Everyone wants to succeed in life. And no one starts a business of any sort, on-line or off-line, wanting to fail.
Yet the sad fact is that 80% of offline and 97% of internet businesses will fail in the first year. 84% of internet businesses will never make any income at all.
So what can you do to ensure your success?
Luckily these four simple (never confuse simple with easy), tried and tested steps dramatically increases your chances.
1. Set Out Your Goals
Success means something different to us all. A self-made businessman worth millions of dollars would be thought successful by most. But if that businessman only rarely sees his family, never gets to play golf and spends all of his time on airplanes or in some exotic sounding (but usually antiseptic) hotel, is that really a success?
Would that businessman think his life a success?
Possibly, possibly not.
But if that man had set himself goals for his business, private and social lives he at least has some way of measuring his achievements.
Before starting on any endeavour – set your goals.
Make sure your goals are specific enough that you know when you have achieved them. “I want to make money on the internet” is weak. “I want to make $100,000 next year and $200,000 the year after” is much stronger.
Don’t forget to include your private and social goals. Many rich people complain that they have all the freedom that money can buy – but money can’t buy the time to enjoy what they have earned.
2. Plan, Plan, Plan
If the number one key to success in retailing is location, location and location, the number one key to success in business is plan, plan, plan.
Remember the 5 Ps success model – Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. (When I was taught this in the military there was a 6th P – for the sake of a mixed audience I have left this out. Use your imagination – you’ll guess what it was :-))
If you’ve done your goal setting you know what you are going to achieve. The point of planning is how you are going to do it. Break each goal down into constituent steps needed for its achievement. For each step decide what, who, where and when it is to be done.
Be realistic and make sure that every step is achievable in the time set. Be prepared – when you plan-out all that you need to do, the amount of work can be daunting. Better to know this up-front than sale merrily into a venture only to find it is a huge monster that is going to take you a lifetime to kill.
3. Action Counts
I’ve seen some beautiful plans. Highly researched, well thought out and presented. I’ll talk to a business owner and they’ll say, “We’ve got a plan” and, after searching around for a while, pull it out of the bottom draw of a filing cabinet.
“So, why aren’t you using it”, I’ll ask. Nine times out of 10 the plan was produced to obtain funding. Despite the really good work to produce the plan once finance is received the plan is put to one side and ignored.
Big mistake. Taking action is the only thing that counts. And the plan ensures that your actions deliver your goals.
Every successful business I have looked at has clear, current business, operational and marketing plans. It doesn’t matter whether your business is offline or online – effective plans deliver results.
4. Another 5 ‘P’s to Success
Passion – You have to believe in what you are doing. No where is this more obvious than on the internet. You can spot the ‘me-too’ advertisers in a second. The people who succeed are the ones in have passion, who truly believe in what they are doing. So do something that you love.
Push – No matter how good your plan you have to provide a big push to get it moving. Your plan inevitably involves change. Achieving change takes effort. Think of it as if you were trying to move a boulder. To get that boulder up and moving takes a lot of muscle and effort. Once it is moving though it becomes much easier.
Persistence – Getting started is relatively easy. After all, you are all fired up with energy and enthusiasm at that time. Few things worth achieving happen over night. Instead, there will be problems, hold-ups and frustrations. Don’t allow yourself to become disillusioned or demotivated. You need persistence.
Patience – Results don’t happen instantly. Allied to persistence you will need some patience.
Profit – OK, OK it’s trite. But follow the steps here, gear yourself to provide these 5 Ps and you will succeed.
No one can guarantee your success whether in life or in business. You can dramatically increase your chances of success through these four simple, very well established principles.
The question is, “WILL YOU”?