The 4 things you need to start a successful business

Kate Bickford of The Home Business Mentor helps people from all walks of life build successful businesses. Here she explains the 4 things you must possess before you can consider building your own business.

The 4 essential components which underpin a successful business

The 4 essential components which underpin a successful business

Step one is to believe in yourself.  Without belief, it's way too easy to give up. Someone - probably a ‘friend’ - will say: "are you nuts, you'll never make any money” or "no one will buy that”. You’ll want to curl up in a ball and this will send an enormous shadow of doubt over your belief. This will lead to inaction, fear and ultimately failure. Your job is to overcome this doubt.     

On a scale of 1 - 10, where is your belief? In your product or service? In your ability? In yourself? In your concept? If the numbers are not close to 10, you need to stop and consider why. You will get many knock backs in business so if you’re not prepared for the naysayers, tackle that right away.  

You have a CHOICE to change your beliefs - it is your decision to define those beliefs, not someone else’s.

What skills do you need for your business? There are many, but here are the main ones:

- Communication
- Listening
- Analytical/problem solving
- Managerial/leadership
- IT
- Teamwork
- Planning
- Finance

Which of these skills do you posses? And be honest, which ones do you lack? Don’t be afraid to either ask for help or buy-in skills that you don't have. Finance and IT commonly fall into this category. But it could equally be you need help with management and leadership. A good business owner knows their limitations. 

Kate Bickford, The Home Business Mentor

Kate Bickford, The Home Business Mentor

I’ve deliberately separated communication and listening, because many people think of communication as talking. Good listening skills are far more effective than being able to be a good talker. 

Here’s a quick story to illustrate this point. I met a lady recently who had lost her job because the retail shop she worked in closed. She’d had a month off and was bored. She was an older lady and didn’t know what her skills were. Having spoke to her, I ascertained her major skill was communication, including listening, patience, and the ability to put someone completely as ease. This is essential in any business because ultimately we only do business when we focus on people, yet many people underestimate its importance.

The vast majority of people have NO GOALS, NO CLARITY, and NO PLAN.

Focus is the drive that will get you to the end goal.  It means not being distracted, putting the blinkers on and seeing it through.  Stuff will go wrong, nothing ever really goes to plan the first time, but with clear focus on the outcome, your plan can be adapted. It’s said the Apollo moon rockets are off course 97% of the journey time, so it constantly needs course correcting to stay on its trajectory.

This is the same in business.  If we keep focus on our outcome and keep up the correct activities, the outcome will follow.

Everybody needs an understanding of what they are working for. As a business owner no-one is going to motivate us, that's our job. 

So why are you doing what you are doing? Sort that out and you'll have clarity as to why you are working hard.  

Take some time to think about this.  Is it time you want? Do you want to help others, or travel the world? Do you want to set up a charity? Help your family members?  What are your dreams?  

Swap the word ‘Goal’ for ‘Dream’ and it will be much easier to know what you are working for. Notice I haven’t mentioned money here. It’s not money that will get you working hard but what the money can do for you. It’s a commodity like any other.

Read Kate’s other blog, 4 things you DON’T need to start a business.