What is the difference between a successful company and an unsuccessful company? Why do some entrepreneurs succeed where others have failed miserably?

What makes someone successful?
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Everyone is looking for the answers to these questions; everyone wants to find the keys to succeed, the shortcut that will make it all easier.

The problem is in that word, shortcut.
The real key, the real secret is that there is no shortcut.
You need to work hard, endure long hours, and maintain focus if you want success.

You can succeed

Many studies have been made to why some entrepreneurs succeed while others don’t.
In many cases, it all comes down to planning.

There’s an old saying: every minute spent on planning saves up to 10 minutes in execution. Even though we know this, very few people spend enough time planning.

Spending time before you start your business making plans is tiresome to many. You are essentially working without getting paid, in the short run. But when you plan you create a roadmap; you build yourself a guide that will help you on your entire journey towards success.

Successful entrepreneurs plan and then do something completely different

The hard part about planning is getting it right. When you plan you try to foresee circumstances in the future, to predict how things will play out and make plans for how you will react and what you will need, you can’t always get a 100% success rate. Since no one knows what the future brings, most plans become obsolete as soon as the entrepreneur starts his business.

All successful entrepreneurs started off with a set of plans, but many ended up doing something completely different. (But they all had a plan).

Unsuccessful entrepreneurs fail because of lack of planning

Because studies show that many original business plans become obsolete soon after the business gets off the ground, some entrepreneurs decide to skip the whole planning process. But without an exact idea of what they are going to do, what they need, what opportunities to look for and without a frame of reference to evaluate situations by, they fail.

Successful entrepreneurs have a plan to update

When you have a plan, you can modify it, you can evaluate things happening around you and compare them to your plans. You will be able to see if this opportunity is in line with your goals, values and dreams. If it isn’t, you know it is a bad idea to follow. Thanks to this whole planning process, you will have a long term mindset, you will constantly be thinking about what the things you are doing today will have for affects on your future.

This mindset is a precious commodity and one of the most important parts of being an entrepreneur. Remember, all successful entrepreneurs have made business plans, even if they didn’t always do exactly what they expected.

Action Exercises

1. Create a business plan
Ask yourself the following questions – What do you plan on doing? Who is it you are selling to? What do you need to be successful at it? How much do you need to sell to brake even? What costs will you have? How many employees do you need? What kind of office space will you require? What can you delegate? What do you need to do yourself?

2. Create a vision
Try to crystallize the values you want your company to stand for in simple terms. Make sure everyone who joins the company learns about what the company stands for, and prove it to them by living by those values.
Let the employees be a part of the creative process, come back to it once in a while, look it over, and let them give you their input.

3. Never be afraid to update your plan
You will need to update your plan many times, you might even change to a new industry after some time has passed. Don’t be afraid of this, but make sure that the change is in line with your goals and your vision. If the path you are on won’t lead you to your goals, change that path now to one that is more suitable.

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