The hardest part about building a business from scratch is that you have two very big variables to contend with. One is the system and the other is the people building and running the system. Here is how to avoid making big business start-up mistakes.
Create the business system. Starting a business throws up many opportunities and challenges on a daily basis. You are both head chef and chief bottle washer; creating the vision, devising your sales and marketing strategy, raising sufficient finance to fund the businesses growth etc. Now, add devising a whole business system into the mix and you’re gonna be knee-deep in a whole lot of challenges.
- One way of looking at is asking yourself would you be better off investing time and money into building a pipeline (i.e. a system) rather than hauling buckets (i.e. no system). A lot of entrepreneurs have not worked in large systemised business or franchise operation before so they find it very testing and almost impossible to devise and implement a business system. Most small businesses are therefore hauling buckets.
- The whole purpose of creating a business system is to allow you to create a business that will quickly run itself without your own day-to-day involvement. For most small business owners this is merely a pipe dream. The reason this happens is that not enough time is invested up front devising the systems to run the business.
- Avoid the mistake that 99% of self-employed business owners. Read The E-Myth by Michael Gerber to help your find out more about what’s involved in creating your own business system.
- Consider buying a franchise instead. This will give you the system.
Choose the right people. A system without the right people to manage it is like a ship manned by drunken sailors, unmanageable and destined to hit the rocks. Choosing the right kind of people to manage a system is essential and will maximise your chances of success.
- Interviewing and selecting people is going to be a key part of your job as a business owner. If both the system and the people building the system are flaky then the chances of failure are great.
Lead well. Once you have selected the right kind of people the work doesn’t stop there. You will be required to manage and lead your people often at the same time – motivating, monitoring, measuring and rewarding. People are your biggest asset, not your customers. Properly motivated and managed people will crawl over broken glass for a good quality organisation with good leadership. Indeed, for the business owner, unlocking people’s potential is an extremely gratifying experience.
- Motivation is an art, measurement is a science, monitoring is a skill, rewarding is fun! People are generally motivated by personal reward which in general takes the form of financial remuneration, job security etc. However, the best form of motivation is giving someone a simple compliment. And it doesn’t cost you a dime. Being genuine and saying something as simple as “well done, I like how you did that job” will do more for motivating your people and strengthening your business than any amount of cash reward.
- Finding the sweet spot between personal reward and organisation benefit is the key to success. In summary, good systems + good people + good management and leadership = business success.