In March 2014, I started my first business. It was a tiny freelance business which offered graphic designing services to local businesses in Mumbai.
The freelance business is a funny thing if don’t do it the right way. In my case, I had no idea what I was doing and where I was going.
I was self-employed for a few days and then unemployed for many days after that.
One fine day I realized that I wasn’t moving forward.
The “thing” which I used to call a business was actually a trap. It was this cycle of few days of self-employment and many days of unemployment.
Very often many new business owners find themselves trapped in a situation like this. They get stuck in the self-employment and unemployment cycle and don’t realize it until its too late.
If you are stuck in a similar situation this blog post is for you. It will help you determine the corrective measures you need to take. So that you can start growing your business and start moving forward every day.
The key to building a remarkable business is to start it with a clear end result in mind.
Do you want a business that can fit your ideal lifestyle & create passive income? Do you want a business that will allow you to travel the world?
Define where you want your business to go. Then create a plan to get there. Everything works better when you focus on the end result.
What would your financial results for the next quarter look like? How big will your business be after 5 years?
Write down a simple 1-page plan. It’s ok if you don’t have a clear plan yet. Having a rough plan is better than not having a plan.
Without further ado, here are some tips to start and grow a remarkable small business
- Set massive goals – daily goals, monthly, quarterly, yearly, 3 years, 5 years, 10 year and life goals. It’s a matter of time before your goals become your reality. Always start with life goals first and then decide what you need to to do daily to move one step closer.
- Create a mission statement.
- Create a plan to achieve your goals, also create a ‘To Do List’ and ‘Not To Do List’. It is easy to get overwhelmed by looking at your goal and mission statement. A daily To Do List will help you stop worrying and start doing something that will get you results.
- Create business strategies for marketing and growth. Life and business never work out the way you plan. If something isn’t working change your strategy, but don’t ever change your goals. Remember if a business stops growing, it starts dying.
- Define what challenges you are going to solve for your customers. If you don’t know their challenges yet, pick up the phone and ASK them what you can do to make their lives a little better.
- Talk to your customers to create a detailed ‘Customer Expectations Document’. You cannot exceed your customers’ expectations if you don’t know what they want.
- Talk to people who have already done what you intend to do in your business. If they are not accessible, read their blog, books, listen to their podcasts, see some videos on YouTube. Learn everything you can and apply everything you learn. This will give you a clear picture of why they did it and how they got where they are right now
- Love what you do. Create a business that you really care about. A business should always enrich your life not drain all your energy.
- No paying customer means no business. If you don’t have any customers yet, find out if you are doing something no body cares about. Is it a labor of love?
- Stop doing things that don’t matter.
- Start investing in yourself. Spend some time to improve your inner world. A person who conquers his mind can conquer the world
- Only work with those customers that are a great fit for your company. This benefits both your customers and your team. Set clear expectations and ensure that they are getting met.
- Simplify the process to make it easier for people to do business with you. Can you explain what you do in simple statements to your team and to your customers? If not then, you have got some serious work to do. Work on your business to simplify everything from customer acquisition to order fulfillment.
- Know what you are actually selling. Don’t sell a commodity. For example in India, Cadbury doesn’t sell Milk Chocolate. It sells “Let’s have something sweet” (Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye) and “Auspicious beginning” (Shubh Aarambh). Because that’s what we Indians say all the time when we celebrate special moments. What is your tagline?
- Make your website work for you. Your website is the most important member of your team. Make it work day and night for you. Simplify your business with the help of your website. Get a website and optimize it to make sales on your behalf. A good website can truly make your life stress free.
- Start assembling your dream team. Your dream team will help you achieve your vision and mission. It consists of people in your mastermind group, your mentors, your business partners. Those who inspire you to push your limits, raise your standards and encourage you to go after your goals.
- Never let the things that matter the most at the mercy of things which matter very little. Things like finding new customers and simplifying your business. These are the things that are important but not urgent and should be on the top of your ‘To Do List’. Do these tasks first and then move on to the other tasks.
- Work 8 hours, especially if you are a solopreneur who is just starting out. Work for 8 hours straight and get some serious shit done. Accountability is very important in every business whether it is big or small. Get into the habit of filling a time sheet at the end of the day, even if you don’t have any client work. Skip this exercise and you will lose track of everything. Time flies fast and you can’t afford to waste it.
- Get an accountability partner. Once you set your goals and decide to chase them down, you will start getting obstacles in your way. And the biggest obstacle standing between you and your goals will be YOU. You start doubting yourself on your way to success and freedom. You might give up and settle for staying ordinary like everybody else. You need someone who will hold you accountable. When you start procrastinating, your accountability partner will save you from yourself.
- Are you worried and need help to get started on the right track? I am always happy to help. Send me a message using the contact form on this page.
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Did I miss any thing? Let me know in the comments below.