So, you’re thinking about starting a business. That’s great!
Maybe you have an idea already lined up and you’re ready to take the dive. This is both exciting and scary. It’s exciting because a business is something you can use to express your creativity, help others, and make money.
It’s scary because starting a business is hard work. Did you know that statistics say 8 out of 10 businesses fail within the first year? If your business survives past the first year mark, the statistics don’t look great for businesses making it to 10 years.
What do you do to ensure that you don’t start a business that is destined to fail?
The truth is that all successful entrepreneurs have at least one major thing in common: good habits. Time and again the worlds most successful businessmen and businesswomen attribute their success to hard work and the daily habits that keep them going forward.
If you are thinking about starting a business, or you already have a startup going, the first thing you need to do is assess your habits to make sure they align with your overall goals.
Here are 7 habits you must have in order to start a business.
1. Willingness to work 24/7
When you run a business, working standard business hours is not an option. Business owners, especially in the first few years, have to work literally all the time. This means in the early morning, late at night, weekends, and holidays.
Being willing to work also means giving up other activities in order to work on your business.
If you usually hang out with friends every night, you need to be willing to cut it back to one night a week. The same goes for watching TV. If you like to come home and watch TV until bedtime, that needs to stop asap so that all your attention can go towards your business.
The early years of your business need as much of your attention as possible.
If you want to succeed, you have to be willing to sacrifice anything that might distract you from your goals.
In the end, when you have a successful and thriving business, it will all have been worth it.
2. Desire to learn
When you’re starting a business there is so much to learn. Even if you think you have a general idea of what you need in order to succeed, there will be so many things that pop up that you have never dealt with and will need to learn how to handle.
Although learning might seem time-consuming, it is necessary. Even the most successful business owners continue to dedicate time to learning.
If you’re afraid of learning because you think you have to go to school, that’s not the case at all. Learning comes in all different ways these days. There are youtube videos, online courses, e-books, self-help books on audible, podcasts, and plenty of blogs and websites.
If you have an open mind when it comes to learning you will be able to absorb the knowledge you need. Therefore, you are bound to learn and apply everything you can to make your business succeed.
3. Stick to a routine
Do you tend to roll your eyes at people who have a routine? Maybe you think people who follow routines are boring and predictable.
But, guess what? Some of the most successful people in the world stick to a routine.
Have you ever heard about how the most successful people always wake up at a certain time, always workout at a certain time, always eat at a certain time, always check their email at a certain time, and so on? That’s because they realize the importance of having a routine.
Routines aren’t bad, especially if you are starting a business. Don’t look at a routine as taking the ‘fun’ out of everyday life. Instead, think about it as a framework to help you run and grow your business.
A routine helps guarantee that you get everything done in a day that needs to be done. It also helps to train your mind to stay focused.
To learn more about creating a solid routine, check out these posts:
4. Get organized
Business owners deal with loads of paperwork, hundreds of emails, contracts, customers, employees, and so much more on a daily basis. Being organized will make all of this so much easier.
If you’re just now starting a business, make sure you get organized right from the start. If you already have your business, take a day or two to organize everything. This will help you tremendously.
My whole philosophy is that the more organized you are, the more productive you can be.
Here are some different tools and methods I use to keep organized with my business.
- Hanging folders/file folders
- Small Business Monthly Ledger (click here to get yours for free!)
- Google keep
- Entrepreneur planner
If you aren’t organized, chances are you will struggle on your way to success. Make things easier on yourself and make organization a priority.
If you want your own copy of the entrepreneur planner I created, you can download yours for free right here!
I use this planner to help schedule out my day, week, month, and year. It’s extremely helpful to look ahead at my overall goals, my financial goals, and the small things I have to do to get there. If this sounds like something you need, get yours here!
5. Be realistic, but dream big
I made this mistake in the first year of my e-commerce business. I wasn’t realistic. And let me tell you, but the end of the year I was devastated.
I’m not the type of person who takes failure that great. I feel like I completely failed in my first year of real business.
Starting a business was the easy part. I came up with the idea, I did my research, I got a business license, I popped my information online, and I waited for success. When it didn’t happen, I started to sulk.
None of the numbers I wrote down on my goals list were being met. In fact, it was the opposite. I was losing money.
When I started the business, I wrote on a piece of paper how much money I expected to make that year. I even told my banker the number. It was a huge unrealistic number. I didn’t even allow myself the chance to grow.
Don’t make the same mistake I made. When setting your goals, be realistic.
However, I’m not telling you not to dream big. I still have giant goals and dreams that I know I will achieve in the (near) future. However, I now allow myself to achieve smaller and more realistic goals along the way.
By doing this, I constantly fulfill important milestones and I make progress towards my long term goals.
Realistic goals also help me feel more accomplished and appreciative of the progress I have made.
6. Prioritize your business
I know way too many people who have a business and don’t make it a priority.
We can all probably think of those people who call themselves a business owner but never actually puts any effort into their business.
Don’t be that person!
If you’re starting a business or you already have one, it needs to be your top priority.
Yes, this means passing up on fun activities like hanging out with friends, watching TV, taking trips, and so much more.
When I started this blog, it became my number one priority. I even had to set aside my true passion (screenwriting) in order to give this blog all my attention.
If you really believe in your business and you want it to succeed, there should be no reason that you don’t dedicate all your time to it. In the end, it will all be completely worth it!
7. Be willing to pivot
Just like Ross in Friends, feel free to scream Pivot if what you’re doing simply won’t work.
It’s okay to make changes and tweaks to your business plans. That’s the beauty of starting a business that is all your own. You can make adjustments as you go.
You are likely working extremely hard to build something great. Don’t get so caught up in the original idea that you don’t leave room for change or improvements.
Hardly anything ever ends the way it started out. That’s the great thing about life!
Think about it. Facebook started out as a website for one college. Look at it now. There were many pivots made to Facebook before it became the social sharing site it is today. The same goes for Amazon. That started out as a website for people to buy and sell books. Look at all the pivots and changes that were made to Amazon and where it is now.
When starting a business, it’s best not to look at any change as a negative thing. Change can actually be great and necessary.
So, if you find yourself stuck on a staircase with a couch that just won’t fit, scream PIVOT and make the necessary changes to keep going. (If you still don’t understand the Friends reference, check out the clip HERE. I don’t want you feeling left out! Seriously, it’s hilarious).
So there you have it. 7 habits to have that will make starting a successful business easy. If you have any tips or suggestions on habits you think make a great business owner, I’d love to hear them.
Best of luck to you!