The Pillars of a Successful small business.
3 Minute Read
Several fundamental principles must be followed to succeed at any time in a business's life. 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 maintain a positive attitude!
And why not be positive! You are taking your business to the next level, and that positive attitude is contagious. No one likes to give their money to sob stories, so unless you're starting a charity or working a crowd for a 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 is not true, at least you will appear to have a sense of humor. If you are a cold-hearted jerk, you'll never be able to develop and maintain the necessary relationships to bring your business to the next level.
Know your resources. Welcome with open arms to anything or anyone that can be helpful in any way. Utilizing your resources must become a regular practice. For instance, if you are a chamber of commerce member, go to their meetings and ask for introductions. Ask the salespeople for their opinions. It 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 is the folks at the town hall. Pick their brains about what they think of your business. They should know everything going on in town and any information that could affect your business. And many cities have grants available for certain kinds of local companies too. The folks at the 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. The Connecticut Economic Resource Center (Advance CT ) is fantastic for primary research and demographic info! Another must is 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. Obviously, plans are essential, and having your project written out is critical. Having it "all in your head" is not a plan, and you won't have any plan until it's on paper. The plan holds you and your business account 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 reference point for your business. Aside from your business plan, you'll need a personal plan too. Schedule time to work on your business; if you do your administrative duties from 6:30 to 7:00 every Wednesday, stick to it. Don't do anything but that task; when time is up, stop moving 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 job the attention it deserves.
Each of these is interconnected; Knowing that getting things done will significantly 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!