Starting a business takes a courageous and entrepreneurial spirit to make your idea become reality. Making that business successful takes commitment, and lots of it. Mike Michalowicz once said, “Success in business isn’t about being right; it’s about being committed.”
There is a myriad of things that can present obstacles for a business. Such as financial challenges, competition, market fluctuations, and labor shortages. Running a business is more than a full-time job; it takes physical, emotional and spiritual commitment around the 24/7.
Many new business owners forgo a salary until they see a return on their investment. During tough times, it might take more than that, perhaps refinancing a home, selling off part of the business or giving up luxuries such as a second car or vacations — whatever it takes to keep the business afloat.
A successful business owner does not punch a clock or work a typical eight-hour day. It takes a large commitment of time, especially when a business is new, to focus on growing and maintaining the company. Even when you aren’t physically on the business premises, you often may be preoccupied with thoughts of labor issues, slow deliveries, executing a marketing plan, how to expand the showroom floor to feature new products or countless other details.
Owning a business takes hard work, sometimes called “sweat equity.” This includes doing what needs to be done, whether it is taking inventory, stocking shelves, remodeling, doing the payroll or meeting with vendors. Worrying about staffing, profits, stock and other issues take energy, too. You also need to commit to staying healthy and focused in order to give the business the energy it requires.
Staying committed to the spark of motivation that first made you want to start a business is especially important when you’re facing problems that make you start questioning your reasons for starting a business in the first place. Commit to your goals and vision for the company, and believe in the potential of your business.
Commit from the beginning to having an open mind and welcoming new ideas and technology. Rigid thinking leads to a stagnant business. If you want your business to succeed, you must embrace new ways of thinking, even if it means abandoning the tried and true. The attitude that good ideas don’t come from the outside can drive a stake into the heart of a business.
Stick to your values and commit to quality, excellence, continuous improvement, trust — in yourself and others — and, above all, integrity. We can always benefit from remembering what the late President Kennedy said, “ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country,” or rather, “ask not what the client can do for you but what you can do for the client.” These are the things that make a good business great. Never lose faith in yourself, your team or your customers. Your business will reward you for it.