A Sure Foundation: 5 Pillars to Building a Thriving, Sustainable Business
By Twila Kaye
Attention: This just in! Out of 11 million + women owned businesses in America today, 87% of them have never made it more than 20 years.
Some would say economic or market downturns. You might say lack of funding. After working and engaging with hundreds of female entrepreneurs, I say they never laid a solid foundation.
Look, I get it. Entrepreneurship is hard.
Guess what? It’s supposed to be. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
As a wife, mom, and serial entrepreneur, there’s one thing I’ve learned for sure. Building a thriving, sustainable business is like having a child. There is no manual. You’ll do the bulk of figuring it out along the way. And, even when it turns 18 you’re still not done.
With that said, giving birth to your business baby doesn’t need to be the hardest thing you do.
With a rock-solid foundation, your business can be one of the 13% that thrives and survives.
1. Know Yourself
Emotional Intelligence isn’t just a suggestion for business owners, it’s a requirement. You need to know precisely how you’ll get in your way and how to call on the parts of you that will get you out.
When working with clients, my go-to tool is the Color Code Personality Assessment. It tells you exactly why you do the things you do and (more importantly) why you don’t do what you don’t do.
Because all success begins and ends with you, and only you… knowing what propels and derails you is the cornerstone of ensuring your business will thrive and survive.
2. Know Your Why
Many businesses fail because their owner gives up too soon.
You can bet, your passion will fade. You’ll feel like throwing in the towel (more than once). And, you’ll wonder why you started your business in the first place.
Seize that moment. Unmistakably and distinctly know your ‘why’.
On those “I want to give up” days, your Why will be the very thing that keeps you forging ahead to the next 5, 10, 20 years.
3. Plan For The Worst, Expect The Best
The problem with a typical business plan is it’s geared for convincing lenders to fund your idea instead of being a blueprint for building a thriving, sustainable business.
Make sure your business plan includes:
How you’ll continue to fund your business while you rally against economic and market downturns
When and how you’ll invest in yourself and your business (even in the tough times)
What systems, processes, and procedures you’ll follow and want your employees or outsourced contractors to follow in order to keep your business thriving and surviving
And, just like Elvis, how you’ll ensure you leave the building on a high note (because everyone needs an exit strategy they look forward to…even you!)
4. Learn, Learn, Learn
Did you get that? To build a thriving, sustainable business you must be a constant student.
That means you need to consistently: Grow and develop – personally and professionally. Sharpen your skills and hone your craft. Stay on top of the latest technological advances to better serve your customers and clients.
Hire coaches. Enlist mentors. Re-engineer what the gurus do. Keep learning!
5. Innovate, Innovate, Innovate
There’s nothing that will take a business down more than doing things the way they’ve always been done.
Newsflash: The 80’s called and they want your thought process back!!
To not only thrive, but survive you need to stay 10 steps ahead of where you are today so you’ll be ready for tomorrow.
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO): https://www.nawbo.org/resources/women-business-owner-statistics
Small Business Trends: https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/06/women-entrepreneurs-statistics.html