Starting your own business isn't easy, but what is harder is sustaining what you're building. Here are tried-and-true tips to help you create a business that can withstand the hardships that come with being an entrepreneur.
If you are starting your own business, you probably have a few ideas about how to get the job done better, faster and in a more innovative way than it's been done before. That type of passion – and foresight – is vital to being your own boss.
As CEO and founding partner of Crunch Fitness Franchise, I invest my time in making sure franchisees have the tools they need to start their own business. I know firsthand the difficulties of starting, operating and sustaining a business, and I've seen how rewarding it can be.
I've learned as many things from the people I've helped start their own businesses as I have taught them. Here are five key points from our collective experience that should be helpful for anyone considering striking out on their own.
Do something you love
On those cold, dark winter mornings, are you getting up for work because you have to or because you love to? It's important to do something you love that makes you money as opposed to just doing something that makes you money.
If you're waking up every morning dreading the day ahead, it's time for a change, because doing something you love benefits more than just your psyche. It creates a stronger passion for your work, which allows you to better advocate for your business. Doing something you love fosters deeper connections to your employees and customers, allowing you to build a sustainable culture where employees want to work hard for you and customers want to buy what you sell.
Align with a mission you believe in
Align yourself with a mission you believe in to help build a basis with which to start your business. It's what guides your decisions on the people you partner with, the people you hire and the people that join – in one way or another – what you are building.
In today's business environment, people are interested in doing well by doing good – in other words, finding the intersection of business and passion. Mastering that and turning it into a business ethos inevitably sets you up to be very successful over the long and short term in building out your business.
Believe in the work you are doing, and look for people that can help you implement your mission.
Find a proven business model
It's important to start with success: Find a model in a fast-growing segment that shows solid and consistent profits.
Identifying and implementing a proven business model can make a big difference by reducing to-dos and complexities. Turnkey solutions for developing infrastructure, operational controls, and marketing not only reduce the time and headache for the owner, but it speeds you to market and affords you the flexibility to handle unforeseen issues.
Implementing financing vehicles, for example, that gets you up and running quickly and efficiently will allow you to focus on making money.
Remember, business is personal
Most business owners underestimate the importance of interacting with their employees, partners and customers. Having deep personal connections with the people you work with is a huge business benefit. It shows you go the extra mile to get to know your employees and what makes them tick. What's more, they'll do the same for you, and your customers will be the first to notice – and admire – the culture you've created.
In many industries, strong relationships with customers and the surrounding community are essential to survival.
Always keep in mind that people work for people. Creating an atmosphere where your employees and community are directly connected to your customers and prospects is paramount to success.
Connect with your peer group
You're probably not the first person to go into the business you are entering. Connect with other people that have done it before, your colleagues in different markets and get to know them. Not only will this network offer advice and support, these connections have the potential to blossom into business partnerships.
An advantage of buying into a franchise is you have a ready-made network. In well-run organizations, owners will get together a few times a year to celebrate success and strategize on future growth. That's the kind of interaction that fosters learning, growth and fun. Many of my greatest friendships and business partners have come from working with our network.