One clue to know when it’s time to start your own business is if you know more than your boss. If you’ve been in a certain career for a long time, you can easily recognize what doesn’t work and what your company should focus on instead to increase productivity, enhance sales, and improve the bottom line.
It’s frustrating working for someone who disregards your years of experience and deflects your best ideas, but rather than chafe against the system, it might be time to create your own system so that you can do things your way.
With that in mind, here are 7 tips on how to start and grow a business:
1. Recruit the best people
When building your core team, it’s important to look beyond resumes and get to know candidates well during the interviews. Ask them about their interests and ambitions, hopes and dreams, knowledge, and experience to see if they make a good fit for your company. Once you’ve found the right people, ask for references and do employee background checks before onboarding them.
2. Use the OODA Loop
The OODA Loop is a thinking framework to help you make better business decisions and outwit the competition if you’re in a fiercely competitive industry. It was developed by John Boyd, a U.S. Air Force Colonel, who applied it to combat operations. It’s a flexible decision-making process that can be used anywhere, not just for military campaigns. Essentially, it’s a cycle: observe, orient, decide, and act. In business, it’s important to observe the marketplace, orient your business in the right direction, decide on your best options, and take action. The loop starts again after you observe the consequences of your action.
3. Plan each day before work
Although you might feel impatient about starting each day by reviewing your schedule and strategy instead of just jumping straight to work, you’ll find this a helpful habit. You will be surprised at how much more you can accomplish each day by first planning and considering everything significant that you want to get done. Prioritizing your work will help you get to the most important things if you can’t get around to doing everything.
4. Always be marketing
It’s always important to keep the pipeline full, even when you have plenty of customers. It’s also essential to keep on increasing your skills at marketing, exploring new ways to generate leads and improve conversions. Eventually, you’ll arrive at a core set of proven marketing strategies that you can consistently roll out.
5. Build great relationships
Besides establishing rapport with your customers, collaborate with other businesses in your industry and partner with local charities that could benefit from your help. Also, leading with integrity will help you build positive relationships with business partners, stakeholders, and employees. The better your business relationships, the faster it will grow.
6. Learn from your mistakes
Mistakes are inevitable in business and in life, but rather than considering them as unfortunate setbacks, reframe them as learning opportunities, feedback that will help you consistently increase your level of success.
7. Get better at problem-solving
Your business exists because it solves a problem for a customer, providing them a product or service that resolves a need. Besides solving problems for your customers, you will also need to get better at solving problems in your business. Study various methods for systematically solving problems to get past sticking points in your business.
Overall, it may be said that starting your own business is far more challenging than working for someone else, but it’s a risk worth taking because work will now become an adventure rather than just a way of eking out a living.