Let’s face it….becoming an entrepreneur is a process. Very few entrepreneurs succeed in their first business ventures; quite often it is a learning journey filled with mistakes, corrections, and over time, long-term success. Over 830 of the world’s self-proclaimed billionaires made their money through the formation of multiple businesses, and even they were not immune to suffering the pitfalls and perils of the economy.
Many business owners begin their entrepreneurial journey with stars in their eyes and dreams of big profits. Too often, when faced with adversity and the challenges that come with running a business, balancing the books, and keeping customers happy, the many responsibilities become too much to bear, and something ends up falling by the wayside. This upsets the delicate balance that must be present for business success, and at that point, a critical question must be asked before moving forward:
What the *&%*^#@*& Do I Do Now?
Some things must be done to ensure the survival of your business and weather some of the periods of time where nothing seems to be happening. Do yourself a favor--don’t panic! People in panic or emotional distress tend to make rash decisions, and it is even more critical for you to be able to think logically and make informed, educated choices that will positively impact your business. Focus on thinking long-term rather than looking at your turbulent present, and you will be able to proactively plan for better times.
Create some social media systems. If you were born after 1995, it’s no doubt that you are pretty internet savvy and well acquainted with social media platforms and how they are used. Those of you born before 1995, buckle up; it’s going to be a steep learning curve! Do you realize the impact social media will have on your business though? Diversify your postings, your content offerings, and run special promotions that drive traffic to your site. After all, you ultimately want a new customer out of the deal, don’t you? Consider automating some of these systems, so you don’t have to spend your Friday nights posting listing after listing and answering inquiries into the wee hours of the morning. Invest in a marketing partner, such as a web marketing specialty company, to do some of the heavy lifting for you as they develop and list your postings. As you focus on customer satisfaction and order fulfillment; the benefits will far outweigh any upfront cost that you may incur.
Create an email autoresponder. Seasoned business owners will say that your income grows as your email list grows. More names on your email list translates to more potential customers, and more potential customers will eventually result in more sales. Work on expanding that list, and prepare to focus on order fulfillment as the business starts rolling in.
Educate yourself! There is an excellent time to hone your skills and learn more about operating your business than when you have some “down” time. Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, regularly toted the importance of investing in one’s education for the purpose of personal advancement. Find business mentors, and have conversations with other small business owners that you consider to be successful. Find out what these prosperous people do, and emulate it as you restructure your own business. Assess your areas of weakness, and seek to improve those weaknesses as you play up your strengths. Surround yourself with supportive people whose skills complement your own, and you will have an excellent base for creating success.
Polish up your site. 80 percent of all business transactions today begin with an online search for products and services. If your website is uninteresting, unattractive, and hard to use, consumers will pass right over you and move on to your competition. Troubleshoot and take care of bugs that will slow down your site or cause it to be responsive, as this can be frustrating for customers as well. If you are not experienced in creating the type of website that is optimized for traffic, hire someone that is! Again, the investment that you’ll make up front for this type of service will pay for itself in dividends when your sales start accumulating.
Refuse to quit! The one distinction that all successful entrepreneurs have from all other business owners who failed to transform their ideas into realities is that they refused to quit. Despite repeated failures, they resolved to acknowledge their mistakes, learn from their experiences, and do things differently in order to grow. Thomas Edison, when asked why he “failed so many times” when attempting to create a light bulb, responded by saying to his critics,
“I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that do not work”.
Do you have that kind of resolve? Are you ready to put your nose to the grindstone and make your dreams a reality, no matter what challenges you may face? Are you prepared to acknowledge, learn, and grow from your mistakes? If you can say these things to yourself, then you have the fire and spirit that is found in a successful entrepreneur, and you can be sure that whatever your adversities, you will overcome them. You will see your ideas made tangible; you will be following your heart and your passions while you create your highest vision of life!