As a former business owner, I did not fully understand how many critical factors would come into play with my business. Owning and operating a business is like a very complex machine. It becomes more challenging as it grows, or shrinks.
When I started my business, I knew it was going to be difficult. After all, I come from a family where my father has been a lifelong entrepreneur and business owner and my grandfather as well. I knew there would be challenges ahead. I heard the war stories and saw the battle scars from my dad. What I didn’t know was that I really needed advice on how to navigate the murky waters of business ownership. I was swimming in those waters but didn’t have any idea of what was ahead until it happened.
In the LinkedIn article titled, 6 Essentials for Starting Your Own Business, author Yael Kochman states 6 very important aspects that all business owners need to understand. As challenging as business ownership is nowadays, in some cases, there are ways in which it can be easier because there is more information available and at our fingertips if we want it.
- Prioritization: Of the six points mentioned in the article, I think the two most important ones are “Prioritization” and “Failure.” Prioritization is critical because the business owner must be able to think about and activate the most important actions first and not get distracted by all the other things that are screaming for attention now.
- Failure: Failure is also very important because you never think you will fail as a business owner. However, let me tell you, it’s not always a matter of if you will fail, but when, or how?. Keep that in mind when launching new ideas and products. Some things work and some won’t. What’s important being in business is to learn from your mistakes that may have caused the failure. That’s the golden nugget in all of this. I consider failure to be closer to the word “testing.” If you don’t test, you will never know if it works or not. If you don’t test, you may never succeed either.
- The Pipeline: As a business owner you always have multiple things on your mind and the most important one should be keeping your pipeline full. If you don’t do this, the rest won’t matter, because you may not have a business any longer without a full pipeline that leads to sales. Develop a sales strategy. No, I don’t mean, pick up the phone and call somebody. Sorry, that doesn’t work. You need to completely understand: who your prospective customers are? Why they will want to spend money on your product? What your value proposition is? And, how you plan on reaching out to them? These are just the tip of the iceberg.
A Sales strategy can be difficult to plan. However. As the business owner, you probably know your market segment very well. Use that knowledge and write out a sales strategy that includes prospecting, nurturing and follow-up. It also may include: What content you will use to prospect? How you will curate the information you receive after talking to the customer, and what competitive intelligence will you use in order to get a leg up on the competition? These are just a few things to include in your process, then, watch it carefully.
Of course there are lots of things that can trip-up businesses. Usually this can happen if the business owner is not paying attention. Stay focused on the business plan, understand your market and what it can and can’t yield. Ongoing knowledge and a little ingenuity go a long way when trying to keep the ship afloat whether you’re in calm waters or in a storm.
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6 Essentials for Starting Your Own Business – Yael Kochman