Somewhere along the line the mindset of new business owners has changed from anticipating a long slow, but steady growth to achieving overnight success. If success doesn’t occur within the first two weeks, then the business is a failure.
The challenge of the small business owner is to not be taken in by the media hype of overnight success stories, but to focus on making daily progress. Setting a goal and breaking it into small measurable steps is the right kind of business growth.
The following from Tom Peters’ book, “Thriving on Chaos” explains the need for rapid and slow growth: “A firm is never static – it is either growing or stagnating. While growth for growth’s sake at the extreme is silly, growth alone provides an expanding opportunity structure for everyone in the firm.”
If the opportunity comes along for a fast growth spurt, take it, but keep your focus on your small daily structured achievements. “Doing things a little bit at a time, all the time, has the highest probability of success.”
This overnight success syndrome has manifested itself in many different ways in the small business owner’s life. Marketing is the key ingredient needed to grow a business. I see many one shot marketing efforts being made, some at a high cost, that don’t meet the owners instant return expectations; so the idea is abandoned and a new one is tried.
Networking has become another mantra for the business owner. If you don’t network you can’t succeed. The problem is there is no education on how to network. Attending a single networking session and not getting a lot of business referrals does not mean that it can’t work. Consistency and persistence are the key words along with an understanding that you first must give before you can receive.
I find that a plan is the single most important tool a small business owner can have. That does not mean a three year plan comprising of several hundred pages. What is needed is a simple yearly focus plan that has check points built in which can be measured on a weekly basis. This allows for changes and modifications to be made along the journey but without losing sight of the ultimate goal.
“I tried it once and it didn’t work” is the worst sentence that a small business owner can utter. Unfortunately, today was my day to hear that several times from business owners who are ready to give up. No one can work instant magic and instantaneously dial success.
I will leave you with this thought: Failure is not an option… don’t tell me why it can’t be done… instead, tell me how you will make it happen.
Nick J. Petra CFP subscribe to www.onebizcentral.com today; it’s the best $5/month you will ever invest. email@example.com