At any time of businesses life there are several fundamental principle that must be adhered to in order to succeed. Whether you are a start up working from your kitchen or preparing to bring your company public, you must make strategic and intelligent use of your resources, have a solid well thought out plan and put on a happy face!
And why not be happy! You are taking your business to next level, and that positive attitude is contagious. No one likes to give their money to sob story; so unless you’re starting a charity or working a crowd for change, sing the blues elsewhere. Speaking, acting, looking and being positive is attractive to everyone, from your first client, to investment banks. People want to work with and for people that have a positive attitude. Tell yourself “I’m a people person” and tell someone else in a casual conversation, even if it not really true, at least you will appear to have a sense of humor. If you are a cold heart-ed jerk, you’ll never be able to develop and maintain the necessary relationships to bring your business to next level.
Know your resources. Anything or anyone that can be helpful in anyway should be welcomed. Utilizing your resources must become a regular practice. If you are a chamber of commerce member for instance, go to their meetings and ask for introductions. Ask the salespeople for their opinions. This is a commonly overlooked resource, but a “good” salesperson should be happy to point you in the right direction. Plus they probably know a great deal about your competition. So next time you have someone asking for twenty minutes of your time…give it to them! Another great resource are the folks at town hall. Pick their brains about what they think of your business. They should know everything that is going on town, and any information that could affect your business. And many cities have grants available for certain kinds of local businesses too. The folks at town hall will know best, what the town initiatives are. And of course the internet is a well of resources. Don’t overwhelm your self though. For basic research and demographic info The Connecticut Economic Resource Center (cerc.org) is fantastic! Another must are Google’s keyword and insight tools. If you don’t have a Google account, make one, NOW! And of course the state of Connecticut’s website (https://portal.ct.gov/Services/Business) has a plethora of information, you’ll find lots of help there plus everything your business needs to operate legally in the state of Connecticut.
Having access to and utilizing your resources will be instrumental in developing, executing and adapting your plan. Plans are important, obviously, and having your plan written out is essential. Having it “all in your head” is not a plan, and you won’t have any plan until its on paper. The plan holds you and your business accountable and will be more than your roadmap. You won’t know how to get “there” if you don’t know where there is, and having a solid plan will always give you a point of reference for your business. Aside from your business plan you’ll need a personal plan too. Schedule time to work on your business, if from 6:30 to 7:00 every Wednesday is when you do your administrative duties, stick to it. Don’t do anything but that task, and when time is up, stop and move on to your next task. There is always something to do when starting or running your business. Make a schedule that works for you and appropriately gives every task the attention it deserves.
Each of these are interconnected; Knowing your getting things done will greatly reduce stress and improve your attitude. Having and showing a positive attitude will keep doors open for you. And learning from your business peers and local resources will help adapt or reinforce your plan. Make these three principles the pillars of your successful Connecticut business!