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Three main principles to turn your business dream into reality

by Ana Lopez
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Helen Zadadministrator of Active Plus Home Health and Divine Grace Hospice, and host of Femme Fatale by Helen Podcast.

While no two paths to success will look the same, I believe there are some fundamental elements that any successful business will have in common. Here are my three non-negotiable principles that I always use in my business ventures that I hope can help you maximize your own potential.

1. Write a detailed business plan.

Your business plan is your springboard when you start building. And while you may need to adjust it along the way, your plan should be complete and as detailed as possible from day one.

You can find all sorts of free templates online to structure your plan, but here are the key ingredients.

• Your product: Write a description of your product or service, how it compares to other products of its nature on the market, and why your product or service will be successful. How does it meet a need? Add extensive market research – you need to know the field and your competitors inside out.

• Passion: You must strongly believe in your product. Why do you want to produce this? Why do you think this is worth selling? What does this mean for you? Knowing your “why” becomes the cornerstone of your success.

• Growth potential: You have much more room to grow if you choose a company that has no limits. Usually a business is tied to how much space and manpower you have and how much product you can physically produce. Some companies are so bound by the limitations of physical production that even if you want to create more, it’s not possible. Find out how to mass produce with the least amount of manpower and space to create more expansion freedom for yourself.

• Your projections and sales targets: Find out how long you think it will take you to develop your product or service and how much profit you expect to make within the first year, two years and five years. What do you need to achieve in one year to get where you want to be in five years? In six months? One month? One day? Then calculate your budget: yearly, monthly and weekly. For example, if my projection is to sell $3 million in a year, I would divide that amount by 12 months to get a desired monthly amount of $250,000, then divide that figure by 4 weeks to get $62,500, and then by seven to get a daily goal of $8,929. Based on these numbers, I can set myself a guideline for how much to produce at the end of each unit of time.

2. Find the capital.

If you have capital, my advice is that you don’t need to put millions of dollars into your business – especially in the beginning – to be successful. With an exceptional sales strategy, you can start with almost the bare minimum necessary to own the business and develop enough cash to put back into it and grow it as quickly as possible. The key will always be your customer service and sales skills, which you can hone for free.

If you don’t have capital, find a company that appeals to you. If you have a passion for what they do, you can quickly excel within that space. Be honest with them about your goals and interests and commit to helping them grow. Work just as hard for them as you would if you owned the company yourself, and at the end of the day you will become irreplaceable. If you’re irreplaceable, you’re in a position to set the rules – to get the stakes and benefits you’ve earned and ask for company stock on your own terms.

It is more valuable and less common than you think for companies to find someone willing to put in the sweat and take on the company goals. If you do this you will be noticed and rewarded for it. Just be exactly who you said you will be under all circumstances. Never think you work for other people; you only work for yourself, your dreams and your goals. If you have knowledge and ability, you can master any desired result. You already have everything you need to make it happen.

3. Know your industry and stay confident.

Here are the key components to remember as your startup takes off.

• Your product: Choose something you would like to sell or make. The more you are passionate about what you want to sell or create, the better you will be at selling it.

• Sales strategies: What kind of strategies do you need to learn, practice or research for what you plan to develop? It is vital to master your sales techniques.

• Your requirements: Your essentials include your location, goals, finances and plans. Always know your statistics and be fully aware of what is going on with your records and finances at all times.

• Curiosity: There will always be more to learn. You never know enough, and you don’t know what you don’t know. Stay humble and eager to learn.

• Attitude: Live your dream as if it were already there – because it is there. You do. And remember that part of being who you want to be, a business owner, is committing every day. Don’t give yourself excuses for not being productive on any given day, because every day counts.

Starting your own business takes vision and creativity, but it also takes guts and determination, even if you work hard and meet resistance and rejection (which you will be). You will feel tired and sometimes you feel like throwing in the towel.

As you go along, remember that you won’t know your limits until you push yourself – so keep pushing. Realizing your full potential and building something new from the ground up yields incredible rewards when you commit yourself to the job.

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