5 Success Secrets for Your First Small Business

Guest Article submitted by:   Ms. Gloria Martinez – g.martinez@womenled.org

Are you eager to be your own boss and build a business of your own? For some people, entrepreneurship isn’t just a career — it’s a calling. However, it takes more than passion to succeed in business. To truly make it as a small business owner, you need personal effectiveness.

If you want to be effective as a small business owner, you need to set yourself up for success before you take the leap. How? Here are five tips that will help you succeed in business ownership.

1. Be authentic.

At VIP Innovations, we recognize that career development starts with self-awareness. Through self-awareness, you can understand your current situation, bring clarity to what you want to achieve, and identify the hurdles that stand in your way.

Use a holistic approach to goal setting to keep your vision and values in alignment. Start by assessing your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Then, consider the purpose and quality of life you hope to reach through entrepreneurship. How can you take the former and turn it into the latter? Answering this question is how you can start creating a holistic, authentic goal for your business.

2. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.

The best goals are S.M.A.R.T. — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. It’s not enough to have a grand vision for your business. Turning vision into action requires breaking it down into concrete, quantifiable steps. Make sure the goals you set are realistic given the resources available and relevant to your holistic plan. It’s also important to give yourself a deadline to promote accountability.

3. Hone your personal habits.

S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting provides a roadmap to success. But when the initial burst of motivation fades away, it’s habits that keep you marching towards your vision. Not every prospective entrepreneur possesses the habits necessary to achieve results. Luckily, habits can be molded. Consider the everyday behaviors that running a business requires, then start building habits around your goals.

4. Keep good financial records.

One area where many first-time business owners fall short is recordkeeping. Financial records in particular are critical to a company’s success. Without accurate records, you don’t know if you’re on track to reach your goals or speeding toward insolvency.

Perhaps the most important financial record to familiarize yourself with is the profit and loss statement. Also known as an income statement, this provides a snapshot of your company’s financial health by showing revenue and expenses over a certain time period. While you can find free templates online, it’s worth investing in accounting tools that can easily generate a profit and loss statement template to take the tedium out of recordkeeping. This way, you can eliminate manual entry, paving the way for a quick, accurate picture of your business’s financial performance at any time so you can make the best decisions for your company.

5. Surround yourself with the right people.

No business exists in a vacuum. Whether you’re opening a retail store, a manufacturing business, or a professional services firm, a supportive network is critical to your success. This includes an accountant and a business attorney, high-quality employees and freelancers, and a mentor or professional coach. Small business owners also benefit from joining their local chamber of commerce for access to networking, resources, and promotional opportunities.

Are you ready to turn your strengths into success? Succeeding in entrepreneurship requires more than a great idea. When you need to clarify your career strategy and set business goals that reflect your authentic self, contact Eva Jenkins at VIP Innovations. To start maximizing your personal effectiveness and transforming your goals into reality, request an appointment with VIP Innovations today.

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