During my years of working directly with small businesses, talking with entrepreneurs day in and day out, speaking in forums and seminars, joining small business and entrepreneurs associations, etc., I have noticed three factors that make any small business thrive. Contrary to what you might believe, it has nothing to do with the academic or business background of the owner. It has also nothing to do with the type of industry or geographical location the business is in. Most of the time it has nothing to with the quality of your product or service.
The three most important factors to create a thriving small business are: be open and willing to learn all the time, be persistent, and have a long term (not a get-rich-quick) vision.
- Be open and willing to learn all the time. It is amazing but most small business owners want success without making the constant effort to learn new things. With the overwhelming amount of information available, it is very common that small business owners don’t want to learn. Sometimes they believe that going to one course, one seminar, or reading one book will solve all their problems – but this rarely happens! Starting and running a small business is challenging and you must always be open to learn new things and to seek every type of knowledge: books, seminars, coaching, etc. Don’t expect to be successful as a business owner if you don’t train yourself all the time with new knowledge and tools. I know, you might feel overwhelmed by all of the options. If you look carefully, however, you’ll find that there are some authors, coaches, programs, etc. that are mentioned in the media over and over, so seek out the names you see everywhere. Don’t let too many options to paralyze you: get help, read a book, take a seminar, hire a coach, and try, again and again!
- Be Persistent. This is a key factor in order to be successful in business – and in every aspect of life. Not giving up at the first sign of a challenge is fundamental for a small business to thrive. It’s amazing how often small business owners quit and start new things. In the end they never complete anything since they are looking for the “opportunity” that is easier to achieve. If you read about the majority of the successful people and business owners throughout history, most had to try for years and years before they achieved a long term “steady” success. Enjoy the ride – that’s most important! I can guarantee you that there will always be problems and challenges to solve, no matter the size of the business, no matter how long the business has being around.
- Have a long term vision. This is closely related to persistence. Unfortunately, we live in a time where we’re everyone seems to be selling the ‘magic pill’, quick success solutions that never pan out. There is a quick fix for everything – a magic pill to lose weight, a magic exercise routine that will give you a perfect body in just 10 minutes a day… The list goes on and on. This magic pill syndrome has affected small business owners and entrepreneurs by encouraging them to expect huge success in a very short period of time. No wonder many small business owners and entrepreneurs quit and start new ventures so often! Unfortunately we always look to the exception of the rule and want to have those results ourselves. Yes, there may be a very small percentage of people that lose some weight while taking their diet pill, but there’s always a regain sooner or later. Yes, there may be a very small percentage of people that get a fit body with just 10 minutes of exercise (and a very strict died of course). And yes, there might be other companies like ‘Facebook’ – startups that grow exponentially in a few years and become multibillion dollar companies. But these situations are the very rare exceptions of the rule.
As we have mentioned before, here at Provendus Group we believe that entrepreneurs and small business owners are heroes, heroes who support the economy worldwide, who change the status quo, and who help their communities. That’s why it is very important to be highly aware of these three business apocalypse riders. These three key elements – learning, persistence, and long term vision- will be the foundation for your success. Promote and practice them, evaluate how you are doing with them, and thrive!