Real life experience IS the best teacher in running and growing a small business. But you don’t always have to learn from your own experience, or mistakes.
There are no guarantees in entrepreneurship, but there are certain things that will up your chances of making that first million as a diverse supplier. Some top small business tips hold true across industries, and can make a real difference in how quickly your business grows.
Entrepreneur Magazine has a great video series called Project Grow, which features dozens of short interviews with very successful entrepreneurs who know, first-hand, how to grow a successful business.
Topics include motivation, making your first million, creative financing, dealing with isolation, marketing on a budget, how to negotiate, selling to untapped markets and more.
In Top Mistakes that Startups Make, serial entrepreneur Steve Blank warns small business owners not to spend too much money early in the business’ life. He talks about a search phase, early in the business, when you’re still looking for a repeatable business model, one you’re sure will raise revenue.
“When you’re in the search phase … you want to hoard cash. When you find your business model, you want to be spending cash to grow and take over market share as fast as you can,” he says. “You have to ask yourself, am I still searching, or have I found a repeatable pattern?”
Until you’ve found that pattern, you should be slow to hire new employees, buy space or even market the business.
Take a look at the full four-and-a-half minute video here.
Another video features Nell Merlino on “Growing Small Businesses.” Merlino founded Count Me In, which helps women grow microbusinesses into multimillion-dollar companies. In this video, How to Make a Million in Revenue, Merlino says that a single person’s earning potential generally taps out at around $250,000.
Partnerships and supplier relationships are key to earning that first million, she explains. She gives the example of a bakery owner who wants to make a million.
“You could do it, and depending on the size of your town. maybe you could make a quarter of a million in that bakery. But if you’re making a really good cupcake or muffin or whatever it is, perhaps you could get to a million if you’re selling to all the markets in the state…or your the muffin maker for Starbucks in your state,” she explains.
To make the first million she says, you MUST have a big vision.
“If you don’t have the vision and the goals, you’re going to wait to see what happens, You’re going to wait to see who calls or comes in, or who buys or who doesn’t buy. You have to go out there with a plan to reach a certain number of people in order to reach those kinds of financial goals. It’s not something that just happens by itself,” she says.
You can watch the video here.
You can watch the entire series at Project Grow. Get growing!