Let’s face it. Starting a small business takes guts.
You put your time, energy, money, heart and soul into your small business and pray that people will love it! It’s a huge risk and is clearly not for the faint of heart.
Like all of life, you will experience successes and failures. And what I call the so-so’s.
The successes feel amazing! You feel as though you’ve really got something to offer the world! You feel appreciated, validated and fulfilled. It’s a beautiful thing! The failures are tough. You feel disheartened, frustrated, and sometimes as though your hard work is going unnoticed. (Talk about a punch in the gut!) Then of course, there are the so-so’s. Things aren’t going over-the-top fantastically but results or fruition after all of your hard work are more or less underwhelming. Meh.
But that’s life! And I can deal! And, of course, so can you. Let me save you from wasting your time and losing your mind with this list. So get that pencil and paper out, and let’s do this!
Here are my TOP 10 SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESSES & FAILURES! (I preface this by saying that I am in no way suggesting that you are a failure if you make mistakes or experience failures in life. It’s okay to admit failure, as long as you don’t dwell on it, but learn from it instead.)
- SUCCESS ~ I decided to save money specifically for starting each of my small businesses. There is nothing worse than being in debt…when you are trying to MAKE MONEY!
- SUCCESS ~ I knew my fears and SQUASHED them! You know yourself better than anyone else. What are your fears? You must decide that if you don’t do something, nothing will ever happen! At least if you are afraid to try, but you try anyway… you can say… that you tried!
- SUCCESS ~ I tested markets to decide which markets would be my best! If one wasn’t doing so well, no need to continue there! If one was killing it, drive sales there! Simple thought process, but it makes sense, doesn’t it???
- SUCCESS ~ I made friends in small business! There is absolutely nothing like the friendship of a fellow entrepreneur to encourage you, swap ideas, build you up and usually, help you get the word out there about your awesome business!
- SUCCESS ~ I made sure that I had what customers wanted what I had. If it’s not hot, it won’t sell!
- FAILURE ~ I made the mistake of not being attentive to my customer’s needs. When I started my very first small business, which was a handmade hair bows business, I was not diligent in keeping up with my customer’s needs. My tips: respond to any and all questions or concerns from a customer as quickly as possible, consistently.
- FAILURE ~ I made the mistake of working with the wrong people. (This mistake applied only to my handmade business.) If you are looking to put your merchandise into a locally owned shop like I did, be sure that your values and work ethic line up with the owners. If the owner doesn’t share your enthusiasm for small business success or simply does not have a knack for it, you will not be able to succeed. You are who you hang with!
- FAILURE ~ When I started out in small business (actually this went on for years) I made the mistake of neglecting to make a business plan. My personality is willy nilly, but my business goals could not be.
- FAILURE ~ I made the mistake of not branding myself. If you choose not to brand your business, you are no different than every other small business out there. Sure, you might have something really awesome to offer, but so does someone else! What makes you different? What sets you apart? You must be memorable enough to stand out a sea of sales.
- FAILURE ~ I made the mistake of not learning from past failures! Remember what I said about not working with the right people? Oh yes, I did that more than once, as painful as that is to admit. Be sure that if you’ve made a mistake, you learn from it. You are smarter than that. You are better than that!
Anyone can go on for days (ohhhh so many days) about their successes. But it takes guts (you know, those guts we talked about back at the beginning) to admit your failures. My suggestion?
Share your success stories without boasting, but to help others succeed instead! Proverbs 27:2 says, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.”
Share your failures as well. Not only to help others learn from your mistakes, but to remain humble. Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
I would love to hear about some of your successes and failures, if you are brave enough! Share in the comments section!
(photo credit: pinterest)