The Entrepreneur Blueprint Article: Six Concepts that Apply to Everyone Looking to Grow a Business

inman entrepreneur blueprintThe purpose of this article is to show that a formula does exist for growing any kind of business.  There are several “common denominators” that successful entrepreneurs use (sometimes unknowingly) to push their companies, and themselves, forward.

A couple things to note when reading this—first, don’t let the word “entrepreneur” throw you off.  It’s a strong word and some people believe they are an entrepreneur and some people, even if they’re trying to grow a business, might not feel comfortable using that word.  A lot of people in real estate might not call themselves an entrepreneur, but they are definitely looking to expand their business.  So if you’re looking to grow a business, this applies to you.

Also, this article is meant to lay out the road map.  Business shouldn’t be a confusing, mystical, strange thing where people don’t realize what leads to success in the growth of companies, or any kind of business.  Many, many successful entrepreneurs and business owners do the exact same things.  That’s something we’ve learned over time—a lot of the other business people that we follow on social media, or people that we know in person—we all do the following things:

The Reading/Learning List
Many people we’ve met over the years and other successful business owners we follow have a list of their favorite books.  It could be related to mindset, it could be marketing, it could be technical stuff in their industry.  But there are a lot of common books on many people’s lists:  “The 4 Hour Work Week,” by Tim Ferriss; “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill; “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen R. Covey.  Do the reading, because you need to learn this stuff.

Goals on Paper/Business Plan
It’s been shown many times over that you are more likely to make any kind of goal happen if you actually put it down on paper.  It can be a regular piece of paper, it can be Evernote, it can be anything that’s actually written out that you can refer back to frequently.

Get a Mentor or Coach ASAP
Seeking the help of any successful person is extremely important, rather than just going it alone and going into business blindly.  A mentor can be a family member, someone you know in your community, an actual executive coach.  There are great business coaches out there—some of them are inexpensive, some are very expensive, but finding someone who has already found success is a very important place to start.  And the most important part—actually do what they say.  There is a reason they’ve attained success.

Prepare to Change Mentally
That’s a strong statement.  And it should be.  The process of who you become, how you develop, how you evolve when learning how to grow a business, is a very powerful thing.  Some people are prepared for that mental change and prepared for that to happen and are willing to evolve.  And some people, frankly, are not.  If you want to grow a business, your business is going to become only as good as you are.  Your business is an extension of you.  So however good you become is how big and awesome your business can be.

Constant Beta Mode (Evolve)
That’s a term I picked up from an article years ago, and the guy was describing his company as being in “constant beta mode,” a constant state of change, testing, and improvement.  A lot of times you want to think, “when we get to this point,” “when we get to ‘x’ amount of revenue,” or “when we get to ‘x’ amount employees,” then we’re there, we’ve made it.  But there really is no, “ok we’re there, we’ve made it.”  It’s going to change forever.  That’s a tough thing to swallow for a lot of people.  It’s a little daunting to think that you’re going to be in constant beta, always changing and improving.  But in ten plus years in business, that’s exactly what we’ve found.

Stay Hyper Focused on What Works
Stay disciplined and diligent about what really brings in the dollars and makes your business run.  Always doing new things and changing different aspects around is important, but don’t lose sight of what pays the bills, what gets the employees paid.

Follow the steps that many, many successful entrepreneurs before you have taken instead of reinventing the wheel.  Please don’t think that these things don’t apply to you.  People always want to say that, “that doesn’t apply to me, that doesn’t apply to my business.”  It’s a huge mistake to think that.  Just do what successful people do—it’s going to take a lot of the guess work out.