A business journey is not without its blocks and bumps, but this article emphasizes believing in yourself, taking risks, and enjoying the process.
Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or starting fresh, I hope these insights provide a guide for business owners in the pursuit of success.
I’m frequently asked about my advice for fellow business owners entering or progressing in their ventures and about the key lessons I’ve gained from my own experiences. In reflection, here are my insights:
Key Learning: Consistent Revisiting, Reflection, and Review of Business Plans
1. One of the fundamentals of a successful business journey is the ongoing commitment to revisiting, reflecting upon, and reviewing your business plans. This process isn’t a one-time task but a continuous endeavour that plays a pivotal role in steering your business toward success.
Regularly revisiting your business plans ensures that they stay relevant in the ever-evolving landscape of business.
External factors, market trends, and industry competition are in a constant state of flux. By revisiting your plans, you can adapt to opportunities, address unforeseen challenges, and fine-tune your strategies to align with the current business environment.
Reflection is a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. Taking the time to reflect on your business plans allows you to gain insights into what has worked well and what areas may require adjustments. It provides an opportunity for introspection, enabling you to understand the motivations behind your goals, identify strengths, and acknowledge areas for improvement.
Regular reviews of your business plans serve as a health check for your enterprise. Thoroughly examining the operational, financial, and strategic aspects of your plans helps in identifying patterns, trends and areas that may need immediate attention. It also allows you to measure progress against set milestones and goals, facilitating informed decision-making.
2. Seek like-minded individuals, businesses, opportunities, and mentors while steadfastly holding onto your values and vision.
3. Networking, particularly as a sole trader, has proven invaluable. While I already valued this, its importance has become even more apparent.
4. Understanding the financial aspects is a key learning. I am grateful for online systems, accountants, and bookkeepers; maintaining a strong relationship with them is vital. Having all three kept me accountable, reduced financial stress, and allowed me to focus on other aspects of the business.
What I Would Do Differently:
If I were to make a change, it would involve exploring partnerships or seeking investors. While sole trading offered me more flexibility and confidence to pursue my dreams, I now see the potential benefits of further collaboration.
Partnering or securing investment could have injected fresh perspectives and resources into my business. It’s a path that, in hindsight, possibly held promise of growth and more diversity
Regardless of external challenges, consistent planning and adaptation provided exciting opportunities for me including expansion, innovation, and business improvements. ‘Holding the vision and trusting the process’ is crucial.
Advice to Other Business Owners:
Expect both critics and supporters in your business journey. My advice is to stick with those who support you, believe in yourself, and don’t hesitate to seek help when needed. However, listen to the critics and use their sometimes well-intended advice constructively
For those starting a business, irrespective of age, hold on, be prepared for setbacks, and persevere. Understand your pursuits (dreams, vision, outcomes), take inspired action daily, have faith in yourself, surround yourself with encouraging people, and keep trying. If it’s meant to be, it will be.
Believe in yourself and trust the process. Take that risk, pursue your passion, and be persistent in reaching your goals. Remember there will be ‘roadblocks and bumps’ along the way but hold on to your vision, take appropriate action, be kind to yourself, and enjoy the journey.