Posted by Tommy Runfola | November 14, 2016
It all started with a GREAT IDEA. You were determined to bring your DREAM to FRUITION. You were reasonably certain that you possessed the skills and smarts to MAKE IT HAPPEN…
So OFF YOU WENT in ENTREPRENEURIAL BLISS with your BIG IDEA. And then at some point things got tricky!
A good idea and a determined entrepreneur just aren’t enough in today’s world. According to the Kauffman Foundation, national startup activity rose in 2016 to its fifth-highest level ever. Translation? You’ve got a lot of competition out there. Your good idea and smarts just aren’t enough to guarantee success.
So what can you do to make sure your business is staying ON TRACK FOR SUCCESS?
Here are 7 BUSINESS BUILDING BLOCKS that I review weekly, sometimes daily, to make sure that I stay grounded not only in my BUSINESS GOALS, but also in the PASSION, VISION + ABILITY that I set out on this Entrepreneurial journey with:
1. Make your business a clear SOLUTION.
Your idea may not be brand spanking new, but you have put a truly unique twist on your product or service so it stands out from your competition.
How do you know if you are communicating this properly? You have to made it easy for your perfect customer to identify that your product or service is the one for them. Do people call you already having “sold themselves” on what you offer? Make your marketing focus on DIAGNOSING A PROBLEM that YOU can SOLVE for your customer. Cut to the CORE of the PAIN that they are experiencing, and make sure they know that YOUR BUSINESS is the REMEDY!
2. Stay SMART with Capital.
Startup entrepreneurs think it’s a dream come true when someone invests in them…and then the majority of them die on the vine. But you won’t be one of them because you’ve ascertained how much money you need to cover costs and to keep your business running for at least two years. You know that you don’t need a trendy office and an on-call limousine service. Naturally, you make smart decisions and run your business as though you have $5,000 in the bank, not a million.
3. Be a GREAT Communicator.
You may not possess the marketing savvy to convey your marketing message like you’re on a QVC infomercial – that’s fine, because you’re smart enough to hire someone who does.
But communication extends beyond just the ability to make a pitch and close a sale. Empathy in the workplace is ALWAYS a valuable skill. And when you’re an entrepreneur, especially in a start-up, you rely on your relationships with a small team of people to make your business a success.
4. Make your Operations TURNKEY!
Every savvy entrepreneur understands that value doesn’t stop at the product or service itself. Procedures must be in place and well documented to create a turnkey operation and simplify the training process. That’s why you’ve taken the time to make videos, take screenshots, and detail each step of every process.
If you’ve fallen short on this one have your employees construct a list and documentation on their responsibilities. You can look it over and suggest changes, as well as get a TOP DOWN view of how all systems are currently working.
5. Keep your Marketing RELEVANT!
Because you know how quickly trends change, you stay on top of your marketinggame. You’ve budgeted ongoing updates for your website and promote your product or service in a variety of ways and on various platforms.
You ALSO know WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR BUSINESS! So you heard that ‘everyone is on Snapchat now’…well that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the right place to ADVERTISE FOR YOUR BUSINESS!! Know where YOUR market is, and also know WHERE they are in the mode to BUY what you are SELLING.
PLACE your PITCH in the RIGHT PLACE at the RIGHT TIME!
6. Never EVER rely on just one BIG Customer.
Most business owners have unfortunately learned this one the hard way…but the point is that NOW you KNOW BETTER! You need to have diversified enough that if one big client leaves unexpectedly you will have time to replace that income before you crash and burn.
If all of your eggs are in one basket, you don’t own a business, you are employed…and very vulnerable.
If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic! But it’s a sure sign that you need to immediately spend time recruiting more business. This probably means that you’ll have to free some TIME up to actually do this. If you don’t delegate well, now is the time to learn. It may also be time to outsource some non-core parts of your business so you can focus on what brings the money in.
7. Don’t chase every Shiny Penny that comes your way.
STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR BIG END GOAL! Because you have a strong vision, a plan in place and a strategy to reach your goals, you know how and why to stay on track.
If you’ve gotten a bit off track on this one, perhaps it’s time to get back to the basics. It’s amazing how something as simple as re-evaluating your goals and purpose can transform your business and life!
THEN, LOOK YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR + TELL YOURSELF “YOU’VE GOT THIS!”
GET BACK UP + Go make those DREAMS your REALITY!