In order to build the right small business infrastructure, you must think strategically -- that's having a business mindset. Here are seven examples of having a business mindset:
1. Having a business mindset is knowing that the purpose of business is to make money. Sometimes your hobby is just a hobby. Either you're going to have a hobby that makes you a little extra money or you're going to have a business that requires a higher level of development in order to acquire a higher level of income.
2. Having a business mindset means thinking for yourself vs. letting other people think for you. Don't allow the experts to control your destiny or your dreams, let them help you get there. Take some time to think, document, research your own idea before asking for help -- if you do -- you will be better equipped to ask for exactly what you want and getting it.
3. Having a business mindset means being more strategic about your business activity. Don't just go to any networking event or take on any job; know what results you want before you invest in business activity.
For example, do you know how much it really costs you to attend a training session or a networking event - Money, family, time, babysitter, gas, etc? In order to recoup your investment your reasons for investing in the training must be things other than meeting people and "I just want to learn something." Why? That's a given when you go to networking (meet people) or training (learn something). Your purpose for attending any event must be One, aligned with your vision and Two, focused on profitability. So make sure you have a specific outcome in mind before investing in business activities like networking and training.
4. Having a business mindset is knowing that we need to connect with our businesses and that connection is... profitability. How do you connect with your profitability? By knowing your profit margin, cash flow, competitive advantage, sales goals, and your key profit indicators.
5. Having a business mindset is understanding strategy and implementing it into your business practices. These days we tend to focus on the day-to-day mundane tasks and deadlines, solving short-term problems, and implementing marketing tactics that aren't a good fit for our businesses. Strategy concerns itself with what's ahead, looking at where you're going and how to get there. Thereby, making you ask the question--"is this task in line with where the company is going and/or where I want it to go?"
6. Having a business mindset is being open to multiple streams of income and multiple businesses. I met a lady at a conference a while back, and I will never forget what she told me - "I have one business that's my passion that makes me a good income and I run it. I have another business that generates substantial profit for me and I have someone else to run it." The point: you don't have to put all your eggs in one basket - that's part of having a business mindset.
7. Having a business mindset is understanding your emotional ties to your business. Understanding the emotional ties to your business will allow you to break through your personal barriers that prevent you from doing what you say you're going to do and also doing what you want to do. The next time you get emotional in your business jot down what you're feeling and what triggered it, this is how you begin to recognize which emotions are keeping you from doing good business.
Main Takeaway: every business decision you make today affects your business today, tomorrow, and in the future - so become a good strategist. A good strategist looks at all facets of their business today in context of where they are trying to go. A good strategist reacts to problems positively instead of negatively. A good strategist also welcomes change and turns it into an opportunity. A good strategist can react quickly with the unexpected.
A good strategist has a business mindset.
© 2003-2006 Effició, Inc. Sherese Duncan
Small Business Consultant and Coach, Sherese Duncan is President and CEO of Efficio, Inc. a small business education and consulting firm. For more information about Duncan and her company, go to www.efficio.biz or if you have a burning business question that needs to be answered email [email protected].