When you are first starting out in your brand new business venture, your thoughts are probably more on just surviving this start up phase than creating enduring success. There is just so much to do. But there are some things that you can do while you are building your brand and your new business that will help you create long term success.
- Have a strong vision for your business. Create a plan and work the plan, but never forget that your original plan will change many times over the life of your business. It will change as your business grows. If you are in real estate, it will change with the market’s ups and downs. And finally, it will change as you change and your vision grows.
- Forget about “making sales”. Focus on creating relationships; put your attention on helping your customers solve their problems. No one likes to be “sold to”, but almost everyone is willing to receive help. Doing this will require a change in mindset for a lot of folks. I can promise you that you will reap big dividends if you are successful at developing this way of doing business.
- Be strightforward and honest in all of your business dealings. There are many things in this life that can be repaired or replaced easily. Your reputation is not one of them. It is very difficult to rebuild trust that has been lost.
- Learn to negotiate. This is critical to your success. Always create a situation where both parties benefit. Things will not always be equal in order for both parties to feel like they have won, but each person will need to walk away feeling like they got what they most needed from the negotiation. John F. Kennedy said, “We cannot negotiate with those ho say what is mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.”
- Invest in your education. If you look at anyone that is successful, you will find that they are “life long learners”. These folks continually attend seminars, workshops etc. Without exception they feed their brains on a daily basis.
- Learn to work smarter. Guard your time like it is your most valued asset; it is! As soon as your business gets up and running, get an assistant or look into outsourcing to a virtual assistant. Just find a way. Maybe you can barter services. It can be hard for us entrepreneurs to delegate, but it is absolutely essential to growing your business.
- Look for the lessons. When you have problems, look for the lessons contained in those problems. Problems are a part of life and a part of any business. You have to be willing to figure out a plan of action quickly when these “life’s lessons” show up. Darren Hardy once said, “Learn to have a faster nervous breakdown and move on”. There will always be learning opportunities disguised as problems.
- Listen to your customer. Be willing to “shift gears” if you need to. Be open minded; never be afraid of change. What you perceive that your customer needs today may not actually be what they want or need. You may have to adjust your product or service to meet the needs of your customer. It is very likely that you will do this many times over the course of building a sustainable business.
- Implement quickly. One thing that separates those successful entrepreneurs from the rest is “the speed of implementation”. How fast can you get that idea off the drawing board and into your business? I am guilty of this one. I continually struggle not to over analyze the situation or the thing that I need to change. Let go of perfectionism and move forward.
You don’t have to figure it out all at once. Just take the first step. Then take small steps every day to build your business and your enduring success.