Do you think of yourself as an entrepreneur? Is it your intention to make enough money to live off your own business? Most of the self-employed folks I know answer yes to both of these questions. Yet, many of them also go on to say that they aren't really profitable enough to support themselves on their entrepreneurial earnings. This is sad to me, because I know, absolutely, that it's possible to do.
An entrepreneur needs three things to make money. Here they are:
1. A workable, solid business plan.
2. An effective, targeted marketing strategy.
3. A willingness to do the personal growth required of successful entrepreneurs.
A few days ago, I was on a group Mastermind call, listening as we started with a quick update from everyone. I was shocked! Over half the people on the call admitted that their e-newsletter was late, they had not posted to their blog in quite a while, or they had never gotten around to setting up basic social media accounts. This particular group of people are serious entrepreneurs. They have invested a substantial amount of money to participate in coaching and Mastermind groups over the past year or so. Most of them have created products and services that sell nicely. All of them are smart and full of new ideas.
So what is going on that these entrepreneurs are not paying attention to the very basics that keep their businesses up and running? I honestly believe that they've fallen into two traps.
1. They have poor time management skills, and they allow ‘everything else' to get in the way of taking care of the basics.
2. They've come to feel that doing the basics is boring, not cutting edge or new, and therefore not really necessary for their businesses.
They are WRONG! It takes consistent action and focus to build a profitable business, and that means consistently attending to the basic building blocks. If you are someone who needs to built a list of potential clients (and who isn't?) you need to make sure that your basic structure is in place and gets acted upon just like clockwork. None of these excuses are valid!
1. I was on vacation. (Do it before you leave)
2. It's boring to do. (Hand it off to an assistant if you can't tolerate doing the basic, routine things.
3. I don't have anything to say. (Really? Then why would any potential new customer be interested in talking with you?)
4. I just can't get around to it. (Yes, you can…schedule it and make sure nothing else steps on the time you need to keep your basics going.)
Paying attention to the basic building blocks of your business is just the same as paying attention to the basic maintenance of your car or your home. You can't expect your car to run if you fail to rotate the tires, do oil changes, and replace the brakes now and then. If you ignore these things, one day when you least expect it, your car will come to a screeching halt right in the middle of the highway. It's the very same for your business….ignoring the basics silently and slowly erodes your client base. One fine day it will hit you that your client subscriber list is smaller, your programs and services are not selling at the rate you are used to, and you haven't talked to a potential new client in over two weeks. At that point, it's too late. You will have put yourself back to the “I'm building my business up” stage. And it will be harder and take longer the second time around.
Think about it this way – building blocks are the basic clothing for your business. You wouldn't walk out the door without clothing, you wouldn't send your kids to school without their basic tools, and you wouldn't try to bake a cake without the basic ingredients. So don't try to build your business by ignoring the basics. Commit yourself to the building blocks, and you will become successful and stay that way for as long as you want. You will, in fact, make it as an entrepreneur.