2 Significant Habits the Technical Professional Needs for Sustainable Business Building

Most businesses are started because the founder has been successful in some type of skill. Maybe the founder is an excellent designer, builder or baker. He has received many compliments and business from friends and well wishers. Perhaps she has toyed with the idea of started a legitimate business in her industry because she knows she is good in the necessary skills. Many small businesses begin this way. According to the Small Business Administration, approximately 80% of small businesses have no employees. They are basically Sole Proprietorships or Limited Liability Corporations. These are the founders with high levels of professional skills trying to secure a business with their technical skills alone.

CB Insights continuously updates a report of business startups that have failed. Currently their reports analyzes 232 business and the problems that led to their failure. Unfortunately approximately 80% of business startups fail within the first five years. There are many reasons these businesses fail, but we can generally conclude that technical skills are not enough to keep a business strong.

The general scenario goes like this. Alice opens a shop and enjoys success right away because the product or service is really good and what the people in the area actually need. If Alice needs help, family and friends may pitch in from time to time. Eventually, Alice gets really tired of having to carry out so many tasks so the quality and timeliness of the service or product falters a little. Alice decides to hire a friend with good skills similar to what she needs. This doesn’t work out because the friend has a different perspective about many things that relate to the business. Eventually, Alice has to fire her friend and go back to doing business from home. Alice also lost a good friend.

This situation happens too many times. Many entrepreneurs jump into building a business thinking they’ll be able to intuitively handle what ever comes up. In rare cases, some make it, but 80% don’t. Business success is full of complexities and all kinds of variables. A hit and miss approach won’t make it.

The primary thing that will relieve some of the inherent stress and give you some control is planning. I know. Your eyes are glazing over and you’re about to click away from this post. Hold on just a couple of minutes. If you want to succeed, you have to do what successful people do. Don’t let the future just happen around you, create the future you want for yourself and your business. To create that future, you must envision it.

“The first step toward creating an improved future is developing the ability to envision it. Vision has no boundaries and knows no limits. Our Vision is what we become in the future.’’ Tony Dungy

Envisioning and making notes about that Vision is planning. New businesses don’t need elaborate plans. Just general expectations can be written in a simple manner to be used as a reference when making business decisions. Simply consider where you are in your business development. Are you providing the product/service to an acceptable number of clients? Is your revenue enough to sustain operations? These and other questions should be asked to assess your present business status. Next, you need to define how you want your business to look in three to five years. Project such things as number of clients served or products sold, revenue, employees etc. This is your Vision. Finally, you will generally describe how you will get to the targets you have set in your Vision. Once you start this process it often becomes exciting, because you’re free to describe a grand Vision and begin thinking about the process required to get you there.

Business building requires a blueprint. If you carefully answer the questions listed above, you’ll have the beginnings of a blueprint and guide for your business decisions. You won’t find yourself “shooting in the dark.”

Regular times should be put into your schedule for studying and refining your plan as you grow. Consider a four day work week leaving plenty of time to plan.

A key advantage of planning for your business is that it relieves many of the stresses related to business building. Marin Watson Pelaez reported in, “Plan Your Way to Less Stress, More Happiness” a survey conducted by Robert Epstein. The study involved 3,000 participants in the U.S. and 29 other countries, who responded to an online questionnaire. “Participants’ stress-management skills were gauged by asking them to rate their level of agreement with 28 items, such as “I frequently use breathing techniques to help me relax.” The stress management technique that worked best, according to the survey: planning. In other words, “fighting stress before it even starts, planning things rather than letting them happen,” says Epstein. That means planning your day, your year and your life so that stress is minimized.”

“The most important way to manage stress is to prevent it from ever occurring, by planning.” Robert Epstein.

The second important value and subsequent habit you will need is a commitment to continuous learning. Change is occurring so rapidly that what you did last month may not be relevant today. A little reading or research in your discipline each day can keep you ahead of the game.

“Some experts go so far as to say learning is leadership, a leader’s constant quest for the improvement of the business, people, and results. As a leader, what do you need to learn? What leadership skills, strategic practices, or management techniques will help you be more effective? Look at your results, and notice where there’s room for improvement. What do you need to learn in order to improve those results? This is the kind of learning that supports powerful leadership.” Joelle K Jay Ph.D

Our Age of Information requires continuous learning, but this is often difficult for the entrepreneur. Particularly, if you are the one responsible for everything that happens in your business; but, somehow, if we commit to something, we find a way to do it. This should be your attitude toward learning. So much information is available to us now. We can virtually learn how to do anything. It’s all on the internet. If you, as a new business owner, take time to continually learn the best way to do the things that your business requires, you’ll remain far ahead of your competition.

The best performers, in any discipline, know that they must be committed to learning. They are constantly trying to improve in their field and for their field. In fact, they know that self-improvement is the key to success, so entrepreneurs can follow their lead and continually improve business skills to become experts in their field and leaders in their industry.

Advantages of continuous learning:

  1. You, as founder, will set the example for business affiliates in every area. You are the “Keeper of the Vision”, the best model of the business Core Values. You are the best model of how the business Systems operate and you are the chief innovator.
  2. Continuous learning helps you achieve completion of your Strategy and ultimately, your Vision in a more effective and efficient way.
  3. Continuous learning helps you perform better than your competition and consequently, earn greater profits.

If you have excellent technical skills in your area of business, you are far ahead of the game. Adopting the habits of planning and continuous learning will help you build that strong and sustainable business you’re dreaming of. Manage well.

See Also: “20 Directives for Small Business Success: Do or Die”