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Five Basic Steps to Success

Lily O'Halloran

Anyone can start a business, but not everyone will be successful. What separates successful business owners from their failing counterparts? As little as five basic steps can make the difference between flying high and drowning in a sea of online retailers. Learn what you can do to not only keep your head above water, but float on a lovely island of profit as well.

In this article, I will uncover five basic steps that will lead you towards success. For the best outcome, follow steps one through five in order. You may wish to print this article and refer to it when you need motivation.

1. Have a plan.

A business plan will guide you through your daily routine while enabling you to keep your goals in focus. Your plan should encompass your business goals, information regarding the feasibility of the goals, and a plan to achieve the goals. Goals are typically focused on financial gains, but may also include branding a business or product. Incorporating background information about your business into your plan will aid in creating a comprehensive, focused plan. Periodically, you will want to revise your plan to include new goals, past accomplishments, and business strategies. A business plan is not only practical; it is an integral part of your success.

2. Be optimistic, but not unrealistic.

It is important to remain optimistic while pursuing a new business venture. However, you must remain realistic as well. You should set your sights high, but not so high that they are unattainable. Unrealistic goals will set you up for failure. Set yourself up for success by setting goals that are realistic.

Set both short-term and long-term goals to stay motivated and build a successful business. Short-term goals are relatively easy to achieve, and are often accomplished within a day, week, or month. Long-term goals generally refer to milestones that may take a year or more to achieve. Enabling goals are a form of short-term goals that lead towards a long-term goal. Each time an enabling goal is met, you are one step closer towards achieving your long-term goal.

A positive attitude and optimistic plan will help you stay motivated and persevere even through the toughest times.

3. Research the market.

You should have already researched the market before you began. I’m assuming you did, or how would you have created a business plan? Then why is researching the market number three on this list? It’s time to do it again. Actually, you must never stop researching. Market research is an essential component to a successful business. As the old adage goes, the only constant is change. Nowhere is this truer than in the business world. Markets change, hot products change, and everything changes. That is why regular market research is absolutely necessary. Research will allow you to stay on top of current trends regarding marketing campaigns, hot products, business techniques, and other pertinent business information. Research doesn’t have to be costly. The Internet is a perfect resource for performing market research. Let your daily web-surfing work for you by navigating towards the business and marketing websites.

4. Set a schedule and adhere to the plan.

There are two types of business owners: hard-workers and slackers. Guess who is more successful? No, it’s not the slackers. Someone who works hard is much more likely to achieve their goals than someone who sits around waiting for success to fall into their lap.

An easy method to stay focused and productive is to set a schedule. Determine how many hours you can realistically devote to your business. Create a schedule of days and times that you will work on your business. Post the schedule. If you work from home, inform family members that you will be working during your specified hours and you are not to be bothered unless it is an emergency. You might need to let family members know what situations constitute an emergency; for instance, needing a ride to the mall probably isn’t an emergency. Hold yourself accountable for the hours you spend working. Take a serious look at your output, and devise a strategy to increase your turn out. Both daily and weekly to-do lists can help you stay on top of your workload. The key to a favorable outcome is to stick to your schedule.

5. Spend some to earn some.

What feels better than turning a profit? Turning an even bigger profit does, of course. Although you might be tempted to splurge your newfound money, don’t get too carried away. To continue earning a profit you will need to invest money back into your business. This is one area that many new entrepreneurs neglect, consequently their businesses end up failing. Small sacrifices in the beginning can lead to huge rewards at a later date. Celebrate your success along the way, but stay focused on long-term goals.

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