Startup Businesses - January 14, 2012
It is a well-known fact that starting a business from the ground up is very time consuming. There aren't many stories of entrepreneurs launching a new company by putting in a few hours a week on the venture. Building a business from scratch requires hard work, determination and energy. Business builders must be available to handle any obstacles or disruptions that occur along the way at any time of day, as well as be willing to put in long hours to get the company off the ground and into the eyesight of customers and investors all over the world. Without the determination to go the extra mile and get their hands dirty from the start, many entrepreneurs may not see a business idea get much further than the drawing board.
Entrepreneurs are usually equipped with character traits that make them naturally able to work hard and stay focused for prolonged periods of time when working on projects they are passionate about. Understanding they have the ability and desire to stay actively involved in the company's development, entrepreneurs must learn how to leverage this energy and determination into productive activities. If an entrepreneur does not understand what needs to be done at an any given time, he or she may end up spending valuable time and energy on less important tasks rather than addressing vital components to the business' development.
Entrepreneurs must be able to prioritize tasks from the start of a business venture to launching into new markets. Small businesses have limited resources available and must be careful not to spread manpower or materials too thin. Pushing a company beyond its limits too soon can bring about an early demise before the concept had a real chance to make a difference in a market. If priorities are not set early, business builders can take a wrong move from the onset and wind up unprepared for the company's launch.
Entrepreneurs are tasked with devising a strategy on how to build the company one step at a time. Business builders must create a set of goals to achieve throughout development. Each milestone will require certain tasks and growth that will help secure a strong foundation to support long-term sustainability. Entrepreneurs must be careful when prioritizing tasks, making sure the most important requirements are met before moving on to the next order of business. Not only should the list of jobs be thorough and comprehensive, but each task or set of tasks should be completed before moving on to the next portion of the list. Many entrepreneurs are so eager to launch the company and start marketing to consumers that they gloss over important initial steps that are needed before the creative side can be developed. Not taking the time to fully complete jobs such as drafting a business plan, collecting funding and securing adequate resources can result in early setbacks that may d erail or completely halt business growth.
After entrepreneurs understand what order tasks should be completed in, they can start channeling the pent-up energy, ambition and excitement for the company and get to work. Many entrepreneurs are able to focus on important tasks for hours on end, driven by the understanding that they must accomplished before more creative or innovative jobs can be tackled. Others, however, may struggle to patiently work through tedious tasks before getting deeper into the business concept. For those entrepreneurs, it is a good idea to find ways to stay motivated, as business builders are the main source of inspiration and perseverance in a startup for other employees. Business builders can have short-term goals they set for themselves while tackling large, early priorities. Accomplishing each goal provides continual sources of satisfaction that will encourage teams to keep pushing forward while building momentum. Business builders can also set aside a certain amount of time each day towa rd more creative projects to let off some steam and collect ideas for campaigns once the company takes off.
Another way to stay motivated while working through the less than compelling tasks of building a business is to speak with mentors who have been through the process before and may have valuable advice. Entrepreneurs, whether they succeed or not, learn valuable lessons from the experience that equip them to take on more advanced tasks in the future or launch other companies from scratch. Tapping into the insights a seasoned entrepreneur has gained from his or her own past can give a business builder some ideas for how to weather through the challenging tasks and what obstacles to expect along the way.
The more prepared an entrepreneur is for any roadblocks or mishaps that may arise, the easier it will be to maneuver around them and press forward. But as with any preparation for the future, it is still important to remain flexible and adaptive to swift changes in plans. After prioritizing tasks and making a strong schedule for how best to start compiling the business, entrepreneurs should also leave wiggle room and backup solutions for the unexpected occurrences along the way. Sudden changes in consumer demand, a delayed delivery or natural disaster are all examples of twists and turns that not only challenge a burgeoning business but potentially end a venture before it takes off. Setting aside extra funds, emergency resources, additional time or copies of important information can help a young business weather a plethora of surprises to help it stay on schedule without suffering too serious of setbacks that it cannot recover from.
After a young business has been growing and developing for a certain period of time, entrepreneurs may experience a lull in forward movement. There is often a gap between certain milestones that prevent the next priority from being tackled until an external condition changes. While waiting for certain factors to evolve in order to press forward with the schedule, entrepreneurs must be able to stay in business without stepping outside the list of priorities and taking on new challenges too soon. A lull in business activity and growth can lead many entrepreneurs to skip over a few items on the to-do list and jump to a task months down the road. Because most tasks require certain milestones to be reached before they should be taken on, starting a new project too soon can be a waste of time and potentially set back business evolution.
Therefore, entrepreneurs should take advantage of the business lull to increase intellectual capital that will aid in development and expansion in the future. Take some time to attend a workshop to brush up on certain skills that are lacking, such as financial knowledge or customer relationship management best practices. Most entrepreneurs are not experts in all areas of business development, leaving ample opportunities for growth and continued learning. Any lull in business activity should be embraced and optimized to improve a business' chance for success by expanding the expertise of the founder or staff. Similarly, a lull can also present an opportunity to review goals and clarify future plans with the team to ensure everyone is updated to achieve optimal results.
The break in the action will give business leaders time to answer any questions staff may have or address concerns among the ranks that may pose problems when workload increases in the near future. Creating open communication channels with staff is a vital component to any young business, allowing issues to be confronted outright rather than during an already stressful situation. If employees feel comfortable talking to entrepreneurs about the business strategy and the list of priorities, they will be more likely to open up and ask questions. Entrepreneurs must encourage these discussions as often as possible, making sure all workers are comfortable in their role and know how to move the company forward in their own way.