The 4 Steps Entrepreneurs Forget
Most entrepreneurs share certain goals: having the freedom to spend your time doing what you love most, the possibility of near-limitless earnings, the ability to control your life and leave a lasting legacy. However, entrepreneurship is an unpredictable journey – especially if you’re a first-time entrepreneur.
Running a business isn’t always glamorous. It’s tough, and can beat you into the ground if you don’t know how to handle certain situations. There’s one thing that every entrepreneur needs, regardless of their sector, plans and purpose: preparation.
Knowing what you can expect as an entrepreneur can make all the difference between total success and complete failure. This blog is all about giving you some of that key preparation, covering 4 of the key areas that entrepreneurs often forget until it’s too late.
1: Tying Your Vision To Your Business
Every successful business has a vision. Your vision is the purpose for establishing your business, what you want to achieve, and how you want to achieve it. Depending on how you organize your business, your vision can take various forms, from a single guiding principle to a fully-planned VTO board.
You should never start a business just for the sake of starting a business. Think through your vision, plan it out. Even if you later need to revise your vision, setting long-term goals for your company gives you something to reference and work towards – it provides an essential level of motivation, and prevents you from becoming burnt out.
2: Effectively Leverage Your Time
Effective entrepreneurship requires a heavy time commitment, but, at least past a certain point, shouldn’t be taking up all of your time. Being able to build your business to the point where you don’t have to devote all your waking hours to keeping things working smoothly is a critical achievement for any successful entrepreneur.
You should understand how you’re using your time, how that can be improved, and what your staff can handle. You don’t necessarily have to be handling everything in the business – there’s often someone who’s going to be better placed than you to handle specific parts of your operations.
Leveraging your time effectively means that you get to pay attention to the major events, the big decisions, instead of being caught up in day-to-day fires. Having that extra time to think and plan means that you’re better placed to make decisions – a major advantage for your business.
3: Incorporate an Operating System
Every business needs a system to follow, even if you’re the only one working there. Incorporating an operating system means that you’re creating optimizable processes, ensuring that everything you do has a consistent outcome.
Without an operating system, things can quickly get out of hand, wasting your time and potentially costing you a lot of money.
While it’s possible to make a business successful without a thought-out operating system, these companies operate far less efficiently than they should, again costing you time and money. An effective operating system allows you to control processes at every level of your business, so it’s something to incorporate as early as possible.
Attempting to reorganize your business to include an operating system takes an incredible amount of time and effort, though is virtually always worth the effort. Avoid the difficulty – include an effective system from the start.
4: Track Your Finances
Do you know your numbers? It’s a simple question, but one where the answer is almost always no (or becomes no when discussing details). That doesn’t mean that every entrepreneur should be spending all their time working through the figures – your accounting team is far better placed to handle those.
It means you should understand what’s going on in your business from a cash perspective. Understand your cash flow, and any foreseeable events in the future which may significantly impact expenditure and revenue.
Being able to understand how your cash flow looks at any given point means that you’re infinitely better placed to make critical decisions about your business. It’s not uncommon for first-time entrepreneurs to bite off more than they can chew – to jump into attractive opportunities without understanding whether their finances can support the work that those opportunities require.
Get a handle on your finances, and you’ll be far better placed to make the major decisions your company requires.