5 critical success factors

Hi everyone, it’s Jack Dunigan with you from thepracticalleader.com. and this is another episode in our series Things to Know Before You Start a Business. Today we’re going to talk about 5 critical success factors that you can take a look at yourself and the people around you to see if you got them. So you get ready to have a successful business. Let’s take a look.

Critical success factor number one. The ability to manage and multitask. When you start a business, especially in the early days when you don’t have much money and you’re trying to save money, you got so much to do, you’ve got to run everything. You’re running shops, you’re running the store, you’re running the floor, you’re running bookkeeping, you’re running accounting, you’re running production and you’re managing everything. So you need the ability to multitask because people will come to you for the answers. You hire people or you have customers, they want to know this and that, and so you need to know how to manage all of this stuff and multitask. If you’re a disorganized person this can be a problem. You need to take a look at your schedule and see how well you can manage, how well you can multitask. Because this really is indeed a critical success factor.

Success factor number two. Education and experience in the field. Analysis over the past hundred years or so has shown that when people decide to go into business and they leave a particular job, or they come out of school and they want to go into business, if they have education and/or experience in that field their chances of survival and success are much, much higher. Now franchises, we’re going to talk about franchises in a future episode, when you do franchise they will give you an awful lot of training in that field. That’s what you’re paying for when you buy the franchise and that helps out a little bit. But odds are, that let’s say that you’re a hobby woodworker and you decide to go into woodworking business. You can do well, there is a caveat to this, that just because you know how to do woodworking or you know how to make clothing or you know how to maybe build houses or something like that, doesn’t mean that you have the business side of things, which is what we’re providing here in this series. You need the business side of things as well. But they’re not exclusive, you can’t get by with one instead of the other. You need both. You need business skills but you also need education and experience in the field.

Critical success factor number three is a strong work ethic. Hard work. I don’t want to mislead you. I had more than one business and I can tell you, no such thing as a 40-hour work week. You’re going to work 60, 70 hours a week. It’s going to be very hard. You’ll succeed, but it will be hard. And if you don’t have a strong work ethic, if you think you’re just going to go into business, I see these things online all the time, how you can get $10,000 in your checkbook in a week, and all you have to do is send out one email, they’re lying to you. It isn’t true, it won’t work, and what they’re trying to do is sell you something so that they can lay on the beach and it isn’t going to work. You need to understand there are no magic bullets, there are no shortcuts, it takes a strong work ethic.

Critical success factor number four, if we can get there, is effective time management. This goes back to your organizational skills, but you’re going to have to juggle a lot of things. You have not only your business but you have your own personal life and your family’s life as well. So, you have to learn how to manage time, because you don’t want to get stuck in one ditch on one side of the road. You got a full schedule that needs to be managed.

Critical success factor number five. Willingness to ask for input from others. I want to you a story of a real-life situation here. It’s a family of a husband and wife who own a cabinet shop. They make kitchen cabinets and they were sinking. There was a mismanagement with the person he had hired before and they were about to go under. So, they came to SCORE. You can go to www.score.org, and you can get free business mentoring there. There are 10,000 volunteers across the United States, and if you don’t have someone like that in your country, you can still find, almost certainly, another more experienced business person who will mentor you. But they called SCORE and they said, “We’re about to lose the family business, we need some help.” Well, as the mentor began to talk with them he discovered that they were there because the wife wanted to be there, the husband had been unwilling to ask for input from others. Now I’m not blaming males, I’m just telling you in this dynamic it was she who wanted help. He was reluctant. So, he came and he got help and it saved the family business. Willingness to ask for input from others. Lots of people have learned lots of things and they are willing to share them with you. So be sure and ask others what they think about your situations, and they’ll be glad to give you help.

So here the 5 set factors are.

Number one, effective time management.
Number two, education and experience in the field.
Number three, a strong work ethic.
Number four, effective time management.
Number five, a willingness to ask for help.