A new store can’t be successful without one key element: the right mindset.
Even the most well-intentioned, thoroughly prepared and adequately funded new stores experience struggles at the start. Although many new store owners employ plenty of the right people and the right tactics to launch their new business effectively, they sometimes start off with the wrong mentality.
These five common accidental attitudes can lead to a bumpy ride down the road to success.
Of course, opening a new store or location is a scary proposition filled with unknowns and evolving variables. Even for the most seasoned store owners, running a business is challenging and stressful. The key to navigating tough waters is developing a mission statement that outlines your business goals and details the big “why” – what reasons lead you to taking on this new initiative. Once your mission is set in place, all the decisions that follow should reflect your business goals and why you decided to take the risk.
It’s natural to be uncertain about what your next move should be, to waiver on the big decisions. But, success stems from steadfast certainty and using your self-assurance to promote your brand’s worth to others. After all, if you aren’t confident in your brand, who will be?
When doubt creeps in, remind yourself that your ideas make a difference. Reinforce positive thinking, and it will become infectious to others. When you are skeptical of your own decision-making abilities, revert back to the big “why” and respond with confidence.
“Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.” — Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx
No feeling is quite as exhilarating as when you land a key account or secure your first big client. Oftentimes, however, new store owners replicate the same formula for single, small victories without a plan in place to successfully manage mushrooming growth. It’s imperative to have measurable goals that detail where your business is going, how to properly get there and what to do when you get off track.
While it feels great to win in one area, don’t bite off more than you can chew chasing that feeling of accomplishment. Tackling unnecessary projects outside of pre-established parameters can take you off course and leave you scrambling for solutions. Managing your time wisely and establishing limitations for your new store will help you steadily stay focused without over-committing your time and energy in areas that aren’t included in your goals and you aren’t prepared for.
“The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.” — Tony Blair, former prime minister of the U.K.
Social media today is a new store owner’s ticket to online networking, promoting and socializing tools at the click of a button. If your business does not utilize the far-reaching tools of social media, you will be left behind.
With that said, your new store has to properly use social media in order to be successful. An poorly-ran social media account hanging on the web with a few random posts and no consistency is worse than having no social media account at all.
Use social media to add value to your brand, grow a fan-base and engage with your followers. More importantly, use your accounts consistently – several times daily. The work will be worth the reward if you build a social presence and maintain it.
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media. The question is how well we do social media.” – Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics
We all could always use the help of others – especially new store owners. Most empires are built with the help of many great minds collaborating. Although assistance is critical to your business’ survival, expecting others to reach out with help will only extend your timeline for achieving your goals.
The hours you put in along with a strong work ethic will see you through lean times when it seems your business may slip away into obscurity. Learn to depend first and foremost on yourself. Lean on your personal goals and resources. Be grateful when assistance is offered, but don’t anticipate it. Go after what you want and take some risks along the way.
“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” – Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
Confidence in your business, goals and yourself is essential. Though trust in your vision is crucial, it is critical to balance a healthy self-reliance with a hefty dose reality by taking advice from those who have walked in your shoes.
Choose a mentor. Make connections in your industry and reach out to those who understand your business. Collect information. Solicit advice from those who have weathered business storms and come out victorious. You will gain priceless knowledge and insight from these mentors that will assist you in further developing your career and connections. Their advice will prove to be invaluable time and time again.
“Don’t make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up.” – Thomas J. Watson, former CEO of IBM