THE BLOG

Eight Steps to a Successful Business

09/12/2014 12:45 GMT | Updated 08/02/2015 10:59 GMT

Starting a business can be daunting. Revision - Starting a business is daunting, terrifying, exhilarating, infuriating and the best thing I've ever done. But it's never smooth sailing, and newcomers need to know that a great idea does not make a great business. It takes more than just filling a niche. But what you have could be amazing and, more to the point, profitable. So follow these 8 steps to a successful business and ensure that your enterprise flourishes.

Commitment

If you're not 100% behind this project then step away. A half-baked attempt at a fantastic idea is going to fail, no matter how incredible the concept, so make sure you're willing and able to fully commit to this new venture.

Have a clear goal

The phrase "We'll figure those bits out later" has been the murder weapon for many a business. When I first went live with PeoplePerHour, it was all hands on deck, and if I'd decided to "wing it" with the finer details then I would have tripped myself up at the first hurdle. I realise a lot of entrepreneurs simply want to roll up their sleeves and get started, but you don't want to have to stop right in the middle and untie knots that should never have been able to tangle in the first place. Make sure you have every single step of your project mapped out in detail before starting.

Learn from your failures

If you're going to fail, fail magnificently. Take that bump in the road, dismantle the pieces of the wreckage and glean the good bits. Learn the lessons, make a note of them and move on. Sometimes, the lessons I've learned in the low points have been the very same essential experiences that have shaped how I've handled my business today. Be grateful for your failures. Learn from them.

Communication

The conversations that you are avoiding are the ones you actually desperately need to be having. Clear and concise communication with rapid consistency is essential within your team and with your clients and customers. So get chatting.

Listen

As above, it works both ways. Barking out orders and instructions and then whipping off back into your office and closing the door is bad management. Listen to feedback, actively seek it out from colleagues and clients alike, and act on the information you're given. No business should be an island.

Motivation

Knowing what to do and not doing it is just as bad as not knowing what to do in the first place. Motivation is key to keeping momentum going, and delivering on your intents is essential. Many a winning business idea has been dreamt up between enthusiasts in the pub, and then lies forgotten when everyone wakes up with cloudy heads. But with clear and un-quenchable motivation, you can't be stopped.

Believe in your product

Passion is infectious. If you aren't raving to your friends about that new innovation or boring your in-laws with the intricacies of your product, then you aren't really behind it. You need to believe in your product 100% and be literally edge-of-your-seat excited about it. Because if you love it, other people will. And if you don't? They won't.

Persistence

Learning those lessons and hitting those snags can be heartbreaking and almost enough to make you want to grab your coat and go fishing. I can't name the amount of times I've growled over my keyboard at my project and threatened to give up, but the reason I am where I am today is because I haven't. If you have the first 7 steps in place already, then persistence is the final ingredient to ensure your enterprise succeeds. That and a healthy supply of caffeine.