For those of us who have invested years of our lives into our businesses with minimal "break time" or "play time", we can attest that our sacrifice has come at a price - we are successful and have managed to weather many economic storms. We have invested brain cells, sweat, and effort into transforming and evolving with every dip and twist in the economy and customer buying patterns or client sign up rates.
As a business coach, I have many clients who are business owners who know exactly what I am talking about and who place the same value on their business and their efforts. On the flip side of that, I have many newbie signups who are just starting their business and who do not for the life of them see the forest for the trees.
Especially when you are starting your business, there are about, oh, a million things you need to heavily research. Whether you have a product based business or a service based business, it makes no difference. Everything from the perfect domain name to the business branding to the sourcing of products and selling venue to setting competitive prices not only for consumers but also to break a decent profit. If you are a service based business is there a glut of your type of service professionals in your desired neighborhood? Do you need to setup shop a little further out so as to maintain somewhat of a niche? Do you offer the same services as your competitors? What sets you apart? What in your services sets you apart? How can you capitalize on any niche ideas?
If you are building your own website, where to set up shop, what template best fits you, how customizable is it, is the cost out of the ballpark or is it affordable? Have you determined a budget for the business? For the operating expenses? For the advertising expenses? How will you advertise? Paper? Social media? Paid ads? A little of both? All?
These are just research examples scraped off the top of the pile. A truly successful business model digs way deeper than this. And when you are starting a business you need to address as much as possible before putting down any serious money or effort. In other words you need to research, research, research, put together a business plan, a budget, and not fly off into the sunset by the seat of your pants.
This kind of intense stuff, homework, if you will, is absolutely necessary. And many of my newer first time business owners still think they can throw ideas together at 10 pm at night after hanging out at the beach all day, at the restaurant night after night, and then address the important issues of their business at the 11th hour. They fail to see that this is not some kind of fun and games until when I present them with the next phase of what they need to do and establish they look at me with the deer in the headlights look and say "Oh, I didn't realize ........"
When you run your own business, there is so much that needs to be done, whether it is online, brick and mortar, or both. I have a client who I am extremely proud of, who set up her gourmet bakery 4 years ago, literally worked her butt off, invested much time, patience, work, money, and she now has two employees, a busy busy bakery, and she is constantly coming up with new and wonderful offerings. We handle her website for her, but she is the one who deserves the credit. Her patience, focus, persistence and vision have paid off.
Which kind of small business owner are you???