You’ve done it. You’ve started your own business. Now you just have to find clients, juggle those clients, manage a crew, handle all the bureaucracy and a dozen other tasks that fall to you now that you’re the boss.
Building your business and breaking through to the next level of success means following the basic truths of the business. Take note of these tough realities that you’ll need to keep in mind in order to build the business that you want.
Eat, sleep and breath your business
Be passionate, crazy passionate. Without that, you (that is, your business) probably won’t make it. There will be challenging times and the only thing that can help is the love of your work and the drive to make it work.
Without an almost psychotic obsession with your work in order to succeed. You need that obsession to take your business to the next level. Building a business takes sacrifice and devotion. You are going to spend all of your time for a long time on your business, so you have to enjoy it or at least be devoted to it completely in order to survive that.
Pick the right people
Surround yourself with people as good as or better than you at whatever you are hiring them to do. Whether it be employees, subs or suppliers, only deal with the best. Not only will these people provide higher quality results, they can drive you to be better and, most importantly, make your life easier.
If you can trust your people to do work as it should be done, then less time is wasted worrying or redoing things.
Shift from contracting to business
Now that you’ve hired the right people, trust them to do their jobs. Be ready to be off site more; you should be spending more time with clients or investing your time in marketing and other business-side activities.
You have the good people. Let them do the work while you go build your business.
MARKET, MARKET, MARKET
Speaking of building a business, this is how you do it. There is more to building a business than just doing good work. You need to have the opportunity to do that work in order to show it off. Marketing is the way to go.
There are tons of different ways to market your business and not every one is right for every business. You may opt for paid advertising, door-to-door, flyering or any of numerous other viable options, or a combination of them.
Regardless what marketing strategy you use to get your first clients, it doesn’t end there. You need to build a brand. Network with your clients and use word-of-mouth. Business growth can be an exponential curve, but you have to get yourself off the ground.
While you build you business, remember that not all business is good business. Be smart about what business you take and what you pass on. Even if it’s a client’s fault that a project goes awry, they are most likely not going to see it that way and that could really affect your reputation, especially in smaller communities.
A customer that is focused on price over quality is almost inevitably going to cause you a headache and cost you more than the job is even worth. The client isn’t always right and when they’re wrong it can be a real disaster for you, particularly if you’re just starting out.
Slacking off could cost you all your hard work. A lot of business owners get tricked into thinking that once they have built up their business to where they want it, they can coast and let the momentum carry them. Not the case.
What you can do, however, is find someone else to carry your mantle. Pass the torch to someone. Pay them well to take care of your business, leaving you free to enjoy your life. Once you can do that, you’ve officially made it.