Starting a business is exciting and comes with visions of freedom, money, and all the perks of owning a successful business. The excitement propels us into goal setting sessions, online research for blogs and websites platforms, and reading stories of other successful entrepreneurs that started out with the bare bones as we will. These stories tell tales of success and money out there just waiting for us if we would just believe. The reality is, yes the business is out there for the taking, but it will take a lot of hard work and patience to reach the level of freedom, perks and money that we dream and read about. So how do we manage our expectations and display patience as we grow our business?
Look Before You Leap. How do you look before leaping? A business plan! One that lays out your mission, your financial leap required, how you will market the business, future growth, etc. because if you leap before looking to see how you might land, you’ll be bouncing all over the place. Your focus will be off and you will end up trying to sell to everyone when your product or service may better serve a niche market. The business plan will also encourage you to patiently research whether there’s even a need for your offering or if you need to tweak your services for more success. It will also give you an idea of the amount of work you will need to put into starting and growing the business. Looking before leaping will save you from losing money with bad decisions and wasting time on a business that will not succeed because there’s no real groundwork.
Remember Work First, Success Later. Once you have a solid, realistic business plan to build from, make sure you examine your expectations. Most businesses are not financially successful right away. It takes time to build your mailing lists, get exposure, network, and connect via social media and you have to build relationships with people before they will consider purchasing from your business. Accept that more will be required than setting up a website, joining a networking group, or posting and tweeting our way to instant success. We have to patiently put the work into growing the business and its credibility to future customers, and the success will follow.
Work-Life Balance. Being patient as the business grows means it will be very important to practice balance. If you don’t keep yourself balanced, the excitement and work involved with growing a business will affect your family life. You can minimize the impact by setting boundaries in your business and family life. Make sure your family knows when you’ll be working on business tasks and set realistic goals for completing business tasks each day. Your business should also have dedicated office hours – for your clients and yourself so you know there is a beginning and an end to your business day. Accept that there will be times you have to spend away from the business to keep yourself balanced.
Owning your own business can be very rewarding if we are patient, manage our expectations and make a solid effort to balance our work and family life. Be sure to keep your business goals clear, follow your business plan closely, and be willing to do the hard work required. Avoid falling into the trap of creating un-realistic time goals by not allowing enough time for the things you absolutely must accomplish. Most of all, be patient with yourself, stay focused, and experience the joy as your business grows to success.