Over the years, business coaches have helped many owners overcome challenges driven by changes in consumer demand, technology and global economic events like recessions.
Starting a business is easy to do – and almost anyone can do it. However, keeping a startup viable during tough trading takes a skillset many budding entrepreneurs lack.
What’s worse, they’re not aware they don’t have what it takes to get them through events that threaten the very existence of their enterprise.
Buying a business with no knowledge of the industry or how to run a business can be compared to going out and buying an Austin Martin V12 Vantage worth a cool $250,000 without knowing how to drive it!!
Yes, some people may well be able to sit behind the wheel of one of these delightful beasts and be able to figure out how to drive it.
However, most of us would cause significant mayhem and carnage getting the car from the showroom to our home.
Buy Versus Start
Buying a going concern is a lot different to starting a business from the ground up.
When you start a business, there’s just you or you and a partner, and when sales are made and revenue permits, staff are hired to perform roles in marketing, sales, technology, accounting and so on.
The gradual evolution of your startup allows you to learn on the job – and acquire skills in people and business management.
Buying a going concern, you’re taking over an existing business and its assets, including staff.
Being the CEO of an established business requires a unique set of soft skills that you can acquire.
Brain Wired For Success
To be wired for success means you’ve developed a mindset fit for the role or task. You will need to work on yourself and be driven by:
- SMART goals – live by your own objectives
- Desire – be motivated to be successful in the role
- Belief – never lose focus of why you’re doing it
You need to have a basic understanding of management principles. Whether you have the staff or not, some principals can help EVERY business owner.
- Time Management – Select apps and systems to manage staff productivity
- Project Management – Use project management methodologies to deliver solutions on budget and time
- Problem Solving – Knowledge of and how to use a process to identify, define, evaluate and implement solutions
- People Management – HR skills
You need to have a good understanding of the sales process and why your business is trading. There will be many challenges to your market share. How you compete well is through knowing what’s going on. An in-depth analysis of the industry will reveal the status of your competition, supply chain, logistics, consumer sentiment so your business can evolve and remain relevant with customers.
Sales require expert digital marketing strategies to capture customer behaviours as well as being able to satisfy the core basics, including knowing the answers to these fundamental questions:
- Why would someone buy anything from your business?
- What does it mean to “look after” your customers?
- How can you ensure your customer’s keep coming back to you?
- Why is it important to capture as many of your customer’s details as possible?
Your Power Team
Surround yourself with professionals that support you in your role as a business owner and CEO. Even with experience, you can never know it all, so choose a power team that includes:
- A proactive bank manager or business banker
- An accountant that understands all the financial implications of doing business in your industry
- A lawyer that understands the legal requirements of your industry
- A business mentor and coach
Like everything else in life, owning a business takes more than a few qualifications and finance. To be qualified to run a business also requires ongoing learning and the desire to collaborate with people.
You’re in the top role because you started the enterprise or purchased the company, but success from here on in is not a given, so don’t sit back and relax. Instead, get busy working on your mindset, and remember to lead by example.