Have you ever imagined what it would be like to live your dream? A good place to start would be to recognize that there are three elements, and only three elements, that separate success from failure. If you exercise one of the elements, you might just be successful. Two and you will probably succeed. Three, and you can practically guarantee your success.
What are they? They are deceptively simple, and deep down inside you know what they are. But to purposefully write them down and use them as guides in selecting your dream business will make all the difference in the world. As you go through this exercise, you will dramatically build on your chances of success. Nowhere will it count more than right here, deciding how many of the three essential elements will qualify you to realize your dream.
- Find a need!
Is there a market niche for your particular product or service? Does the world, or even your community, need what you have to offer? Only by sampling and testing will you be able to determine this with any degree of certainty, but we will be covering this as we go along in greater detail. The most important aspect would be to determine a Unique Selling Proposition for your product or service. Too many business owners are just trying to be me-too companies. You cannot be just like the next guy and expect to prosper in this volatile economy.
One of the most important things I learned from my Dad was, there are really only two things to consider, and next to them everything else is minor. Those two things are: (1) What do you really want? And just as, and perhaps even more important, (2) Are you willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it?
What do you really, really want from this endeavor? What is your ultimate goal? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to achieve this goal? Instead of looking for a business based on how much money you can earn up-front, select a business based on your love for that endeavor. The most successful and fulfilled people are individuals who are following a dream or vision of their own. They are not just out trying to make a buck.
What opportunities can you act upon? Woolworth saw a need for small inexpensive items and opened the chain of stores that grossed billions. Wrigley started giving gum away as a bonus, and seized the chance to expand worldwide.
You must create a uniqueness to your product or service. What can you offer that no one else can offer? Is it a better warranty, improved customer service, more technical support, faster shipping, or lower price? Think of something that will set you apart from your competitors and describe in detail exactly what it is.
- Be good at what you do.
Are you as good as, or better than, the next guy when it comes to producing/marketing your product or service? This element requires an honest self-assessment. “What are my abilities?” To determine your abilities you must take an honest inventory of yourself. Examine every possibility and be sure to include strengths and weaknesses. Will your strong points be able to let you overcome your deficits?
- Have true passion for the business.
If there is one element you absolutely cannot do without, it is passion. Passion is an irresistible attitudinal energy that generates power. Do you have a passion for working with your particular product or service? Notice, I didn’t say “do you like what you want to do?” There are too many competitors out there who are ready, willing and able to “eat your lunch” when it comes to competing with you. They may have found the same niche that you have found. They may like what they do as much as you do. But what separates the winners from the losers is passion.
What are you really passionate about? If your answer is, “I’m passionate about making a lot of money.” That is not the right answer. Making a lot of money is consequence of engaging in a successful activity where you remain motivated long enough to be successful. The key to creating passion is to find and do what it is that you truly love. Passion is the laser-like focusing of our creative life force. We do not create passion. (Don’t confuse passion with being a workaholic. Workaholism devours while passion amplifies.)
So there they are, the three key elements to having a successful small business.