Hope springs eternal in the human breast, said English poet and essayist Alexander Pope several centuries ago. He wasn’t describing people expanding or starting a business, but he may as well have been. Everyone who goes into business for themselves hopes to meet or surpass a set of personal goals. While your particular configuration is sure to be unique, perhaps you will agree with some of the ones I have compiled over the years from talking to hundreds of budding entrepreneurs.
In practical terms, that means you must buy only the best goods for your customers. Anything that affects the image your business has in your customer’s mind should be first-rate. It also means that you shouldn’t spend money on things that don’t affect the customer.
For example, unless you’re a real estate broker your customers probably won’t care if you drive an old, beat-up car to an office in a converted broom closet, as long as you provide them an honest product or service for an honest price. Save the nice car and fancy office, until after your business is a success
Here’s a question to ponder: Are you the right person for your business? Because running a business is a very demanding endeavor that can take most of your time and energy, your business probably will suffer if you’re unhappy. Your business can become an albatross around your neck if you don’t have the skills and temperament to run it. Simply put, I’ve learned that no business, whether or not it has sound financial backing, is likely to succeed unless you, as the prospective owner,
Your Strong and Weak Points
Take a few minutes to list your personal and business strengths and weaknesses. Include everything you can think of, even if it doesn’t appear to be related to your business. For instance, your strong points may include the mastery of a hobby, your positive personality traits, your sexual charisma, as well as your specific business skills. Take your time and be generous. To provide you with a little help,
General and Specific Skills Your Business Needs
Businesses need two kinds of skills to survive and prosper: Skills for business in general and skills specific to the particular business. For example, every business needs someone to keep good financial records. On the other hand, the tender touch and manual dexterity needed by glassblowers are not skills needed by the average paving contractor.
Specific Business Goals
Finally, list your specific business goals. Exactly what do you want your business to accomplish for you? Freedom from 9 to 5? Money and if so, how much? More time with the children? Making the world or your little part of it a better place? It’s your wish list, so be specific and enjoy writing it.