December 23, 2013 | Valerie Wong
Small Business Success Is Rarely Ever Easy
Read this article to learn from successful small business owners who learned lessons the hard way. Learn from their mistakes. Follow their advice, and you'll save time, money, heartache, and tears.
Stand on the Shoulders of Small Business Giants
Do you imagine that every successful small business owner out there just snapped their fingers and materialized wealth? Do you picture them drawing up outlines and implementing their plans with flawless execution? Do you think they just thought up ideas and turned them into overnight successes? Of course, most of them didn't. Most small business owners had to endure serious, or at least frustrating, hardship – on their way to success. Let's look at some important lessons learned from small business owners. There is no shame in learning from those who have gone before you. Guiding principles are what you need to navigate your way through the maze of losses to the finishing point of financial success.
Lessons Learned From Successful Small Business Owners
#1 Implementation is More Important Than Imagination
You can have the best ideas in the world, but if you don't implement them, then they just stay in your head and never make their way to the marketplace. You may be claiming that you're a genius to all of your friends because of your great business ideas, but unless you put those ideas into practice, you'll never prove your status as a small business guru or creative genius. Regardless of how sophisticated or brilliant the strategy, it doesn't have much value if it's not implemented or adopted.
#2 Haste Makes Waste
Devote time, ahead of a launch in the marketplace, to user testing. User testing can save a lot of time in the long run. Users can catch bugs, point out mistakes, and vent about problems they faced when interacting with the product or service. If a lot of time and money is spent on development and design, with a bad foundation, it can throw off an entire launch. Time spent on getting user feedback for implementation or development is crucial.
#3 Love Your Failure
Treasure your failure. Success doesn't happen at all without it. If you're not failing at something, then you're not really trying. You're not implementing your ideas. You're not testing them in the marketplace. You shouldn't have the goal of failing. However, you shouldn't look at failure as inherently bad, either. Learn lessons from your failures. Figure out what went wrong in the specs, features, launch, or your own personal behavior so that you don't encounter the problems again on future product launches.
#4 Building a Business can be Lonely. Surround Yourself With Associates.
Building a business can be a lonely, beleaguering, frustrating, and saddening process. You can get bogged down in the details. You can forget about social and personal affairs. It's never fun to build a business – especially a business from scratch, on your own, or with very little capital. You can get tired out, and one great way to relieve pressure is to talk to associates in the same field. It doesn't take you off-track, and it helps you let out a little steam. Just make sure that the people you talk to aren't direct competitors.
#5 Get an Attorney to Trademark Your Name Properly
There are few things more annoying when you're running a successful business than having some unscrupulous character reuse your brand name for profit. Make sure that no one can ever use your trademark, name, design, or logo by hiring a trademark attorney to trademark everything right from the first time. That will protect you in the long run.
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