One common piece of advice given to budding entrepreneurs is to follow your passion; do what you love. The idea is that by building a business rooted in something you are already passionate about, it will be easier for you to push through tough challenges and stick it out.
Having a business passion makes sense, and has proven to be a key factor for many successful small business owners, but passion alone is not enough to make a new business successful.
Here are some of the other factors that, when combined with passion, can set you on the path to small business success.
Passion + Plan x 3 = Success
One of the most powerful ways to support your passion is with proper planning. There are many phases of planning necessary for new small businesses, but three types of plans rise to the top of the list for almost any small business.
The first fundamental plan is a business plan, which is a must-have for many small businesses. Even if you don't write a formal business plan, you still need a plan that outlines where you are right now, where you plan to go and how you intend to get there.
The second important plan for any new business is a financial plan. If you have a formal business plan, it will include a financial analysis. But, a streamlined financial plan will work here, too. As long as your financial plan provides an estimate of how much revenue you expect to bring in each month, and a projection what your expenses will be, you have a great working document to use in your new business.
The third key plan for new businesses is a marketing plan. Your marketing plan should outline your objectives, who you are targeting, what you know about your target, how you plan to reach them, your marketing budget and specific milestones that will help you measure your success.
Set the Stage with SMART Goals
When you are passionate about something, especially a new business, it can be easy to forget the details. You may get so focused on executing your immediate vision that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Setting SMART goals -- goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound -- is an important step in starting and growing a small business.
Knowledge, Skill and Commitment are Must-Have's
We tend to be passionate about things we are good at; we enjoy the activities that come naturally to us. But having passion and being good at something isn't always enough to create a successful business. The most successful small business owners take their passion and build on it by continuing to learn, develop and grow their skills.
In order to make any new business a success, you need to commit to continually improving your skills and experience so you are consistently moving forward and growing your passion.
It Takes a Village...
Although it's possible to reach entrepreneurial success on your own, the small business journey can be made easier, smoother and more satisfying when you have a support network. Your support network may include family, friends, colleagues, a mentor, a coach, and anyone else who can help you navigate roadblocks. This type of external support system can be an excellent way to stay on track, find new opportunities and share your success.
Passion can put you on the path to starting a successful small business, but once you combine your passion with these supporting elements, you can truly become an unstoppable force in small business.