When considering business ownership, it is easy to think about the short-term effects it will have on your life. There are a great deal of changes that occur in the first year, but what about ten years down the road? Part of the research and planning process involves realistically imagining your life with the business you choose as it goes through its many cycles.
Cycle 1: Search
This is the exploration cycle that takes a lot of patience, time, research and footwork. After you’ve made the decision to get serious about your business ownership dreams, you must evaluate your financials, get in touch with the franchisees in your ideal area, call different franchisors, research different business models and find a consultant to guide you through the process. The most valuable piece of advice I can offer for this phase is to be honest with yourself and keep an open mind. Oh, and don’t forget to have some fun – it’s the beginning of a new chapter!
Cycle 2: Build
Now that your business has made it through the early stages, it’s time to grow. In this cycle, you will spend a lot of energy gathering and building client relationships, increasing cash flow, hiring more employees, revisiting business plan/goals (which you should be doing constantly), increasing marketing—basically taking your business to the next level in every aspect.
Cycle 3: Maintain
This is the stage in which you can now call your company mature and established. You’ve worked hard to promote your company, build trust, increase value, expand cliental and nurture a growing profit. Up to this point, you have experimented and perfected how to be productive, who the competitors are and how to deal with them. The goal for this stage: maintain not just your business’s success, but your passion and motivation. Many entrepreneurs get comfortable with the decrease in challenge and reach a point of burnout. Avoid this by consistently innovating and change up your routines.
When approaching business ownership, it’s important to look at all the factors. However, it’s equally important to remind yourself as you did in the beginning: there is a lot hard work ahead, but relax, have fun and enjoy every minute of it.