With palms sweating and heart racing, you open the front doors on the first day of owning and operating your new small business. You have dreamed of this moment and worked tirelessly to come up with a concept and put into place all the moving parts and now a whole new journey begins.
Fast forward six to twelve months into your new business and your palms may still be sweating but for a different reason. There have been good days and bad days in your business and you are sitting down to look at your first year of business. In the flesh, your business seems to have done well but on paper it looks like nothing but a complete failure. At this point, you have a choice to make. You can quit or keep going. Before quitting remember these five tips for turning your failure into success.
1. Understand that most small businesses end the first year in the red. It is standard in the small business world for a new business to spend much of the first three years of business building and having spent more money than earned. Expect that in your first year you may end in the red. Choose to keep going and focus on the relationships that you have developed with your customers.
2. Consider the customer connections that you have made. Small business is all about building report with customers and members of your local community. Take a hard look at the relationships you have made in your community and your customer base. If your customers are few but loyal, you’ve done well. If you’ve not had so many loyal customers but have had regular business, take a look at your social media presence and the free advertising that is available to you through your community. Build relationships with those around you.
3. Determine that your aren’t going to give up. In small business, your mindset is everything. Have zero doubt about your business and you can not fail. Those that are most successful are simply those who haven’t quit.
4. Delegate. As you grow your small business, consider what is most important in growing your business. It’s easy for a new small business owner to try and do everything for the business in order to save money. Many times, the business actually suffers because of this. Is your business people based? Is your business centered around a product? Place your efforts, time and brain-power in the most vital place and hire out secretarial, financial and other services. Finding people who can handle those aspects while you drive your business is worth the investment.
5. It’s worth repeating…small business is about people! Mary Kay Ash, founder of the world wide cosmetics company Mary Kay, always used to say “Nothing happens until someone sells something.” How true that is. Be all about taking your service or product to the customer and making the sale. Build positive, purposeful, personal and business relationships in your town, city and ultimately, state by connecting with people. There is power in who you know!
No matter the state of your small business, you can be sure that with positive thinking, tweaking of operations and hard work, you can turn your failure into success.