I remember when my daughter Joanna was about 9 months and took her first baby steps. At first she would crawl over to the furniture, and pull herself up. She would often fall but she was so determined to walk that she would try, and try again and she would never give up.
Businesses are a lot like small babies too. Often early on we make mistakes and fall over a bit. Fortunately most of the mistakes we make are not life threatening.
When I started my first business I wrongly assumed that customers would fall in love with the service I provided and all I needed was to advertise in the yellow pages, open an office, and business would just happen.
I learned a lot from that experience.
Many business owners start with a fire in their belly called 'passion'. This is what ignites our dreams to start a new business. Unfortunately it isn't enough to keep the business going and grow from the baby stage to adulthood (maturity)
The key ingredients are having a determination to make things happen and to never give up just like my daughter, Joanna.
This is all about never being afraid to make mistakes and see mistakes and failures as learning opportunities, stepping stones to success.
I mentioned in my last blog about putting feet on the dreams.
In my first business experience although I had a dream of owning my own business I lacked a plan of making it happen. I was waiting for things to happen.
Things don't just happen unless we plan and make it happen. This plan is called a business plan. A business plan at a high level is made up of 4 components.
The vision. This is a picture of the business sometime in the future.
The mission statement. This is the answer to the what question. What does the business need to do to achieve the vision?
The objectives. These provide the answer to "How do I make things happen?"
The values. These are what are is important to the business and shape the actions and behaviour of the business
Without the answers to these key questions, the business will struggle to grow. It could even die.
The next blog will look how vision, mission, objectives and values when linked to business systems provide the source of business growth and success.