Over the next several articles I’ll be starting from scratch. By scratch, I mean looking at how we take an idea of owning our own business and building that business from zero to a million-pound turnover. I’ll share with you everything I’ve learned and executed into my companies to help assist you on your journey. These are not secrets, they are experiences from the ups and downs of growing and scaling a business. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming to be an expert and I’m still learning every day, but I’m well into my journey and that’s what I want to share with you, and in turn help you to grow and scale your business successfully. These experiences have cost me, on a personal and business level, a whole lot of money and time. An investment that has been worthwhile.

When I started my first business my aspirations were to reach a turnover of 1 million pounds. I’m pleased and thankful that I have achieved this goal and is something I’m looking forward to sharing with all you entrepreneurs. I hope that there are pockets of golden nuggets of value that you can take and put into practice for yourself. The aim is to educate existing businesses or if you are a brand-new start up business then you’ll be reading this at a crucial time of starting your journey.

You’ve decided it’s time to move on from existing in your current job, to a position of owning your own business. You’ve decided to follow your dreams, set up and run your own business in hope of finding financial freedom. My hat goes off to you because you’re a doer and you’re chasing those dreams.

Too many people in this world have big dreams, but don’t do anything to achieve them. Owning your own business will be a challenge and you’re up for the challenge. You have the time and energy to make this a success. I’m sure you didn’t come to this decision lightly and you’ve prepared yourself for the journey ahead. And business is exactly that, a journey. A journey that needs to be enjoyed and not drain that energy away from you. How you plan your journey at the start is the most important task you need to work on before you do anything else.

Planning your journey will consist of goals, long term visions, short term visions… just to name a few. When most budding entrepreneurs begin to think about setting up their business, they tend to neglect any form of goal setting or visioning.

We should always start with the end game in mind. What do you want to get from the business? Are you building the business to sell? Or simply to pass down to a family member once you retire. Either way you must know your end game and then join the dots back to the start. Having no end game is like setting off on a journey in a car with no destination. The goals, visions and milestones are the sat nav for your business, guiding you to your end destination. We will cover some top tips to help with goals and visioning in future magazine editions, but for now I will talk into the first strategy of how to grow a successful business.

First you need to start with a business plan. This gives an outline of your business, the market in which you’ll operate and how it aims to make money – and you should answer this question: why will your business succeed when so many others fail? 9 out of 10 businesses fail in the first 5 years. I’m sure there are a million and one reasons why they fail and I bet a lot could be avoided if a robust business plan was in place. We are not talking a 50-page brochure, just the main essentials.

Be concise. It’s important that potential investors can understand what your business is all about from a quick glance at your plan. Make sure you include a summary of your business, and how it will make money right from the start and use simple language throughout. Drill down into how you will deliver your plan.

A big part of knowing whether your business will be successful is understanding your audience and demographic. Make sure your plan is clear about your target market – who will you be selling to and how many other companies are already selling related products. Will your customer base be business to business (B-B) or will it be business to customer (B-C) or maybe both, so you may need to differentiate this in you plan?

Knowing your numbers is the most crucial factor. If your business isn’t going to make any money, it won’t be successful, so you need to be very clear on how you will make money and a profit. Use it to your advantage. Your plan will be incredibly useful when it comes to securing loans and investment, but that’s not its only use. It’s also a personal tool to help you understand your objectives. There are thousands of business plan templates out there to assist you in creating a strong robust plan.

We should always start with the end game in mind

So, we have the business plan and you’re ready to hit the ground running. How do you know your business plan is strong and robust? Are you inline for becoming another 9 out of 10 failures? Have you had anyone with any business experience look over and challenge your plan? Most people will probably answer ‘no’ to those questions. And the fact is that they don’t know anyone who can help them. If you’re a self-aware entrepreneur, you’ll know that you cannot get this advice off the street or from family members. They know that any serious business owner needs to be actively participating in a growth environment like 729 Renegades, asking questions of the faculty and its members to stretch their thinking, gain insights in their plan and get help and advice from other entrepreneurs who have gone through the business plan phase.

Knowing what I know now, through experience and personal development, I’d certainly change the way I started my first business. Ahh… Hind sight, what a wonderful thing!!!

This’ll sound odd to the average business owner who’s consumed by his own business but working on yourself is the next step when you have a robust business plan in place.

Self-education: Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field. The majority of business owners believe, that when they leave formal education, the learning stops, the educated business owner however thinks differently. They know that to be successful, in any field, you must be prepared to do what others won’t. For us entrepreneurs, this means going to work on ourselves, through personal growth and development, which in turn impacts both, personal life and business growth.

Here’s a staggering statistic. Only 1% of business owners have achieved millionaire status. Think about that for a minute. 1%, this is an astonishing statistic compared to the millions of businesses all over the globe. These 1% think totally different to your average business owner. They understand that their business is only as good as the thinking they bring to the business. Eventually, every entrepreneurs’ thinking peaks, which in turn caps growth, both for them personally and their business.

The average business owner however, is destined to never hit their full potential because they are ignorant to the fact that they become the lid on their business. To help overcome these limits, we must make self-education and personal development a priority in our day to day activities. The 1% make self-education and personal growth a priority in their daily life. You don’t have to be a seasoned entrepreneur. Treat your first business as an apprenticeship. You may know the products or trade in your chosen line of business but running and growing a business is a whole new ball game. And you don’t know what you don’t know, and you must learn a whole new set of skills to help achieve your end game. So, the question is, how much time are you going to block in your day to implement self-education activities?

To be continued………