You Can Be a Successful Entrepreneur
out there in the real brick and mortar world, millions and millions of
people drag themselves from the warm, warm beds, take a shower, grab
a cup of coffee, and head off to their jobs as they are thinking that there
has got to be an easier way to make a living.  The entrepreneurs are the
ones who know there can be.

Every one of those millions and millions of people knows somebody who
has quit the ‘get-up-and-go-to-work for someone else’ grind and in true
entrepreneur fashion is making a very good living by working on their
personal computers from the comfort of their own homes or in a small
office within walking distance of their homes.

These are the few, the proud, the brave small business entrepreneurs
who specialize in “
thinking outside the box.”  No cookie cutter lifestyle
for these guys and gals, they THRIVE on the adventure, the leading edge
risk that it takes to forge a road previously uncharted.  Do they know
every part of the recipe for small business success?  Probably not. If they
did, it wouldn’t be any fun!  But with looming doomsday statistics for most
business startups, it would be a good idea to know how to navigate
around the landmines and increase the odds of small business success.

The fact is that according to many sources, more than 90% (Ninety
percent) of all business start-ups end in failure within the first 120 (one
hundred twenty) days. Yes, you read that right. NINETY PERCENT!

This failure rate should be a warning to those who are considering trying
their hand at a business startup instead of a “real job” in the brick and
mortar world.

Of course, startup marketing success is possible. There IS that other
10% (ten percent) that do succeed. The thing is success doesn’t happen
by accident. And success isn’t just a crap shoot. Success happens
because of some very important factors.

Success happens because people have the right ideas about
management and marketing and how they work. They do not expect to
get rich quick or be able to make a killing overnight and retire to a
tropical island (although that would be nice too!).

It is strange but somehow the same people who wouldn’t dream of
working for someone else, think they can somehow avoid the stark
realities of business planning and real world measurements of success.  
The boss doesn’t go away, it just requires self-discipline to treat yourself
and your small team as any efficient manager would.

Running a successful business of any kind requires a lot of self-
discipline. Fixed costs need to be computed, monitored and managed.  
Value propositions need to be developed, honed and communicated.  
The genius of the idea needs to be concretely written out on paper and
communicated in a way that management, mentors, financiers and
partners can gather and collaborate.  

All businesses have two things in common. They are BUSINESSES and
they must be run like businesses! The people who are in charge of a
business need to understand the accepted practices of business. They
need to understand simple and basic ideas like acceptable over-head
expenses in relation to projected income. They need to understand profit
and loss and what constitutes each.  If they don’t have a formal business
background, they need a trusted group of mentors and coaches to help
them through the learning curve.

Accounting firms can tell you whether or not you made a profit but not
how to make it. If you have no business background you need to, at the
very minimum, get some good business advice before you even
consider opening your own business.

You must have sufficient resources available to not only launch your
business but provide for your own personal needs for an extended period
of time. It’s called ‘capital’ and there is no way around the need for
enough of it.  You may have heard the phrase, “It takes money to make
money” and it is unavoidably true for most.  However, money well
invested with prudent advice will always take a start up much further.  A
good business coach will help you to find out where the financial pitfalls
may lie and give you a roadmap in advance for how to avoid them.

Pamela Millar
CEO, Bridgemakers Consulting
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