Running a business comes with many challenges that we don’t learn about in business school. For many people that didn’t even study about business before starting their own business, they learned through trial and error. Even successful entrepreneurs failed before they got their first big break in an industry that welcomed them, so it’s a little too optimistic to think that your first business is going to survive the harsh reality of what it’s like to run a business.
One of the qualities (if you could call it that) that almost every budding entrepreneur has is that they are stubborn. You could tell them things, give them all the stories about your experiences you can, show them facts and figures and they still won’t budge from their opinion. It’s admirable that despite all the warnings you give them, they’ll still push on and continue their ideas without listening to you. However, a line has to be drawn at some point.
Know Your Contacts
Small businesses thrive when they connect with other businesses that help sustain them. In the perfect world, your small business will provide for other larger businesses who will give you the support that you need to grow. A business relationship between two companies is a wonderful thing, so make sure you’re treating other businesses with the respect and customer service that you would expect from them.
For instance, if you’re running a transport company that uses a lot of fuel, then it’s a good idea to get in touch with a fuel provider instead of manually moving your vehicles to petrol stations. A company like New Era Fuels would be perfect for this, and you can have them deliver fuel to you overnight, have regular deliveries, or even one-time deliveries to top-up your vehicles whenever they need it. If you get to know a company like this, then you’re going to have a much easier time dealing with panic situations such as a car going AWOL or a low fuel reserve that wasn’t reported the previous week.
Experience is Valuable
You could be the smartest person alive but your skill and knowledge aren’t going to affect the success rate of your business as much as experience. Picture it this way, if you could see the future and know every outcome (in other words, your experience) then there is almost no chance that you could fail. You’ll know how things happen, why things happen and how to predict the future. But if you don’t have experience, then you aren’t going to get very far on your knowledge alone.
It goes without saying that some of the most experienced people in the world are also very old. They have accumulated years of success and failure, and even someone a couple of years older than you could have a wealth more experience than you do. It’s important to listen more than you speak when someone with more experience speaks to you. Learn about the problems they faced, understand their reasons for doing what they did, and take notes.