When you start thinking about owning your own business, you can easily be misled by the attitudes and opinions of others. Sometimes people will encourage you to get into a business you shouldn't get into because they have nothing personally at stake. It's very important that you do your homework thoroughly in advance before you make any decisions.
The Essence of Business Success
The essence of a successful business is really quite simple. It's your ability to offer a product or service that people will pay for at a price sufficiently above your costs-ideally three or four or five times your cost-thereby giving you a profit that enables you to buy and offer more products and services.
To succeed, you have to add value either by bringing the product or service from another place to where you're selling it or by creating the product or service and selling it at a price higher than your total cost of production. You become wealthy either by selling a few products or services at high prices, or by selling many products or services at lower prices with smaller profits.
The best strategy, of course, is to aim to sell a larger volume with a smaller profit on each item. Most great fortunes in America have been made by selling large quantities of products over a wide area, thereby broadening the target market and reducing a business's dependency on just a few customers.
For instance, let's talk about selling yachts rather than chewing gum. There are few fortunes that have been made from selling yachts, but there are major fortunes that have been made based on selling chewing gum. A basic rule is this: If you want to dine with the classes, you must sell to the masses.
Go From the Known to the Unknown
Early in my business career, I learned another key rule for business success and it's simply this: Start off in an established field, and only experiment with new products or services out of your profits from your established business.
One reason many entrepreneurs fail is that they have grandiose ideas of being the first into the market with a brand new, untried, unproven product. Don't fall into this trap! As you begin to magnetize your mind with visual images of wealth and success, as you begin looking everywhere for profitable ideas, you'll begin to attract the people and opportunities you need to achieve your goals. I've learned from long experience that you must learn to trust your intuition, your gut feeling, concerning any business decision.
So read every publication, explore every opportunity. Remain open to all ideas. But in the final analysis, trust only yourself. Trust your inner voice to tell you the right thing to do. All great businesspeople become great by listening to their inner guide-it will never fail to lead you to your highest good. Heaven help the person who refuses to listen to it.
Here are two things you can do to start a successful business that involve trusting your intuition before making a final decision:
- First, always remember that the key to success in business is your ability to add value to your customers' lives by providing them with something they want and need at a price that enables you to make a profit. Keep your thinking focused on the benefit that your customers will enjoy from what you're offering.
- Second, get all the information you can and speak to as many people as possible about your idea. Then sit down quietly by yourself and listen to your intuition before you make the final decision.
Brian Tracy is the "Success Secrets" coach at Entrepreneur.com and one of America's leading authorities on entrepreneurial development. He's produced more than 300 audio and video learning programs that cover the entire spectrum of human and corporate performance.