The idea of starting up your own business may seem like an unachievable dream; the kind of thing that you daydream about at your day job, while dealing with yet another frustrating and unfulfilling project or assignment.
The fact, however, is that the technologies present today make it easier than ever before to start your own business, and not only that, but also to make a success of it.
Of course, starting a business – never mind making a success of it – takes work, consistency, and focus. It’s not likely to be the kind of thing that is done easily, or that bears all its fruit overnight. But it is possible to achieve your small business dreams, with the right focus and approach.
You just have to keep a few key points in mind, while setting out on the path to achieving your small business dreams, and there’s no reason to believe you won’t be able to find success.
Here are several things to keep in mind.
You Need Structure In Your Working Day; You Can’t Be Too Bohemian About Things
Running your own business means “being your own boss,” and for many people, that means doing what you like, when you like, and ignoring all the rest.
Of course, the fact of the matter is that you will need to do things you don’t feel like doing in order to make your business thrive, and you can be quite sure that you’re not always going to have things turn out exactly as you would like.
If you go into your own business venture with the aim in mind of having a completely unstructured life, waking up when you want, going to bed when you want, and all the rest, you’re setting yourself up for failure at best.
It’s simply a consistent truth that you need to impose a certain degree of structure on your life in order to run a business effectively. That means you need to wake up at a certain time each day, make yourself available for client calls at certain hours, and have a certain “end time” each day to ensure that you maintain a little bit of work-life balance.
Failing to have this kind of structure in place will lead to an imbalance, and a lack of discipline, across your professional life in general, and can be absolutely lethal for your productivity, reputation, and ability to perform consistently day after day.
Of course, since you are your own boss, you can indeed structure your day in a way that best suits your particular situation in life. So, for example, you can schedule in a portion of the afternoon to be “out of the office” if you’ve got to pick up your kids from school.
But try and keep these modifications within reason, and don’t be too quick to just indulge yourself in big chunks of “free time” during what would normally be the working day.
You Need A Dedicated Working Area
There are many different kinds of “working area” that you could use for your business, as your central base of operations.
For most entrepreneurs in the early days of their start-ups, the classic Home Office will be the working space of choice, and this may take the form of an actual dedicated room in your house being set aside as an “office”, or it could simply be a desk and chair in a corner of your studio flat.
Depending on the particularities of your business situation, however, you may need to have more “traditional” office space available, at least for a certain period of time. For example, if your business is going to hire a stable of freelancers to work with on a regular basis, and you’d like to vet and train them all in person.
In these cases, you should consider looking into temporary office space: what is it and is it right for your team?
It can also be that you struggle to meaningfully focus, when trying to work from home, and would do better booking yourself a slot at a shared co-working space, that would have more of an innately “professional” vibe about it. You could even just have a regular coffee shop, or library, that you visit and work at each day.
The main thing to keep in mind here, in any event, is that you really need some kind of dedicated workspace. Having a dedicated workspace will serve as an excellent and much-needed psychological trigger to get you in a “working frame of mind.” It will also allow you to effectively filter out the distractions of the outside world, keep all your work-related materials in one central location, and properly structure your work-life divide.
Consistency Is The Name Of The Game – Focus On Getting Your Daily “Systems” Right
Many new entrepreneurs fall prey to the idea that they have just discovered some great new scheme or strategy that has automatically put them head and shoulders above everyone else in their field.
As the thinking goes here, all that they need to do is take that seed of an idea, and materialise it in even the most rudimentary form, and then the riches and accolades will come raining in virtually overnight.
Entrepreneurs who get into it with this kind of mindset, will typically be incredibly driven workaholics for a short time, only to become massively disheartened the moment things fail to align with their vision of quick success.
Something that you have to know if you want to make a success of a business venture, is that consistency is the name of the game. You’ve got to focus on getting your daily “systems” right, and you need to be less fixated on trying to score the big, rare, “overnight miracle success.”
In business, your “systems” are those routines and automated processes that you carry out, and that occur on their own, each day. For the most part, the success you enjoy in your business over time will be a result of having systems that continually move you in the right direction, even – perhaps especially – when you feel completely disheartened, and demotivated.
Having a big, audacious goal for your business is all very well, but without having the effective systems in place to back up and support that vision day in, and day out, it is unlikely ever to be much more than pie in the sky.
You Need To Get Specific And Reduce Distraction As Much As Possible
“Procrastination is the thief of time” is a well-known saying on the importance of using every minute and second as wisely as possible.
But if procrastination was a problem when that saying was first dreamt up, it must have become far more of an issue in recent times, with the immense number of ways in which contemporary entertainment technologies lay out an always-on buffet of options for procrastination, day and night.
To make a success of your business, you need to reduce distraction as much as possible, because you simply cannot afford to waste time, if you hope to do deep and meaningful work.
Instead, you need to get specific. Really specific. Every day, every hour, and every minute you spend at work you should be clearly focused on what the most important avenue is for you at any given moment.
Learn to say no to unproductive projects, and definitely don’t waste any of your time surfing the web.