Many of us slave away for years for one uninspiring company after another and dream of the day when we can sack the boss and go it alone.
If you’re contemplating starting your own business then I’m here cheering you on from the sidelines because the best decision I ever made was to walk away from my well paid but oh so frustratingly boring job and start my own business from scratch.
I’d always believed in Bob Dylan’s definition of success – “a man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” And it was these words and this sentiment that drove me to seek out business success on my own.
While I was in the planning stages of things I read around a lot and discovered that there are six main steps that you can follow to give your business the best chance of survival and success. With hindsight I can confirm that these six steps do guarantee your business success, so here they are for you, use them as your guide: -
1) Plan to Succeed
“Action without planning is the cause of all failure. Action with planning is the cause of all success.” – Brian Tracy.
You need to establish an intricate business plan that will guide you through the start-up hurdles and ongoing development of your business. Whether you’re planning on establishing a global company that will eventually employ many individuals or you’re intending to establish an on-line business from your bedroom that will employ only you, you must spend the necessary time and effort plotting out how exactly your company will be established, who your customers are, how you will reach them, how you will finance your ongoing operations and where exactly you’re headed with your business.
“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Accordingly a genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.” – Thomas Edison
Be a business genius, remember the planning stages are critical to the future success of your business – don’t rush them.
2) Money Matters
“Before you can really start setting financial goals, you need to determine where you stand financially.” – David Bach
You need to look at your own personal financial situation and determine exactly how much money you will need to live on, how much money you have to invest in your business, how much money is required to start up and run your company and how exactly you’re going to fund the future of your business. Get down to the financial nitty gritty before you get down to business and you will avoid the number one reason why businesses fail – namely, lack of capital.
Crunch those numbers and be realistic rather than fatalistic or optimistic! You can and will succeed, but first you must arm yourself with the boring facts and figures and then you can put in place the financing you need.
3) To Score Goals You Have To Set Goals
“Most people struggle with life balance simply because they haven’t paid the price to decide what is really important to them.” – Stephen Covey
Having mapped out your business journey intricately, having put in place the financing you will need to travel the path towards success you have to begin setting yourself business and personal goals. If you have nothing to aim for you will never achieve your target! Where do you want to be in one month’s time, where do you want your company to be in one year’s time?
Set stage goals for you, your company, your employees, your finances and your success. Follow your progress closely, keep one eye on your goals and you will never fail to succeed.
4) Sure Up Support and Understanding
“Getting things accomplished isn’t nearly as important as taking time for love.” – Janette Oke
No man is an island therefore your hopes, dreams, ambitions and goals should be shared with your loved ones and they need to give you the support and understanding required for success.
Starting a business is always challenging, it is at times stressful and it can take up a very large part of your life. If you explain what you’re doing and why you’re doing it to your loved ones they will give you the time, love and support you need to succeed.
At the same time it is critical that you do not lose your perspective and fail to take the time necessary to love and care for your family. All too often you hear tired and stressed out businessmen and women complaining of a lack of spousal understanding, whining that they are working so hard directly for the benefit of said spouse – this creates disharmony and acrimony on both sides – what a waste of a great life!
Get everything in perspective and keep everything in perspective at all times, and bring your family and friends on board for guaranteed success.
5) Protect What’s Important
“Happy is the man who can endure the highest and lowest fortune. He who has endured such vicissitudes with equanimity has deprived misfortune of its power.” – Seneca
To further deprive misfortune of its power you can put in place various insurance policies to protect yourself, your family, your current situation and your business from undue risk. Because there are no two ways about it, starting out on your own is a risky business – focus on the success of your business and follow these six steps and you will achieve all you want to. And in the interim protect what’s important to you – for example, think long and hard before mortgaging your family home to fund your company! Get business and personal indemnity insurance in place, make sure health and life insurance policies are in place protecting you, your family and any key employees.
But – don’t get hung up on this point because worrying unduly about risk will blinker your vision. Deal with this point and move on!
6) Face The Enemy – Deal Directly With Accountants & Lawyers
“Money is plentiful for those who understand the simple laws which govern its acquisition.” – George Clason
Every single business has to act within the laws of the countries it operates in and deals with and every single business has certain reporting and taxation requirements. These are definite hurdles designed to restrict the visionary, but they are necessary hurdles to protect a company’s consumers, a business’ partners and a country’s economy.
Take the time to establish a good working relationship with your company’s accountant and lawyer. Make sure your company is properly structured from the start and that you fully understand and adhere to taxation and reporting deadlines and rules.
Know what is expected of you, understand why it’s important to follow the rules and structures that have been put in place and have a system to deal with tax returns, pay runs, company disclosure and contract negotiations and remember: -
“Taxes are not good things, but if you want services, somebody’s got to pay for them so they’re a necessary evil.” – Michael Bloomberg
Use these six steps as the guide towards your business success and always strive to keep your vision alive because “vision is perhaps our greatest strength…it has kept us alive to the power and continuity of thought through the centuries, it makes us peer into the future and lends shape to the unknown.” – Li Ka Shing
About the author:
Rhiannon Williamson is the co-creator of Shelter Offshore – an innovative and exciting company which is specialist in international real estate, the offshore financial world and starting a brand new life or business overseas for expatriates, international investors and anyone dreaming of escaping the rat race and living an unrestricted life to the full.