Do you remember what it felt like when your first and greatest business idea hit you? I do!
The second it hits, you start a running list of things you need to do, or need to work on.
You create a grand vision for what you want the business to look like, and who you might be able to reach out to for help with your endeavor, you talk about the idea with anyone who will listen, and your excitement is contagious.
When it comes time to get started, you want to go big (or go home – as the saying goes), but you quickly realize that starting small, might actually be the KEY to taking your business further (even if it does take a little more time).
The Slower You Grow
Trust me, I get it, you want your business to be an immediate success, but that usually doesn’t happen, and by going slower, you are protecting yourself from the fallout that can occur by growing too fast, too soon (likely before you’re ready).
My guest on Success Unfiltered, Kris Buchanan, who has a majorly successful business, shared a pretty big insight. She said, that had she known more about sales and marketing, and who her target audience was, she would have been able to keep her focus there, and grown her business more easily.
Keeping her focus zero’d into ONE area would have led to fewer wasted resources.
Many new business owners cannot afford to grow faster. Growing faster does not equal more income, it equals more output of money, so you have to be able to grow slow and prove your concept. You want to have a success story to share, when you head into your first round of funding.
“Growing fast doesn’t work unless you have five to ten million dollars to spend.”
Let me make one other point, I’m going to guess that you probably don’t want to grow at a snail’s pace, either. It’s likely that you got into business to create a life that you desire, and having a business in the startup phase for too long won’t get you there.
So, take the time to create an outline of what you want your business to look like, and then dive in. Start taking steps EVERY SINGLE DAY that will move your business forward. They don’t need to be perfect and they won’t all be successful, but take a step. Don’t let fear win!
Bootstrap for as Long as You Can
Curious as to what bootstrap means?
Bootstrapping is using one’s own resources rather than external help.
When you begin taking steps towards your ultimate goals, you’re going to have to do things that you don’t enjoy doing. If you’re starting a product based business, it’s likely that you want to be involved in the creation of that product, but maybe not out looking for funding, for example.
When Kris first started in her business she opened a cafe and created a nutrition bar. She wanted to be involved in the whole process from trying to get it into stores (there’s a great story about her first time working with Whole Foods, in this episode of Success Unfiltered), to creating it. Kris quickly realized that she wasn’t the expert at everything, and that finding the RIGHT manufacturer was necessary.
In the beginning, that’s likely how it will be for you in your business.
You’ll want to be involved in every single step and every single decision. This is important because you get to decide the direction your business heads in, but, not everything will be enjoyable. Try to stick it out, though. Try to bootstrap as long as you can, so that you can continue making money, and actually use it to reinvest in sales and marketing, which will help grow your business.
It may not be glamorous, but it will help get you to your goals faster!
Learn Fast to Grow Faster
Kris told me, that she wishes she had spent more time learning about sales and marketing. She believes that not having a solid understanding of this topic led her to grow too fast and have a larger outpouring of money, which did not immediately lead to more income for her.
Whatever your business idea is, be sure you have a strong knowledge of the business that you want to create. Having this knowledge ahead of time will absolutely lead to your businesses eventual success.
There are loads of book, on all kinds of topics, available for you to read and learn from. There are seminars, conferences and retreats FULL of information that can help you learn fast and implement.
And, an often forgotten possibility is to actually work alongside someone who already has a business similar to the one you want to start. Entrepreneurs often think that working for someone else is beneath them, and forget that some of the best information can come from someone who has been running their business for some time.
Don’t be too proud, if you want real, hands-on knowledge, find someone who is willing to mentor you, or someone who will hire you for what might be considered, an internship.
Never stop learning!
My advice is to find time every single day to read something or watch something that will increase your knowledge, and help you implement a solid strategy in your business.
Once you’ve started your business and begin to see how the day to day operations will go, take note of what is and isn’t working, and then eliminate what isn’t.
Your goal is to grow your business, so focus ONLY on tasks and expenses that take you closer to that goal.
Good luck! I CANNOT wait to see your business grow (slowly)!