Plan your work, work your plan
By Dr. Patricia Laino
My job has involved teaching and coaching aspiring entrepreneurs for over 20 years on how to really start up their own business and succeed.
The odds of you succeeding in business without guidance and specific skills are only about 20 percent. Over 80 percent of my entrepreneur students who open their own business succeed. The rationale for this is that they learned the specific steps to successfully create their plan to start up their business before wasting time and money.
In my opinion, a profitable business is the target to staying healthy when in your own business. The “prescription” for health is to research and develop your own individualized business plan and then plan your work and work your plan. The healthy entrepreneur has the ability to effectively manage his or her time and make stress work by taking control of stressful situations.
Initially, I ask my entrepreneur students whether or not they have the expertise and experience in the business that they want to open. This creates a great deal of research and further discussion of the pros and cons of starting the business that they have in mind. Many of them have the technical skills, but lack management skills so vital to success.
Applying specific and effective skills are what make the difference between business malfunction and your success. Successful entrepreneurs tend to see opportunities that others don’t and they focus on “real” money-making priorities. They find a need and let nothing stand in their way. They know that it’s hard at the start, chaotic in the middle and terrific at the end.
Most successful entrepreneurs see problems as challenges and not as threats. When the problems are solved, they become ecstatic. I have discovered that winning entrepreneurs are extremely self-confident and accept risks as opportunities. They think that the greater the risk, the greater the reward.
The six-figure entrepreneur resists the temptation to do what comes easy instead of what’s really essential to making money. It’s not how hard you work but rather the way you work that truly counts in operating business operations.
Through the years, I have discovered that one of the major “keys” to business success is the ideal location with ample parking, lots of lights, numerous potential customers driving by and targeted advertisement that makes it easy to find the site where customers can come to shop and buy.
Many times, aspiring entrepreneurs will want to sell something that they like but soon find out that there are only a few people who will ever purchase it. You must also find out what the market will bear for those who purchase products or services. They need to determine if they can generate a healthy profit by developing and assessing their three-year pro forma data, or present or projected figures.
When entrepreneurs start working on their business plan, they need to ask themselves how much money do I need to start this business and where can I go to secure it? It’s always wise to have some cash to inject into your start-up to show that you are serious.
When the news media asked the famous Hilton Hotel chain owner, Conrad Hilton, what he attributes his success to, he quickly replied, “location, location, location!”
Through the years I have found that this is one of the major “keys” to business success. If your customers can’t easily find you, then how can they buy from you?
Successful business owners usually have a single-minded, almost compulsive desire to start a business by selling something that their customers can’t live without, at a price that makes a healthy profit. Hence, all their efforts are focused on just that!
Follow my blogs on firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to succeed in your own business, or purchase my book called “Unlock the American Dream” from Amazon or Barnes & Noble for more of my business advice.
• Dr. Patricia K. Laino is the executive director of the Women’s Business Center of New York State.