(STL.News) While it’s true that there’s no one-size-fits-all rule for running a successful business, there are plenty of guidelines that if observed will increase the likelihood of success for almost any type of venture. Whether you’re an ambitious tech startup with deep-pocket investors excited about your potential, running a small crafts business out of your apartment, or opening up a hardware store in your hometown, the principles below can help you succeed.
Have a Plan
The tech entrepreneur is going to have a far more detailed plan than the home crafting entrepreneur, but every single business person could benefit from writing a plan, either before they get the entire enterprise up and running or as soon as they finish reading this article if they are already in operation. The reason is that a business plan is not just for getting lenders and investors interested. It’s also a way to interrogate your own understanding of how things will run, highlighting the areas where you really haven’t developed the specifics of how you’ll handle things.
For example, have you thoroughly researched your competition and understood what sets you apart from them? Have you thought about how you’ll market yourself? Do you know how you’ll keep yourself afloat financially if things are slow in the early days? Answering these and other questions will leave you better prepared for whatever happens.
Know and Have the Right Tools
A big but common error is not knowing what tools you need to do the job. This is a great reason to network with others in your industry and find out what they are doing. Often, there’s a simple solution to something you’ve been struggling with. If you have a fleet of drivers and you or your customers need to know where they are at any given time, you could use GPS fleet tracking software to track them. This utilizes real-time GPS data and can aid with management for your fleet.
Understand When You Need Help
Even if you’re a sole proprietorship, there are probably going to be times when you need to turn to outside help on an issue, whether that’s consulting an accountant to help you with your taxes, finding ways to organize notes and files, spending an hour with an attorney to make sure your paperwork is in order, or simply talking to people in your field who are more experienced. It’s also important to know when it’s time to hire someone, and even one-person operations might want to take on a virtual assistant for a few hours a week at some point. It can be tough to let go of control when you’re used to running everything yourself, but having the skill to delegate at the right time is an important one.
Conquer Fear of Failure
You might think that success would mean avoiding failure instead of conquering your fear of it, but the truth is that if you look at every successful person, you’ll see plenty of stories of failure in their biography. Getting over your fear of failure means that you’ll take risks, and risks lead to greater successes. You shouldn’t be foolhardy, but you also shouldn’t hesitate to grab at opportunities even if there’s a chance of a setback if things don’t go as planned.