Not long ago, a prominent Toronto-based musician was conducting a seminar on developing small businesses to a youth group at a community centre in his hometown. “Drive and passion are two different things,” he said, unveiling a concept that most were hearing for the first time. “Many say that they are passionate to succeed, but often do not have the drive to accomplish their goals”.
Evidently, loving to do something and working tirelessly to achieve success at it don't always go hand in hand. It's the combination of the two, the artist insisted, that will truly help foster one's success.
Sun Media's PJ Harston, it would seem, tends to agree. In an article released yesterday, Harston echoes the sentiments of the musician by writing that “the natural-born entrepreneur has that inane sense of passion that feeling that theres a business to be built and nothing is going to stop it from happening.”
For every dreamer, says Harston, appropriate planning is key if there is an intention of following through and meeting business goals. His belief is that “if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”. Considering Canada's continuing struggle to climb out of economic hardship, this is an attitude that should be widespread and shared by entrepreneurs all over the country.
Harston offers a number of tips for small business owners to help make their dreams become realities in their chosen marketplaces. The first, and perhaps most obvious, is to ensure that you have enough money to get your business up and running. “Starting out undercapitalized,” he writes, “can start a downward spiral from which you may never emerge.”
Avoid generating a bad cash flow is his second piece of advice. After a business' beginning stages, it is imperative that owners ensure that the incoming cash does not counterbalance expenses and potential overhead costs. Making less money than you're spending, of course, is simply bad for business.
As mentioned earlier, good planning is key. Taking the time to map out an intelligent and realistic business plan that includes marketing ideas and covering financial issues will help turn an idea into a workable concept. Part of this planning, offers Harston, is to incorporate a “competitive edge”. Do your best to come up with something unique to offer your customers. Think intently about standing out from your competitors.
Going that extra mile to ensure your customers become loyal supporters of your business may possibly be the best advice of all. Maintain a focus towards the success of your business and never let go. It's one thing to dream, it's another thing to live out your dream.