Starting a small business is often very challenging, especially when it’s the first time you go through the experience and you are not from an entrepreneurial background. Here are some tips, which will prove that success is not a matter of chance, but of adopting the right mindset.

Define your goals

Having clear goals, especially written goals, is the foundation for success. You may start your business small, but when you have goals you know exactly where you are heading and you can dream bigger. Split your big goal into time-limited and realistic smaller goals and determine clear milestones to measure your progression. What will the business “look” like in the future? How will you know when your goals are attained? Do you know what actions you have to take to achieve success?

Taking the right actions to be successful

Having clear goals is not enough to prevent you from failure. The difference between success and failure is down to the actions you take towards your goals.

As soon as you have your goal, a written list of next actions is necessary. By doing this, you can progress every day, with smaller or bigger steps, and you will always have visibility on the next action to complete. You think that, in your head, you know what you have to do, but, without listing the actions, you may feel overwhelmed at some point. This state increases your changes to fail. The successful small business owners are people who take action on their ideas.

Seek feedback and be a good listener

In all the stages of your business, you will be more successful if you listen to other people’s feedback. Discuss with customers, suppliers, employees – anyone who can come with a fresh perspective about all aspects of your business. What works and what doesn’t? What needs to change slightly? Listen carefully to any problems that people may have, ask them questions. Don’t forget that, for any problem there should be solutions. And if you come up with the right solutions to people’s problems your business will meet success.

Find out what you don’t know

As a beginner, you cannot know everything about running a business. Identify the actions to take offers a good opportunity to undertake your own skills analysis, find out what you can improve and what to delegate. Once you know your knowledge gaps, seek out courses, books and advice, which will get you on track. Be open-minded and willing to learn.

Be focused on how to be successful as a business owner

Let no one distract you from achievement of your goals. At the start of every day get yourself into the frame of mind that you will only do tasks which will get you closer to your goal. And If you have a clear list of actions, you will always be able to identify the next action and measure your progress.

Be willing to take risks

Becoming an entrepreneur is always taking risks. In many cases, you have to give up your sustainable day job, to gather the family’s support and to face new problems. Nevertheless, you will never achieve anything if you’re not prepared to jump off the cliff! The risks you take should be planned and thought out as much as possible. With experience, you will adjust your tolerance to risks and will be able to accumulate more relevant information for assessing risks.

Think Positive

It may sound like an old cliché but you should try to see the positive in everything. If something has not gone as you wished or if you failed, ask yourself “What good has come out of this?” “What have I learned from this experience?” “How can I use the lessons for the future?” Understand that in every problem there is potential for good. We all have moments in life when we are down. The purpose is that, with experience, we should be able to reduce the “down” period.

The right mindset

Only defining your goals won’t make you successful in your business. You need to write down these goals and define specific and realistic timelines to reach them.

By establishing the list of next actions and tasks, and be focused on completing them, you increase the chances of success.

Keep an open ear and always listen carefully to the market and the surrounding people. Don’t be afraid to admit that you have knowledge gaps and get ready to find a way to fill them.

Be aware at any time, that the entrepreneurial journey is a steep path, full of risks, challenges and satisfactions!