When starting a small business for the first time, most of us seek advice and get it. There are numerous resources, boundless really, on the internet and at the library.
The most common pieces of advice relate to planning.
First of all, one must have a business plan. The business plan will guide you through all other phases of planning and build-out. When the business plan is finished, the action begins, which will take practical planning and organization on a day-to-day basis. The better the original business plan, the easier subsequent organization will be.
Plan on a zero gain for the first six months of business. Before launching your business, have enough money in the bank to pay your business expenses for six months.And have enough money in the bank to pay six months of personal expenses as well.
Plan on delays. Make a detailed list of steps that must be taken before you open for business. Figure out how long it will take to accomplish these steps. Multiply that estimate by three.
All this is very good advice. Following the above advice may even prove essential if you are going to get your business started. However, there is an unacknowledged side of opening a business, ignored in the main – the affective side of opening a business. How should you think about the process of opening a business as you trudge along on the long road to the opening day? What are some strategies for keeping focused on progress and for avoiding disappointment and fatigue?
This article will suggest three pieces of affective advice to help you reach opening day with some energy left, feeling positive about your position as a new business owner.
One – Make goals (& celebrate).
Obviously, you have one major, big-picture goal, which is getting your business started. As many details will need to be sorted out on the way to opening the proverbial doors, it makes sense to set small goals for yourself along the road.
You’ve got a list of all the steps you will need to take to get open, now sort them into categories. Possible categories would include permits & licensing, equipment & products, physical building & renovation, accounts (banking, email, website, etc). There could be more or fewer on your own list.
Now construct a checklist for yourself within each category and check off the items as your complete them. When you get your business checking account, check it off the list.
Doing things this way can help keep you from becoming overwhelmed by what seem like thousands of details, it will help you track your progress, and importantly, it will give you something to celebrate.
On the day you get one category finished, take yourself out to dinner. Have a glass of wine. Stop and recognize that you are one step closer to making your business a reality. If you don’t do this, the road to opening may end up seeming very long and dreary, as well as jumbled, confused, and frustrating.
Two – Remember why you are doing this.
Here’s a question. Are you starting a business so that you can create a job for yourself that you hate? The answer to this is almost certainly no. Here’s another one. Are you starting your own business for the sole purpose of working 100 hours a week? Though you may be willing to work as many hours as it takes, you probably are not setting a goal of working as much as humanly possible.
What are your reasons for starting a business? What set you on the path to self-employment? It’s important to keep the answer to this question in mind as you go through the steps toward opening day. Write it on the wall. Get a tattoo. Do what is needed to maintain a positive focus on the reason you are making this effort to start your own business.
Three – Have fun.
The business you are starting is, in one way, a vehicle to a potential life of freedom, where you don’t need to punch a clock, where you work for yourself and not for someone else. The business is, itself, as force of potential.
However, the potential is immediately actualized in the sense that all the work you do to make your business a reality is work you do for yourself. When you sit down to create a title for your business, you are already working for yourself. You are your own boss.
So, don’t wait for the day when you have a million dollars in your pocket to start enjoying the position you’ve created for yourself. Enjoy the moment, because, in a significant way, even before your business opens, you are already living the dream of entrepreneurship.
You are already the boss.