Small Business Success Tips - Persistence
A ridiculous claim has repeatedly been made for the value of persistence in a small
business, which boils down to, "If you persist, you will succeed." The problem with untrue
claims is that when they are rejected, any related truth is rejected also. So let us sort
out the truths and untruths about persistence.
Starting a small business usually turns out to be harder than the owner anticipated.
Almost all small businesses go through financial strains, especially when beginning, and
take far more of the owner's time than he imagined he could supply. Frustration and
discouragement are common. If your business does not fit this mold, but is succeeding
easily, good for you, and keep on doing what you are doing. Otherwise, read on.
The two obvious truths relating to persistence are 1. if you give up, you lose, and 2.
you cannot give up and win. The only other two possibilities are persist and lose, and
persist and win. Logically, then, there is only one way to win, and that is to persist.
Persistence does not guarantee success, but it provides the chance.
How does a small business owner turn persistence into success? One major action will do it.
Every aspect of your business, from production to sales to finances, can continually be
made better, as in more efficient and more effective. In short, quality can be increased.
All the principles of quality come into play in every area, but the most important is the
first: Quality is an Attitude. You have to want and intend improvement, across the board.
Persistence without improvement is spinning your wheels until you have dug them into a
rut too deep to drive out of.
Two other principles of quality are Learn and Fix. Here is where the bulk of your
persistence time will be spent.
The more you learn about the various aspects of your business, the better you will be
at them. No matter how busy you are, your future success depends on spending some time
every day on learning. Most of your learning can be from articles and ebooks on the
internet. Some will be from books and audio or video tutorials. We are not talking about
learning from experience; that falls under the next section. We mean learning the
theoretical and practical information about what to do and how to do it for every function
in your business.
Then there is the School of Hard Knocks: learning by experience. You make a mistake, or
you do not get the results you expected from an action, and you learn from it. First you
fix it, to keep overall quality up, and then you figure out why it happened, and how to
prevent it in the future.
What is the enemy of persistence? Discouragement. Whether you feel discouraged by how
long it is taking to make progress, or because people are actively discouraging you, the
best answer to discouragement is to acknowledge its presence, then spit in its face.
Persistence almost always takes longer than you want it to. Discouragement is just a
temporary reminder of that fact.
Persistence alone does not guarantee success. Persistence with continual improvement does.
Don Dewsnap is the author of
Small Business Magic, published by Oak Wand
Publishing. Small Business Magic details the principles of quality necessary to business
success, applying to all aspects of business from production to sales. The principles of
quality are not well known, and almost never applied to their full potential.