Everyone’s looking for the alchemical formula that turns one person with a dream into a successful small business owner. Bad news, friends: It doesn’t exist.
Instead of searching for a quick way to turn you into the kind of winner that we all aspire to be, you’re going to have to put in the work and travel the long road to become a successful small business. It’s not easy, but it’s very much worth it to have that kind of business success.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t a path to success. While yours may vary significantly from the list I’m about to lay down, I like to think that these five steps are a great, simple rubric to follow.
- Create a plan. We’ve talked about this a lot recently. You don’t need a super-detailed plan, but have some idea of what you want your business to be and how you’re going to get there.
- Have a solid foundation. Do you have your finances in order? Do you have employee criteria and the like ready to go? If you have something to build off of, you’ll be in great shape, particularly if you can be patient.
- Constantly look for new opportunities. Don’t go completely off the reservation and start selling pizzas at your bicycle shop, but look for ways you can expand or add new products. Nothing stays fresh forever, particularly in today’s world of proliferating products. Rieva at Small Business Trends had a great take on this recently.
- Be a part of your community. Do you know your customers? Do you help out with local charities? If you don’t, do so to raise your profile in the community. Your long-term goal should be to become an institution locally.
- Don’t outgrow your roots. You want to come up with new ideas and continue to develop, but unless the opportunity is perfect, don’t try to turn your small business into a worldwide conglomerate overnight. Stick with steady, measured growth, and your long-term outlook will be bright.
What do you think of this steps, and what would you add to them?
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