~by Haley Lynn Gray~
Anyone who tells you starting a business is easy is lying through her teeth. Someone, somewhere may have managed to start a business with clients that came easily, who never hit any road bumps, and it all just magically worked out.
That isn’t reality for most entrepreneurs. It is true some things may be easier than others, but not everything is going to be easy all the time. Some clients will make you want to go screaming from the building. Many times, the clients who need the most help are the ones whose lives most closely resemble something from the Jerry Springer show. I won’t say which business or businesses that comment applies to.
So, how do you gain traction in business?
- Build a support network. You’re going to need it. Friends, family and others who can support you when everything seems to be going somewhere in a hand basket. There will be days like that and being able to talk it out with someone is important. I sometimes feel like my head is going to explode if I can’t talk through what I’m doing with someone else. Sometimes I just need someone who isn’t going to tell me I’m crazy.
- Build a Schedule and Stick to It. Build yourself a schedule and stick to it. That means getting up at a certain time each day, going to networking meetings and generally making sure you’re putting the time into the business. If you don’t put the effort in, you’re not going to see results.
- Put on Your Bra and Get Out of the House. If you’re anything like me, the first thing that happens when you get home is you take off your bra and maybe put on PJs to get comfortable. While I find I’m tremendously productive sitting here in my PJs, it isn’t exactly conducive to getting out and meeting people. Once I have my bra off, it’s tempting to not go back out for the day. And if I don’t put one on in the first place, it’s a ripe excuse for staying home. Unfortunately, my business isn’t going to grow if I’m not out selling.
- Create a Selling Plan. You need to create a list of where you will go to market your product or service. Know who you will be selling to and start selling. The more of this you do, the better your business will perform.
- Get Some Great Resources. An attorney, a good tax-accountant and a great bookkeeper will be your best friends. They can save you so much aggravation, time and money. Also, look into hiring a virtual assistant or just an assistant to help you with tasks that aren’t mission critical. Your time is valuable and being able to focus on the things inside your zone of genius will mean more success for your business.
- Take Care of Yourself. Without you, there is no business. If you burn yourself out, you won’t be able to keep going. That means getting adequate sleep, exercise and eating well. You must take care of yourself to keep moving forward.
- Ask Your Friends and Family for Referrals. The first thing any entrepreneur should do is ask their friends and family for referrals. Once you’ve gotten some clients that way, you can ask those clients for more referrals. I’ve heard it said in business so many times that it’s not what you know, but who you know that matters. It isn’t absolutely required that you have a vast network, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
Remember the early days in your business will be fleeting. Starting a business involves a small percentage of inspiration. The rest is perspiration and sticking with it.
By giving yourself the tools you need to stick with the business longer, you increase your odds of success. It’s a relatively simple concept. The better you are at sticking with it, the better the outcomes.
Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray
Haley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.
Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.
Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.
Connect with Haley:
- Work with Haley: http://leadershipgirl.com/work-with-haley/
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Leadershipgirl
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/haleygray