Do you see yourself in this description from Forbes.com:
“Successful entrepreneurs understand that they must work on their business, not in their business. Getting caught up in the minutiae of presentations, phone calls, meetings, and emails can distract the entrepreneur from the heart of the business. They have a product that meets a need, they don’t ignore anything, they grow fast, and they recover from the hard-knock startup life.” Forbes.com (Jan 2015)
The UK is great at getting a business started, so good in fact we only have a 46% failure rate in the first two years of a start-up. Most businesses that survive to their fifth birthday tend to go on and be successful – are you there yet?
Compared with our cousins over the pond, the US has a 90% failure rate within two years of start-up, how scary is that?
What sets us in the UK apart from the rest of the world is that we have a wonderful support structure for start-ups. However, we do fall short in supporting a start-up to maturity or at least to their fifth birthday and beyond.
What is useful to know (even for existing businesses)?
I asked around in a few Facebook groups about what each member thought would’ve been useful to know when starting out. The resounding number one answer:
“I wish someone could’ve told me what I didn’t know because I would have planned better then”
Second most quoted “I would’ve hired a coach sooner”.
Third came the answer “A proper marketing strategy for social media”
These answers have one thing in common, have you worked it out yet?
That’s right plan and or strategy and someone to hold you accountable to it!
Even those who have been in business for two or more years said the same thing. It was only the businesses that had been going for more than five years that admitted to having both a plan and a coach. How interesting is that?
The best way to know for sure
The best way to know what you don’t know is to plan for it. Even if your business is beyond a start-up (as in two years or more), you still need a plan.
A plan is your roadmap to success, it is a blueprint that helps you build and grow a solid business that sustains success. After all, isn’t that what you got into business for, to make a life rather than a living?
Planning not seen as a priority!
Most startups see their priority as Marketing first. That is not always what’s needed first (even though it’s important).
Getting to grips with what your business does, when and how is vital.
Understanding the rhythms of your business and the difference between being a pioneer with a new service (no-one has yet heard of) and making your mark on an existing product or service requires different approaches.
Knowing when and how to transition from your safe full-time employment into the heady exciting roller-coaster world of entrepreneurship is crucial to surviving to your fifth business-birthday.
You really can’t do it on your own. Having someone to keep you motivated and accountable to your plan is vital. Ask me I know, my first business failed within two years because I thought I was She-ra!
But I’m a therapist, not a business, people will come
Yes, you are a business!
How many thousands of Pounds have you spent qualifying in your field, doing courses to help you with all sorts? How much have you spent getting to be a therapist, renting rooms, equipment and so on?
If you are not thinking in terms of your practice as a business, you will stay where you are. You have to invest in yourself and in your business.
Do the courses, get the information, then apply it to your practice. Spend at least 30 minutes a day on your business and then see how many clients will come.
People won’t just come to you. You have to go out and find them. Would you see somebody who saw treating you as a hobby? Would you feel safe with them? I wouldn’t, I’d rather spend money on someone whose experienced and done the groundwork, someone who sees me as more than a guinea pig…
If I’m thinking that, what are your potential clients thinking?
Planning equals success
Yes indeed, a plan will show you what to do, when to do it and how to save money doing it! You will know where the gaps are and how to plug them.
For an expanding practice, a plan is vital. Growing too quickly without a solid framework could cause a failure. I want to see more of you out there, not less.
With a solid plan, I managed to get 18 months of work in the first six months, what would your business look like with that kind of success?
A client of mine was struggling with filling her workshops, two months into working with me she had 90% attendance-rate – all through planning.
Our annual Showcase is over-subscribed each year, all through careful planning…
Your plan is your blueprint to success – what does yours look like?
Pop me an email or onto my Facebook page and share your thoughts…
Cheryl-lya is a Soul Adventurer and Planning Queen: helping women around the globe plan launch and grow successful sustainable businesses. She runs workshops alongside one-to-one coaching. Contact her: call UK mobile 07527 303 911, or visit her website soulscompass.net Say ‘hello’ or share your joys via email: firstname.lastname@example.org