Small Business is the toughest industry to break into. If you were a betting man, you would never in a million years want to go into a small business when the odds for success in small business are so bad, that 70% of all small businesses fail in the first year. Let me be blunt, if you want to succeed in small business, only listen to those people who have built a small business in an industry they know nothing about and succeeded. These are the people who seriously know how to build a small business.
I just happen to be one of those people – I am not a business coach – I offer no consulting on small business, just let me share with you my secret to building 4 small businesses from a three thousand dollar credit card.
The first secret when building a small business is this, have the end in mind. When I first started in small business, I was like most business people, I was a technician (bit more than that, but this is how the E-myth would describe me) in the IT industry with the belief I could build a better computer training company than those around me. One thing I can tell you about this industry, stay out of it. It is tough and there is no money in it, well that’s not quite true, but there are far easier small businesses to make serious money. In fact I married my wife and I decided I wanted to experiment on whether all business was as hard as the training industry or was it just computer training.
My wife and I, after much coaxing, agreed to set up a car cleaning and detailing business, we knew nothing about the business and were simply doing it as an experiment. Two years on, we have a successful thriving business and we are about to Franchise and expand the business to over 10 cities in Australia.
The key to building a successful small business is to have the end in mind and to know when you are going to exit the business. Most people when they start a small business simply believe they are going to have a business to make money, come home and do it better than their boss. If you are going to go into business for this reason, quit now, because your life is doomed.
There is more to small businesses than simply doing the technical work
This is what most new small business operators do not realize. When you are first thinking about starting a small business, imagine how it will look when you are finished. For example, what image will you have, what logos will you have, what marketing material will you be using, where will you be operating from, how many stores will you have, how many people will be working for you, what sort of profit will you be making and more so, how will you know that the business is complete.
For example, let us say you wanted to start up a dog washing business. You saw in a market that there was a massive need for dog washing. How are you going to satisfy the market? How are you going to build your business? How are you going to clean the dogs? Are you going to build the business like others? When will you know that the business is finished?
These are all the questions you must ask yourself. In fact, if you don’t ask yourself then you will find that your business may grow but without any focus. It will go so far and then become a huge noose around your neck. By knowing what the end will be, you then have a clear goal of what you want to achieve and you can then build the business based on that vision.
Let me give you a really good example of this methodology. If you get a chance watch the movie, Concierge with Micheal J Fox. Micheal plays a concierge that has a vision of building a hotel. He first builds a model of the hotel and then sells the idea to a developer. As he says in the movie he knows every aspect of the hotel he has built.
You as a small business owner must do exactly the same thing. Before you rush out and start your small business, you must know exactly what you are building, know every aspect of it and how to build it. You must know every job, every role, every procedure and how it will work within your business.
By creating your business in this way, you will learn very quickly what will work and what will not.
Most people who want to start a small business will say that they don’t have enough money. If you have a clearly articulated vision and you can prove that your vision works, then there will always be someone out there prepared to back you. It may take a while to find someone to support you, but there are people out there who will. Just remember it took Walt Disney, 500 plus knock backs for Disneyland before he found that one group of people that would back him.