Starting a Business? 5 Disciplines Every Business Owner Should Practice
Many people think about starting a business, but not many of them end up becoming a successful entrepreneur and business owner. To start your own business and become a successful entrepreneur, you need special disciplines; disciplines that are practiced by all successful entrepreneurs and self-made business millionaires. You can either learn and practice these disciplines early in your entrepreneurial career or you can learn and practice them later. Sooner or later you must become knowledgeable and skilled in each of these five areas if you are going to build an enterprise and become a successful entrepreneur.
The first discipline is the discipline of market analysis. This is where new business owners fail to become successful entrepreneurs. They start off with a great idea, and often don’t want to tell anybody about it; for fear that someone will steal their idea. So they go off half-cocked into the marketplace with a product or service that has not been thought through properly and they are amazed when it fails.
If you have an idea for a product or service in a particular industry, you should go to someone who is already in that industry and ask for their opinion. A successful entrepreneur will get in touch with as many people in that industry as possible and lay out an idea to them in full and ask for their candid comments.
What you are looking for is “negative thinking.” A negative thinker is someone who will point out the holes and flaws in your plan. If you cannot patch the holes or fix the flaws in your plan when you are starting a business, that is probably a pretty good indicator that your business is not going to succeed.
Create a Business Plan
The second discipline that you must become very good at is the discipline of planning. What this means, is that as a person who is starting a business, you must take the time to prepare a complete business plan before you start operations.
The purpose of a business plan is not to acts as a road map or as a precise guide to the future. The purpose of creating a business plan is that the preparation of the plan forces you to think through every single critical issue that you will deal with in the future.
A successful entrepreneur and business owner will give a lot of thought to the various things that could happen and to the various things they might have to do, should those things happen. The un-successful business owner is someone who has given no thought at all.
The Discipline of Money
The third discipline you need for starting a business is that of money. A new business owner will need six full months of operating costs, in the bank, before they go into business. If you need money to start your own business, you should be aware that 99% of all start-up money is called “love money.” This is money that people give you because they love you, or money that you provide yourself by taking out a second mortgage on your home, selling everything that you have that you don’t need, and even borrowing cash against your credit cards.
Don’t count on banks to lend you money. Banks simply do not lend money to a business owner for starting a business. The failure rate is too high. Banks are not in the business of taking risks. Banks are in the business of making good, solid loans that they know will be paid back on a timely basis. Banks then make the margin between what they can borrow the money for and what they can lend it to you at.
The Secrets of Power Negotiating
The fourth discipline is the discipline of negotiating. As a business owner, you must learn how to negotiate by first of all studying the process of negotiating, and then second, practicing negotiating at every opportunity. A successful entrepreneur and business owner must negotiate for better prices for the products and services when they are buying. They negotiate for higher prices and earlier payments for their products and services when they are selling.
With regard to money and negotiating, the rule is that you preserve cash at all costs. As a business owner, you never buy when you can lease and never lease when you can rent. You never rent when you can borrow and you never get anything new if you can get it second hand. Negotiating for and protecting your sources of cash flow is the most important thing that you can do for a small business. If you run out of cash, you’re dead. Cash is to a small business as blood and oxygen is to the brain. You must fight, scramble, negotiate and do everything possible to assure that you always have cash reserves.
A Successful Entrepreneur is Resilient
The final discipline is the discipline of resilience. It is the ability to bounce back from the inevitable setbacks and disappointments that you will experience virtually every single day in starting and building your own business. One of the marks of the successful entrepreneur is that he or she is always looking into the future and considering the worst possible thing that could happen in every area of the business.
Sometimes, a small setback can seem almost overwhelming if you’ve allowed yourself to get tired and run down. You become resilient to the degree to which you get lots of rest when you are starting a business.
You have within you, right now, the ability to start and build a successful business and become a business owner. Millions of people have done it in the past, and millions more people will do it in the future. These people are not smarter or better than you are. They have simply learned what they needed to learn and then practiced it, over and over until it became second nature. And so can you.
Thank you for reading this article on how to become a successful entrepreneur and business owner. If you have any other tips about starting a business, please feel free to share it in the comment box below!
Topics included in this article include
Starting a Business
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