the first time around.
In a new start, small business plans almost always begins with a year of building. There is no magic that suddenly means that you start making lots of money. Of course you may have a great idea for your business, but in a building year you have to establish a number of business components that eventually altogether make a business successful. All of these components, from processes, personnel, and facilities all need to come together to create a machine that works as smoothly as possible within the build year.
Here are some points to consider and to implement that can help you to have a successful build year.
1. Evaluate your perspective.
Your perspective can be the most important aspect that can help you become successful with your new business. No one knows all the answers, nor can predict all the obstacles that you will face getting your business started during your build year. Generally, your challenges will fall into one of three groups.
The first is people challenges. You will be working with people, whether it’s your investors, the bankers, the realtors, and all the suppliers, not to mention your staff. People who engaged with your business will be evaluating it from their perspective. Just like all human beings, they also have expectations, perceptions, and ambitions, so your business needs to align with theirs, rather than forcing certain processes or accommodations. Overcoming these people challenges is imperative, because without them you don’t have a business, period.
The second is how you respond to setbacks. You know you are going to run into problems, either from miscommunication, to things simply breaking. Sometimes setbacks involve people, or they can be technology, but either way, how you respond often determines whether the setback was an opportunity in waiting, or if it truly is hurting your business prospects.
The third is how you change direction. You are a change agent, helping to get people who you work with to think differently, act differently, and process differently. It is critical to turn your business into a machine that runs smoothly.
2. Take a point of view.
If the first point was how you respond, the second point is how you move forward. To move forward, you must begin by looking back from your perspective. Reflecting on your business plan, how well have you executed it? Are there are key indicators that show that you are achieving the plan, or not? Ask yourself questions to compare and contrast what you originally set out to accomplish and whether you are accomplishing it. Then, create a point of view that describes your situation as you see it from your perspective. This can help you see any possible gaps that may exist between your plan and reality.
However, there is another point of view to consider. Nearly all successful businesses have an outside-in perspective, as opposed to an inside-out perspective. What this means is that your business needs to view yourself from your customer’s perspective and not from your business perspective. It is so easy to always view the business from how you see it, but it is not easy to see your business from how your customer sees it.
So, try to imagine being a customer and go through their experience either in your mind or actually in the business to experience your business from their perspective. Of course, speak with your customers and ask them too, but the goal is to eventually create a point of view from the customer, and then compare it to your point of view that you created from your perspective. Gaps will occur, and then you’ll know what to do to fill those gaps.
3. Place your bets and commit.
With all this input and evaluation, you can now move forward as a change agent to initiate action. Using your business plan as your starting point, identify what needs to be changed, and take action. If you are involving people, perhaps involve them in the decision process so that you create ownership through the changes with your staff. Also, set a timeline for changes so that you can evaluate either along the way or at the end how well it worked, and if the changes should be made permanent. Process is king for businesses so monitor, evaluate, and adjust to ensure success.
4. Hit critical mass.
Critical mass is that point in your business where it has flipped from you pushing the business forward to you encouraging the business as it runs on its own. So how would you define critical mass for your business? Come up with a set of milestones, or observations that define critical mass for your business.
5. Remember your core idea.
You started on this venture with your stakeholders because you had an idea in the beginning of what started it in the first place. It is always important in order to keep everyone focused on your original idea. You had an idea because you saw a need. That idea is worth a lot of money and you are on a mission to see the reality of that need being met in the marketplace. Create mantras, slogans, signage to remind everyone involved in your business of why they are there in the first place. Create values for your staff that compliment your mission.
6. Find a way.
Lastly, when you’re starting a company keep in mind that there are no obstacles that can’t be overcome. There are always ways to solve problems, but often we get stuck into thinking that there is only one way to solve a problem. A good technique is to be creative and come with multiple options for solving a problem. It expands thinking, encourages creativity, and often better ideas are discovered that turn out positive in surprising ways! Here’s a rule of thumb. Always have 3 or more ways to solve each problem and then select the best from the lot.