Chapter 3: Starting Your Dream Business
Once you have determined that you have the necessary traits, skills and passion to become an entrepreneur, the next step will be to start up your dream business.
Getting started with your dream business may be the easiest part of the process or it may be the hardest. It really depends on your specific situation. Some would-be entrepreneurs are raring to get started, while others are bogged down with doubts and procrastination.
3- Avoid coming up with excuses why you shouldn’t start your own business.
Once you have made the important decision that yes you want to become an entrepreneur, skip the excuses and start the process.
4- Avoid the quicksand that is known as procrastination.
Putting off the process of starting your business for any reason can lead to getting stuck in the mud. Avoid the process of procrastination at all costs.
5- Do whatever it takes to motivate yourself to get started.
Doubt, fear, worry and a lack of purpose can all end up preventing you from getting your dreams going. Focus on why you want to become an entrepreneur (your passion) and use that to motivate yourself into taking those first few steps. The first couple of steps are the most important ones.
6- Develop core beliefs.
Now is the time to develop your business’s core beliefs. This will help you to create the right kind of company, one that matches your passion and motivates you to always move forward. Your business’s core beliefs will be a major building block of it, so make sure that these beliefs are worthy. They will also determine how you proceed to make decisions in the future and which direction the business takes your life.
Making the Shift from Employee to Boss
Running your own business takes leadership. For many new entrepreneurs it can be difficult to make the switch from employee to manager or boss. There are ways that you can prepare yourself for this transition. For people who have built-in leadership skills this transition may be easier, but anyone with the proper drive and motivation can develop leadership skills.
7- Learn how to listen.
A good boss knows how to listen to their employees and how to recognize good ideas. For a lot of people the concept of being a good listener is hard to contemplate. Learning how to listen probably represents one of the most difficult aspects of turning yourself into a good boss.
8- Invite creative thinking.
Another trait of a good boss is the ability to invite others to share their ideas with you. You will want to create an atmosphere where your employees will want to share their ideas with you on a regular basis. Great ideas drive businesses forward.
9- Learn to delegate.
Maintaining control of a company can also mean delegating certain responsibilities to others and good bosses know how to do so successfully.
10- Take downtime to reflect.
The responsibility of an employee to learn from their mistakes is not as great as the responsibility of the boss to do so. It is important for any boss to take the appropriate amount of time to stop, think and reflect upon what they have learned. Only through reflection can you truly learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them in the future.
11- Expect respect.
Bosses require respect. When making the transition from employee to boss it is important to expect respect from your subordinates.
12- Earn respect.
While you should be prepared to expect respect from your employees, it is also vital that you be prepared to earn this respect. This is accomplished through honesty, fairness and by giving respect.
Keeping Your Options Open
Starting up a new business requires detailed planning. This means creating various options for how you are going to run your business and then choosing which of these options is the best choice for your business. It is important to keep your options open throughout the start-up process and even through the day to day operations of your business in order to create a resilient and successful business.
13- Run a lot of forecasts.
It is always a good idea to run through a series of forecasts for your business. Run through the various ‘business as usual’ forecasts, then add in other scenarios. This will allow you to better forecast your business’s future and create different options for dealing with these options. This is especially true for starting up a business.
14- Gather real market information.
Very few businesses actually end up following their business plans. Plans change all of the time. The best way to create a valuable and functional business plan is to ensure that you create it using real market information.
15- Understand your market.
Gathering real market information for your business’s plan means understanding your business’s trends, customers, competitors and various marketing conditions. This kind of information can only be gathered through detailed research.
16- Plan for failure.
Things will not always go well in your business. Keeping your business options open means understanding this fact and making plans for dealing with failures in advance.
17- Deal with what you can control and let the rest go.
While you are making plans for dealing with failures along the way make sure that you are focusing on dealing with only the things that you can control. Constantly obsessing over the things you will not be able to control or attempting to figure out how to control things you simply cannot will get you nowhere.
18- Set realistic goals.
Business planning is all about setting up goals and then striving to achieve them. Just make sure that the goals you are setting up for your new business are actually achievable so that you are not setting your business up for failure.
19- Remember your dreams but plan for goals.
Dreams are what you want to accomplish with your business but goals are how you will actually go about accomplishing things. Plan for specific goals as a smaller part of accomplishing your dreams.
Choosing a Business Role That Fits Your Personality
Obviously as an entrepreneur your primary business role will be as boss. But this is not the most practical way to plan what you will be doing for the company on a day to day basis. Odds are your company will be more successful if you are able to create a niche for yourself within the company that fits your specific personality.
20- Determine your strengths and make them your business role.
If you are more confident in one aspect of the business, say selling your ideas to other people, then that is the best way for you to place yourself into the business. Always play to your strengths. Avoid being in charge of selling the company’s ideas to others if you are a horrible salesperson.
21- Avoid doing it all.
Very few successful entrepreneurs do it all themselves. Part of being a great business creator is sharing the load in the most effective manner. This will be the reason why you will hire competent and useful people.
Bringing in Professionals
Since you won’t be able to do everything required to create a successful business yourself you will have to bring in others. Who you choose to help you operate your company will go a long way towards determining how successful it will be. One of the most important tasks for any entrepreneur to master is the art of hiring the right professionals for the job. You simply cannot afford to lose time, money and results by hiring the wrong people.
22- View your employees as investments.
Each and every one of your new employees is an investment in your company. On average, the cost of hiring a bad employee for a company is between $25000 and $50,000 a year. Add in training and finding new employees and you can see just how important it is to ensure that you get the proper return on your employee investments.
23- Hire slow but fire fast.
It is important to take your time and do the right research when it comes to going through the process of hiring an employee. This helps to ensure that you hire the right person for the job. But be ready to get rid of that person as quickly as possible if they aren’t working out. Remember that employees are investments and you want to drop bad investments as soon as possible.
24- Look for competency.
Valuable employees are competent people. They have the skills, education and experience to get the job done. Figure out what skills you need and hire only professionals who can prove they have the competency to perform those skills.
25- Check for compatibility.
A good employee can not only do their job properly, they can also fit into your work environment. You will want to find professionals that are compatible with your business, its goals and its ethics. You also want to hire people who will get along with your employees and customers.
26- Gauge commitment.
Turning a startup into a successful business requires tons of commitment, from both you and your employees. The right employee is serious about helping the company succeed and has the commitment to see it through. One way to gauge a potential employee’s commitment level is to look through their work history.
27- Choose capable people.
When looking for a new employee you will want to find out if the person is indeed capable of performing their tasks and if they are likely to go beyond
their required functions. A capable employee will grow with the company and take on new responsibilities as they become necessary.
28- Choose people that fit into your company’s culture.
Every company has its own distinct culture. This refers to how people communicate with one another, the different expectations they have regarding daily work and the various policies of the company. Employees that don’t fit into this culture can often cause problems and diminish efficiency. Therefore, it is always a good idea to hire people that will fit well into the culture of your company.
29- Plan to compensate appropriately.
It is extremely important for an employee to feel appreciated and appropriately compensated. If they feel like they are not being paid what they are worth they will probably under perform at their job. Plan to compensate new employees according to what they are worth and ensure that the new employee is truly satisfied with what you are willing to offer them.
30- Speak with former co-workers.
Every candidate will provide you with references, but odds are these references are going to provide only positive answers to your questions. You may have to dig a little deeper to discover the real facts about a potential employee. Therefore, it is always a good idea to speak with the candidate’s former co-workers, including their past bosses.