As the end of July approaches I am super excited about something; I just completed my FIFTH year in business!! As we all know, according to the variety of statistics I’ve read over the years, only one in 6 start-ups make it as far as the five-year mark, so it truly is a milestone to be celebrated.
Any entrepreneur will tell you that keeping a business going and growing is a tough gig. But when it does work out the success stories offer a lot to learn from.
With our five-year anniversary close, it’s a perfect time to reflect and come up with five ways we were able to make it to this mark!
- Build a solid infrastructure.
One thing that’s undeniable is that having a strong and stable team in place has been key. When you start a business from scratch, a solid foundation is an absolute must and will drive the vision you’re going after and culture you want to create along with it.
- It really is all about the customer.
When building a brand and reputation, it is absolutely essential to under promise and over deliver. Some of the ways we have turned our customers into believers and fans is we’ve focused on the relationship with them, perpetual transparency, a focus on attention to detail and responding to all customers requests AND complaints with a sense of urgency. Our customers are now our cheerleaders and any one of them will vouch for the fantastic work we are doing across the north.
- Have thick skin.
Rejection will come regularly and there will be plenty of little — and big — failures. I believe that this is what makes successes that much sweeter in the end. It’s important to learn how to take constructive AND negative feedback and use it to your advantage: to become a stronger and smarter entrepreneur. We use failures as a catalyst to work even harder. And don’t forget, when you work that hard it’s important to celebrate the successes!
- Have a vision.
Since inception, my business plan has been a living document which has helped me to guide the business in the right direction. Over the years it’s had to be malleable and altered significantly, however, it’s that same plan and vision that has gotten us to this point so far.
- It’s a commitment.
I’m all in. I’m committed to seeing these projects to the end and I get a real sense of commitment from my team as well. This milestone wouldn’t have been attainable if we weren’t such a committed team. Having goals has been instrumental in keeping us committed and turning the tough times into motivation has kept us going.
So here we are — five quick, wonderful and educational years later. It’s been about figuring out a financial plan, developing and producing marketing techniques that have resulted in customers, finding a profitable mix of services and then repeating. I would say that everything has taken longer than expected but it’s taken us the right amount of time to get it right!