Every day there are new small and micro businesses starting all over the world and every single one of them has an owner that is doing their best to achieve their version of success.
If you’re one of them, this post is for you.
I was talking with Caz and Craig recently in Margaret River and they said that their recent post on their business game changers had received a lot of attention, particularly the subject of having a business mindset from the outset of their blogging business.
Because it’s not going to grow itself. If you don’t develop the way you think about your business, it’s going nowhere.
I started (and 1.5 years later ruined) my first business when I was 21. I’ve regrouped and started over five times since then. I’ve learned loads (mostly from my screw ups). I hope you can benefit from my mistakes even more than I did.
1. Be clear with your intention
Is it your intention to be in business and to grow a business? Or are you just doing this for fun?
Caz talked about this in tip #1 on their blog post about the game changers I mentioned above.
Just because you love what you do doesn’t mean you should do it for free – the key to a successful business is to do what you love, serve others, and charge appropriately for the value you deliver.
Value yourself and have a clear intention to generate a profit. You wouldn’t work 40 hours a week for free, nor for a discounted price, so don’t do it in your own business.
Set your intentions clearly from the start and allow those intentions to guide your decision making.
2. Use your awareness
What’s happening in your industry, who are your competitors, who can you team up with for mutual benefit? What does the market want? What is the value you can offer?
The secret to starting a business is to find out what your market wants, and deliver that.
Is there room for two businesses delivering the same product or service in your market? Can you see a way to do it better than what is currently on offer?
If you’re not aware of your differentiating factors, it will be tough to sell it.
3. Be intentional with your attention
Attention is a limited resource. Where you place your attention is going to have a major impact on the growth of your business. So use it intentionally.
At the start of your business, this might mean not watching TV or going out to the game on the weekend. You choose where you place your attention every second of every day.
Create a business plan (even if it is just written on the back of a napkin or a coaster from the pub). Place your attention on what is necessary to grow your business.
I find it’s best to place my attention on three major things per day. No more. That’s three things per day that I want to get done. And I make and keep a commitment to myself to get them done.
4. Set objective goals
An objective goal is one that if you explained it to a complete stranger in one sentence, they would understand it, and also be able to measure your progress and achievement.
It would have a very clearly defined end objective.
Set objective goals for profit, turnover, target market, product creation, and everything else in the 9 divisions of your business.
And make sure the objective goal you set is going to challenge you.
5. Be clear on who you serve
Caz talked about this in her post titled 15 steps to a successful blog when she wrote about understanding your audience.
Who are your customers (who do you deliver value to?)
There might be more than one group or classification. For example, in my last business (a direct sales company) I had three customer groups – the customers my team sold to, the team that did the selling for me, and the client who allowed me to sell their product.
All three of those ‘customers’ required attention, intention, and awareness – and different forms of all of them.
6. Make decisions with an awareness that you always have choice
Nothing suppresses your leadership abilities more than you. And one of the ways you do that is by using words (both thoughts and spoken words) that take away your perception of choice.
You are the King or Queen of your world – you always have choice and you are the only one who can make any choice for you.
Every time you use the words and phrases listed below you take away your perception of choice. Therefore, you restrict your own ability to lead and make decisions.
- Have to
- Need to
Be aware of your use of these words – they have very low levels of intention and are a very low order of create.
A business after all, is a creation of you and your mind. It’s best to be creating with intention and with a perception of choice.
I’ve written a blog post with a lot of detail about this subject. Click here if you’re interested to read it.
7. Develop a combination of attention to detail and organisation
Business is really all about numbers. Being organised helps you measure those numbers, and then improve systems in order to improve the numbers. Without this, your business will fail.
It’s important to understand what numbers are worth monitoring (the ones that have a direct impact on your ability to serve and charge for that service is a good start).
It’s also about the attention to detail you pay to the little things that make a big difference. Sometimes this is the only thing that sets you apart from your competition – and it can mean that you own the space you’re in.
Caz talked about this in her blog post about overcoming your biggest business worry. She talked about analysing your income streams (paying attention to detail) and what’s your plan when the flourishing months come (organisation).
8. Measure service and have an awareness of income (not the other way around)
The more you serve, the more you’ll earn. It’s a matter of the Laws of Exchange. The more you place your attention on the quality of the delivery of your service (your outflow), the more your customer is going to have a perception of value, and therefore a willingness to pay your reward.
There’s another benefit of placing your attention on your outflow of service – it builds your self esteem.
That means you’ll be more willing to ask for a reward (your inflow). And that is very important – you’ll never hit a shot you don’t take. You’ll never get paid more than what you ask for. And reward is always to be asked for.
If you have your attention on your inflow instead (you’re focused on how much you get paid, or what someone else is going to do for you), then you do not have your attention on the quality of the delivery of your service or product as much as you could.
Your customer will know. They will feel it.
It will affect their perception of value and their willingness to pay your reward. All of that will affect your self esteem. You’ll start doubting yourself and you’ll earn less money. You’ll then be even more concerned about money, and the whole process escalates (in an unsupportive direction).
A way you can use the Laws of Exchange to your advantage is to measure service statistics instead of revenue statistics.
I’m not saying don’t measure your money at all. That wouldn’t work. However, by measuring your service stats, you’ll keep your attention on your outflow, which means that as long as you are asking for an appropriate reward, your inflow will look after itself.
These are all things that I’ve struggled with over the years. Some of them I’m still not great at all the time. And I’m getting better by working on me.
CLICK PLAY on this video to listen to Mike:
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