Let’s face it, being an entrepreneur and starting a small business or working for yourself is risky. Unfortunately, many small businesses fail in their first few years, or even months, of operation.
Some industries are certainly more susceptible than others, and of course our recent economic climate has made it that much more difficult for small businesses to be successful. Luckily, the economy seems to be on the upswing, and the advent of more internet-based businesses (with significantly less overhead costs) has made it more possible to run a small business or be an successful entrepreneur.
So what does it take to run a successful small business, and hopefully grow it into a larger business at some point? I stumbled across an article on Mashable where several famous entrepreneurs listed the things that helped them to get where they are today.
Some of the interviewees include Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group; Meg Whitman, CEO of HP; and Craig Newman, creator of Craigslist.
The things that these successful business people listed as necessary aren’t all that surprising. Richard Branson talked about his personal assistant – an actual person, not a device. Meg Whitman talked more about the non-business things she needs, such as her swimsuit, because she likes to swim to relax and unwind. Craig Newman listed several mobile devices, including a Samsung Galaxy Note II that he uses to stay connected to his business every day.
So are there specific “tools of the trade” that every entrepreneur needs in order to be successful? I think so. While there are no hard and fast rules about starting and running a small business, some things are absolutely necessary to get a business off of the ground. Here are a couple that I think are necessary:
A great support structure
Like it or not, it is very difficult to start a business as a lone wolf. I don’t mean that you need employees or consultants right off the bat. I’m thinking more on a personal level. With no one to cheer you on or offer advice or even just listen for a few minutes, it’s going to be significantly more difficult to see success with your business. Tell your friends and family what your plans are and talk to them about your plans.
Up to date technology
You don’t need to shell out tons of money on technology to get started, but you do need to be wise about the tools that you choose to use. Most businesses would be smart to sink some capital into a great, professionally designed website. If your business involves art or design, do some research as to what type of computer is best, typically Apple is best for this, while PCs are better for more technical applications, like coding or programming.
Running and building a successful small business can be tricky. But learning the things that make you tick as a business owner/operator will potentially help your business get off the ground.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.