Running a business takes hard work, dedication, and commitment. Whether you’re just starting out on your own or have been running a business for a while, there are a few things you can do to set yourself and your business up for success.
Hire the right team.
Success depends on having the right people in the right roles. While hiring a team can be a challenge, especially in the early days where budgets are limited and you only have the capital to hire one or two key people, the people you bring onto your team are ultimately either going to help or hinder your success. When you find the right people, you make your job easier as a business owner.
The key is to build your team so that every person is working in their area of expertise. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so you have to dentify your business’ specific needs. Think about the areas that need the most attention and whether bringing in a dedicated team member will help improve things overall. For example, if you’ve been doing your own bookkeeping but you’re now at a point where deals are bigger, expenses are more complicated, or your Excel spreadsheets and Quickbooks are no longer sufficient, it can be beneficial to hire an accountant or hire a CFO. If you find that you no longer have time to stay on top of outreach or client engagement, bring on a team member to focus on those areas.
Have a personal advisory board.
Especially in the early stages of business, you need people who you can trust to turn to for advice. Your personal advisory board can be made up of mentors, fellow business owners and entrepreneurs, people from professional organizations, and in select cases, family members.
It’s important that the people on your board are providing you with solid advice, and they aren’t just telling you things they think you want to hear. You don’t want ‘yes’ people, you want people who will call you out when you’re going down the wrong path, can help you fix things when they go sideways, and will provide unfiltered, real advice.
Perseverance is everything.
In any business, there are many trials and tribulations amongst the successes. The key is to not let things get you down, but to instead take those challenges and use them to fuel your drive and desire. It takes perseverance to push through the challenges to come out on the other side and achieve success.
Meg Epstein, Founder and CEO of CA South, a women-owned real estate development firm, built her business on persistence. She landed her first deal via cold outreach and being persistent in following up. “To get my first deal it took probably 300 people telling me no,” explained Epstein. Rather than letting those rejections get her down, she persisted until she found the person that said yes. “I always keep up with someone unless they tell me absolutely not. I follow up every six months or so because you never know when something will change for someone.” The moral of this story is to stay persistent, because your next opportunity could be one email away – but you won’t know if that’s the case until you send it.
Perseverance also plays a role in long-lasting success. You can’t get complacent, you have to keep thinking about what will come next. Don’t back down on outreach, brainstorming, deal-making, or whatever else it is that you’re striving for. It’s important to keep your pipeline full so that in the case of something happening, you won’t struggle as much to steer your business back on course.
Advice for women and young entrepreneurs.
Epstein makes a very valid point about how to navigate the business world as a woman. “People won’t focus much on your gender if you have a legitimate business model that is needed and wanted in your area and you’re executing it well,” she explained. She also advises women to approach things with confidence and not be afraid to speak up.
I’ll leave you with one final piece of advice: don’t be too concerned about what your competitors are doing, instead, focus on making your business the best it can be.