It’s safe to say, there are as many different ways of starting a business as there are people who want to start a business. You have to admire the likes of those who recommend – Start! Have a blast! Make some dough!
Frankly, I find no fault with that, even though I am of the “Prepare, Plan well, Think big” business mindset.
How Far Can You Get?
I do think it’s important, though, to figure out where your particular mindset can take you. I mean, you could get a business off the ground using the ‘Start! Have a blast! Make some dough!’ method, but is it likely you will make a million dollars with that approach? Not saying a million dollars is impossible with this business mindset – in business, nothing is impossible – but you would be creating many of your own obstacles.
For a small, fun, relatively low income, such a business style would be great. It could develop into a blockbuster, but to do that you’d have to revert to the “Prepare, Plan well, Think big” mindset somewhere along the line. Richard Branson, of Virgin Group, started off selling pop music records to his student friends, then opened a record store – Virgin Records – later, Virgin-everything-else. Branson now owns 400 companies under the Virgin name, including his latest, Virgin Atlantic.)
As a professional business coach, I have my ideas of what would most likely guarantee success. However, maybe you don’t want to be the next Sir Richard Branson and just want to Have a blast and Make some dough!
To Delegate or to Micro-manage?
Much will depend on how much control you want. No-one can micro-manage a giant corporation.
The other side of that coin is trusting other people to do good work. “Interfering” (micro-managing) drives the good workers away and a business could be left only with people who need minute-by-minute direction. This often comes about by refusing to pay more for good workers and only get low wage, less competent workers, as a result.
In truth, nobody wants total control. That takes all the fun out of running a business. Total control is a fear-based concept.
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt
Know What You Are Doing
I couldn’t help a little chuckle when a fellow business coach said, “a new business owner should take minimal risk when starting – unless they really know what they’re doing…” Hobbies are things you start without knowing what you’re doing, in my view. Anyone wanting to start a business needs to know what they are doing.
Let’s face it, you are going to be taking peoples’ money – in return for goods sold or services rendered. Taking peoples’ money without knowing what you are doing is decidedly unbusinesslike, and, in some cases, could even be criminal. This may be why so many small businesses fail in the first year or two – people doing things under the guise of “business” that they really know nothing about. This is not a business mindset likely to produce good results.
Operations or Management Mindset
In starting a business, I see two major elements. There is “doing the work of the business” (operations) and “the running of the business” (management.)
“Doing the work of the business” is the work for which customers/clients come to you – making flower arrangements if you are a florist, selling computers if you are starting a computer store, providing meals if you intend to open a restaurant, etc.
I believe one must know a good deal about the business one is going to do, before starting. No point in trying to open a restaurant if you do not know how to cook.
UNLESS – and there is a big “unless” — Unless you know how to run a restaurant. In this case, you can open a restaurant without being a cook because you have spent many years managing a restaurant for someone else. In this case, you will hire cooks to do “the work of the business.”
But to open a restaurant with no knowledge of cooking and no knowledge of managing a restaurant, is courting disaster. You don’t have to know both, but you do have to know one of them.
Consider these business mindset strategies when starting your business. Do you want to Have a Blast? or do you want to Be a Success?