How to Build a Small Business You Love

love businessThe truth is that most small business owners don't like working in the business they created. One of my clients aptly refers to it as “the business model we hate”. Sound familiar? There's hope, however. There's still time to flip your business.

Small Business Model Angst

Like most entrepreneurs launching a new business, we're so thrilled to have clients — any clients — that we take on clients that are not the best fit for what we intend to accomplish. It doesn't take long for ill-fitting work to spiral into the way one continues to do business for years.

Based on this disconcerting business model, you lose your optimism for what's possible. Belief in your ability to accomplish your dreams begins to wane. Before long, you and your business are in a rut so deep that climbing out of it is a major undertaking.

Flip Your Small Business

Here are five things you need to turn your small business around.

  1. Courage. The willingness to do what it takes is paramount to your success in flipping your business. This includes the willingness to say “no” to clients, projects, and pricing that are not part of the future you're creating.
  2. Ideal client. Before you can acquire your ideal client, you need a clear picture of what s/he looks, sounds, and acts like. A marketing persona helps identify who you really want to be working with and helps market to your ideal (rather than everyone else.)
  3. Proper pricing structure. You have to stop underpricing and underearning. It's costing you too much! Set your pricing based on a sound pricing strategy rather than fear.
  4. Network. No one knows your business exists if you don't mix it up with the public (See #2). A common excuse I hear is “I don't like to sell”. Its likely because you've haven't learned how to market and sell correctlyRather than mimic the unskilled around you, learn from the experts.
  5. Financial Reserves. Extra cash may seem like a pipe dream until you begin to implement #1-4. Small business owners who stash cash for a rainy day enjoy greater peace and confidence. No matter what comes their way, they'll be prepared.

If you're currently in a “business model you hate”, don't wait to get the help you need to flip your small business. The sooner you do so, the faster you'll fall in love with your business again.