4 Key steps to a successful business

Why do you do what you do?

That’s usually the first question I ask anyone who comes to me for business coaching. It’s because I believe that for your business to be successful, you need to care about it. What you do needs to be important to you and in alignment with your values.

If you have a job, you may be able to get away with doing something that doesn’t matter to you – just turn up, do your hours and collect the money.

But with your own business you need more. You need a sense of purpose to sustain you on the difficult days – when a potential client says no, when a project doesn’t go according to plan, when even getting to work involves a logistical challenge of combining domestic goddess, mum and businesswoman (or domestic god, dad and businessman).

So my first key step to a successful business is this:

1. Know your purpose.

What do you want to achieve with your business?

When you set off on a journey, you usually know your destination, don’t you? Otherwise it would be hard to know which road to take, or which bus or train to catch!

It’s the same with your business. If you don’t know what you want to achieve with the business, how do you know what to do to achieve it?

People use lots of different words to denote the ‘thing’ they want to achieve. It could be your goal, your dream, your target or, as I often suggest, your vision for the business.

So my second key step to a successful business is:

2. Have a vision.

What are you going to do in your business?

When you go on Google maps, or set your SatNav, there are often a number of different possible routes, and one that is highlighted as likely to be the fastest.

It’s the same with your business. Once you know what you want to achieve (your vision), you can work out how to achieve it.

There will probably be a number of possible approaches you can take. If so, it’s a case of identifying which approach is likely to give you the best chance of success.

Remember that any approach you take needs to be in alignment with your purpose.

You need to decide which activities will help you move towards achieving the vision, and which will get in the way or even take you off course.

So my third key step is:

3. Have a strategy.

What are you going to do tomorrow?

Once you have your business strategy, you need to translate it into action.

How you do this will depend partly on your personality and preferences.

For example, if you’re very left-brained, you may thrive on a detailed action plan, with different activities scheduled into your calendar on each day of the week.

However, some creative people find this stifling! If you do, then you may prefer to develop an overall view of the tasks that need tackling each week or month, and address them as and when you instinctively feel that the time is right.

There’s no right approach. The important thing, however, is to know exactly what you need to do to achieve your strategy, and then to do it!

4. So my fourth and final key step is:

Have a plan.

Contact: Amanda Cullen businessmadesimpler.co.uk