Entrepreneurs face many challenges, including maintaining passion and enthusiasm for their business. It is a fact, however, that entrepreneurs and small businesses are essential to a sustainable economy. But is this enough to keep the passion alive and encourage others? It is unlikely that it is. With 2014 already underway, now is the time to make sure you’re on track and keep your passion alive.
How does an entrepreneur maintain their PASSION as a small business owner?
P – Plan and Position
Michael E. Gerber’s book, The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What You Can Do About It, is an excellent resource for helping you re-evaluate the plan. Gerber argues that every person who starts a business is three people: The Entrepreneur, the Manager, and The Technician. Gerber helps small business owners understand their roles and why each is important for the organization’s success. The visionary is the entrepreneur, while the manager plans and manages the details. The technician does the actual work. Are you maximizing each role in your infrastructure? Is there any area that can be outsourced or delegated?
If you don’t have one, now is the time to create one. A concise plan for the year should be included in a one-page business plan. It will help guide your business to success, one quarter at a time if done correctly. It will help you to be clear about your monthly, weekly, and daily tasks. Each quarter should have its own themes and marketing strategies. Remember that marketing strategies can take time and should be reviewed on a quarterly basis. Make sure you are clear about what you expect and that systems are in place to ensure consistent follow-up and follow-through. A robust infrastructure is also essential to ensure the success of your plan’s sales and marketing efforts.
A – Attitude
Charles R. Swindoll stated, “The more I live, I see the effect of attitude on my life.” Attitude is more important than facts. We cannot change our past, but we can change the fact that people will behave in a particular manner. The inevitable is unchangeable. We can only change the inevitable. Life is 90% what happens to you and 10% how you react to it. It is the same with you; we are responsible for our attitudes. How do you view your clients and your business? Is it time to face reality? If so, it is now. Even if you think it is a waste of your time, find the meaning in every opportunity. However, be careful about how you spend your time. You can embrace change and have a positive attitude. Also, be aware of your influencers. It is said that you will be like those you surround yourself with the most. A positive attitude can make all the difference between gaining trust and confidence from a client and losing business due to a negative attitude. Bad experiences are more widely shared than those with positive ones.
S – Sound Strategies and Scalable Solutions
Sound strategies build a solid foundation. Michael E. Gerber, the author of the book, stresses the importance for a business to implement the following strategies: Organizational and Management, People, Marketing, Systems. This is the right time to make sure your business has these strategies. It is also essential to ensure that your business maximizes the talents of your employees and invests time and money in cost-effective resources.
Another critical area is the development of scalable solutions. Scalable solutions can be systems that can expand as your business grows. If you decide to invest in software, make sure it can handle more functions as your company grows. This is a good idea to remember when you’re developing or reevaluating your business model, systems, and solutions for business challenges. This is a cost-saving measure that ensures systems can be replicated on a larger scale and can be used for multiple purposes.
S – Success-Driven Mindset
A success-driven entrepreneur is one who makes solid decisions and takes action every day. This is crucial to the company’s success. To be successful, you must prioritize and have a strong work ethic. This requires you to do the most important thing right now and find the opportunity in every challenge. An entrepreneur with a success-driven mindset will also continue to learn in their industry or profession.
I – Inspect and Expect
The one-page business plan is essential to keep entrepreneurs focused on activities that directly impact their bottom line. Although many business plans exist, the most effective plans are those that are implemented. Grab your 100-page business plan and make a one-page action plan. This will allow you to see what you are expecting. These are some categories you might consider (bullet point as much as possible).
Total Yearly Budget
With a concise explanation, Income Projection
With a concise explanation, cost projection
The business model with income streams (products and services, etc.
Plan for Key Performance Indicators
Future Income Streams
Personal Growth Goals (skills or credentials that you wish to enhance).
It doesn’t matter if you are changing a system or implementing a new one. Regular inspections are vital to ensure that the system is working correctly. It is also essential to monitor and ensure that you have the correct people to do the job and the infrastructure in place to accomplish the goals.
O – Overdeliver or Underpromise
Your pipeline will be filled with exceptional customer service. Word of mouth is the fastest way to spread word of mouth. This is because word of mouth is free. You are showing your customers that you value their business by providing exceptional customer service. Customer service should make customers feel special and go above and beyond to satisfy their needs. A great customer service experience is a powerful sales tool, but it is often neglected and underutilized. Neglecting to take customer service seriously can lead to word-of-mouth being your most significant liability. You should also avoid making promises that you cannot keep. Communication is essential if the service or product you ordered cannot be delivered on time agreed upon.
N – Network with Impact
It is not about what you can do for someone, but how much value you can add to them. When networking or building relationships, it is essential to be responsible for the time and money you invest. You should look for organizations that can help you build mutually beneficial relationships and collaborative partnerships, as well as strategic alliances. Because networking is a necessary discipline and marketing strategy, make sure to include it in your 1-page business plan.
What is the next step after you have identified your network? Prior to the event, determine what you want to achieve. Make sure that your business card and elevator speech clearly convey your value, your uniqueness, and the problem you solve. Ask your contacts how they can help you, and be specific about what you need. Record the date and whereabouts of your meeting with the person. You should follow up with the individual within 24 hours. It takes time to build a new relationship, and constant communication is crucial.
An old Chinese proverb says that “When you hear something, it will be forgotten; when you see it, it will stay with you; but only after you have done it will you truly understand it.” You will retain your passion for your business and make a difference in the lives of others and the world if you focus on the positives and not on the problems.