Are You in it for the Long Haul?
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It’s no secret that the majority of small businesses close within the first year, and very few make it to three years. Since launching my business in 2002, I’ve seen many people come and go from the field of professional organizing.
Does this mean that all of these businesses failed? Not necessarily! After all, not everyone opens a business with the intention of making it a full-time career. When I started mine, I saw it as a way of picking up some extra money in my spare time by doing something that I enjoyed. Over time I realized that this was what I wanted to do with my life, but it wouldn’t be uncommon for others in that situation to “drop out” if lifestyle changes meant they no longer had time to run a side business, or if they just lost interest.
Then we have people who start businesses because they’re between jobs and are strapped for cash – they will often abandon the business once the right employment opportunity comes along. A similar situation arises when parents choose to stay home with young children, but need a way to generate some income for the family. Once the children are older, they may return to the regular workforce.
What about you? Do you see your business as a temporary source of income, or is it your career? The answer to this question will have an impact on nearly everything you do!
If you want your business to survive and provide you with a steady income in the years to come, you need to work hard to make it happen. Here are a few things you need to do on an ongoing basis to ensure your ongoing success:
- Invest money in your business, whether it be for marketing, continuing education, or memberships in networking groups and professional associations. If you need help deciding the best ways to use your funds, consider working with a business coach – another great investment!
- Read books, blogs and articles related to your industry and to business in general.
- Spend time networking every week, with people in your own field, with people in your target market, and anyone else – you never know who they might know! Online networking is great, because you can do it at whatever time suits your schedule, you don’t have to dress up or spend time and gas money driving to various locations, and you can connect with people all over the world. But make sure you attend in-person networking events too, because there’s nothing like personal contact to build relationships.
- Position yourself as a professional, and don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth.
- Treat your customers with respect and always remember that without them, you wouldn’t have a business at all.
Are you in it for the long haul?