Bookstores and the Internet are full of articles about being a successful entrepreneur. This information is valuable and you should read and be aware of all the opportunities and pitfalls to success. I would like to provide you with nine traits that are important to anyone going into business. This works for either those starting a new business or purchasing a business or franchise.
Do something you know and enjoy People who are successful in business love what they do. It is important that you search for opportunities that fit your life style and passion. A person who loves to wear suits should not decide to purchase a tire center franchise. If you love the outdoors and you fish and hunt, then you should find opportunities that fit that desire.
Plan for the future This may seem simple, but most companies that are very successful have a business plan. The plan can be as short as about ten pages, but you must plan for your success. This could be done by taking a business plan class, conducting research on the Internet, or using business plan software. After the business plan is prepared, you should also consider preparing a sales and marketing plan. It is very important that you plan your business and maintain a roadmap to success.
Put a number to it Do you know your breakeven point? This includes looking at how much startup costs will be required for the enterprise. Will you have the funds to operate the business or will you have to ask for outside help from friends, family, credit cards, or banks. You need to know what will keep your enterprise above water. At this point, you donít need an accountant as much as you need to know how the business will impact your life. This part of your plan can take a lot of time and research, but in the end, you will know if you are doing well. This is the single most important part of your business plan.
Leverage technology As an entrepreneur, you need to appear as professional as possible. Today, you have so many ways to connect to your customers. Email, text, website, and social media are some of the best methods to connect to your potential customers. Of course, face to face is still a very popular method with successful entrepreneurs. Software packages and online ďcloudĒ applications are available for correspondence, reports and brochures. Cloud applications are becoming the applications of choice for small business.
Organize yourself It is very difficult to make money if you are not organized. You need to get multi-items completed at the same time. You need to maintain an appointment book, a to-do list, and a system to utilize all of these processes. If you have a system, you can prioritize your business and goals for each day, week, month, and year. You should use one calendar and a to-do list to manage both business and personal goals. You can leverage technology by using applications like Google apps to manage this process. Cloud apps provide you with a way to connect your computer and cell phone, making you more productive.
Know your customers You should utilize a customer relationships management system (CRM) to stay in touch with your customers. Most business is done with people who know you and consider you a value-added business. Give your customers the care they need and get to know each of them. A CRM system will provide you with a way to stay in contact. A CRM system can be as simple as your address book with notes about each customer. You can utilize more complex and expensive systems, but the major issue is to stay in contact with your customers. Most business is from repeat customers and not new customers.
Ask for the business One of the major mistakes of new businesses and new entrepreneurs is that they donít ask for the business. If you give the best presentation in the world and you donít ask for the business, you will not be in business very long. Being the expert and a very well-known business in the field will not increase your bottom line without closing the deal.
Exercise This may be something most entrepreneurs donít think about, but you need to be in great shape. You need to eat right and exercise. As an entrepreneur, you will work very long hours at times. Ten to twelve hour days are not uncommon. To be successful, you will need to take time out for yourself. This means taking an hour to exercise. You canít run your business if you are sick. As you plan and organize your business, you need to also plan your meals. Eat healthy and stay fit.
Promote yourself This may seem simple, but you need to be known. You need to let people know you are out there and available. It should go without saying that you need business cards and a website. This is the minimum amount of promotion needed by your company. Social media has made self-promotion even more available to the average entrepreneur. You should have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube account. They all have different methods to connect you to potential customers. It is important that you review each platform for its benefits and pitfalls. Now go out there and be successful!
Lester O Hunter
Mr Hunter, a licensed commercial insurance agent, is president of the Olan Group. Olan Group is located in Dallas, Texas.
Lester is an experienced adjunct instructor and seminar leader in surety bonds and insurance. He has also taught classes in business management, marketing, and general business. Mr Hunter’s experience includes leadership in the operation of support functions including financial and statistical analysis, evaluation, and implementation of budgets and accounting, program accountability, and risk management. Other experience included developing internal controls for information systems and preparing business, marketing, and strategic plans.
Mr Hunter’s education includes an M.B.A. degree from Texas A&M University and a B.B.A. degree from Baylor University. He is also Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certified and a licensed insurance claims adjuster.