A Roadmap to Starting a Successful Business Part 2
In part one of this series, I covered steps 1 – 5 of 20 suggestions (which I have developed over the years as a result of both my business success and setbacks). I believe that if you follow these steps, your chances of success are far better than 47%. If you skip over them, you might as well just go to a casino, where you may have better odds. Today, let’s cover steps 6 – 10.
20 Suggestions to Start a Successful Business (cont.)
6) – Minimize business expenses
Growing a business can be very costly. But building this business (which becomes your asset) can support you for dozens of years to come. It can become one of the best investments that you every make. Make capital expenditure decisions that will provide a solid return on your investment. Not all expenditures result in income. For many businesses, for example, advertising can be an unjustified expense.
7) – Focus on marketing
Marketing is very effective and many times doesn’t cost a lot of money. Marketing your business can take many different shapes and forms. The key is to maximize your efforts and expand your reach to as many people as possible. For example, it does not cost money to post flyers or put business cards on community bulletin boards. One of the best marketing experts in the world is Dan Kennedy. (I encourage you to read his books to become a marketing expert.)
8) – Don’t wast money on advertising
Advertising can cost a lot of money and many times is ineffective. When my destiny message was featured as the cover story of USA TODAY on December 5, 2002, I learned that marketing flat out works. However, in that same issue, I am sure there were business owners who had spent thousands of dollars placing ads in the back of the paper and may not have received any calls. Stay clear of advertising sales people unless you have an unlimited budget. The following is a perfect example to help you distinguish the difference between marketing and advertising. Suppose that you list your Web site with search engines, spending money doing so would be good marketing dollars spent. However, listing your Web address on another Web site as an advertisement would be advertising dollars spent and would, in my opinion, be a waste of money.
9) – Budget three times the money and time
If you think that you are going to be able to invest $5000 in your business and make tons of money in the first six months, you may be correct. If you plan on this allocation, keep in mind that your investment may ultimately end up being $15,000, and it may take 18 months to receive huge returns. The reason that this is important is, ultimately, your business may take longer than you want for it to become successful, costing you more money as a result. However, I can assure you that extra time and money is a good investment and will help you attain the kind of freedom a business can provide.
10) – You may have to risk more than you think
Nothing worthwhile in life comes without risk. Howard Schultz risked every asset he had, and every asset he didn’t have, to launch Starbucks. Today Starbucks is a multi-million dollar company, and Schultz was able to purchase the Seattle Supersonics, which he later sold. The bottom line is this: Successful people take risks. If you want to become wealthy, then you, too, must take risks. Ask yourself this question: What am I willing to risk to get what I want?
In article #3 of this series, we’ll discuss suggestions #11 – #15, which have to do with relationships, publicity and an exit strategy.
This is an excerpt from my book: “Creating Your Own Destiny”
As a Motivational Keynote Speaker, I can speak on this subject or adapt my subject to your audience.