At some point, like human beings, businesses have a shelf life. Just as we try to prolong our personal lives by staying healthy and doing the things that nourish our bodies for the long term, in business we have to start by understanding what is going to promote good business health as opposed to bad business health.
Businesses have the same challenges as humans in that the decisions we make determine what state our business will be in – short term and long.
I remember the first business I had, which I started in my senior year of college, and how its finality happened much quicker than all the blood, sweat and years (and some tears) I put into it. Much of it’s downturn was result of my lack of experience in business and my excitement. You may be thinking, ‘Isn’t excitement a good thing?’ Yes, and no! Yes, because excitement was my turbo engine that drove me to make the business successful. No, because in a state of excitement I made bad decisions, and when I mixed that with a lack of business experience, the business began its slow death.
Some people believe that developing your startup is a ‘ Marathon, not a sprint,’ but I disagree whole-hardily with that line of thinking!
And I have good reason to, here’s why; Info by Statistic Brain (Source: University of Tennessee Research)
365 days is not long time to establish a business and neither is 730 (2yrs) or 1095 (3yrs). So, if our business health depends on our decisions, what do we need to feed our business to stay strong in the initial years? Here’s 5 things to think about;
1) You’re Not Fast Enough- Stationary Kills
Being quicker to the punch has it’s advantages. Apple’s competitive advantage is their ability to be first to market and great in their execution. This enables them to to take advantage of the market at a premium before anyone else. As companies try to copy them, they are refining and improving. They stay ahead initially until the innovation slows down and competitors catch up. You should always understand your business’s potential, always keeping in mind that no matter how good you may be doing, you need to keep improving. Get Faster!
2) The Business Is Getting The Best Of You (Graph by: Anna Vital)
You have to understand that your business goes through peaks and valleys. Push forward and keep learning. Clear out all the mistakes, so you start making the right decisions.
3) It’s About Progress, Not Perfection
The little wins add up. Don’t focus on making home runs at every at bat. Keep getting on base and you will eventually score.
4) Discover Creative Ways To Use Your Resources
Identify your resources and find creative ways to utilize them. Look at them from various angles – strategic partnerships, manufacturing, financing etc…
5) Persist In The Face Of Failure (Graph by: Anna Vitali)
Michael Jordan said it best, ” The only reason I succeed, is because I failed.” Stay calm in the eye of the storm – they eventually pass.
Do your best to keep these 5 things in mind as you go about your business and hopefully your business will have many 365 day turns ahead of you!