John from Cheyenne recently sent me a note asking, “How soon can I expect to see some real growth in my new business?” That’s a good question and one that is on any new business owner’s mind, but it’s one that may have countless responses depending upon a variety of factors. Each individual business has its own trajectory for startup, launch, and growth depending on the industry, seasonal versus year-round business, market demand, competition, economic conditions, and more. An entrepreneur’s grit—or perseverance and work ethic—plays an equally important role. A startup takes planning, organization, market research, financial projections, connections in the industry and community, and legal considerations, not to mention a product or service that is in demand and profitable. When all those factors are in place, an entrepreneur can expect some failures or setbacks or the need for changes from their initial plan.
Let me break down the factors I mentioned a bit further. I like to believe that “grit” is uniquely a Wyoming trait, a trait that was born in Wyoming and one all Wyoming entrepreneurs possess. Entrepreneurs with great ability or talent in their industry or skills can only go so far if they lack the perseverance, work ethic, and motivation necessary to successfully run their business.
Planning, organization, and other essential work come into play to achieve success. Before a business opens its doors, an entrepreneur must do the significant groundwork. Entrepreneurs can minimize their risk by following logical steps to start a business. The outcome from a simple internet search on ‘how to start a business,’ results in many step-by-step paths. I found the number of steps can range from 8 to 35 steps depending on the article, but all of those steps led to the development of a strategic or business plan. To summarize, the entrepreneur will want to know what problem they’re providing a solution to or what gap they’re filling in the industry. Using market research, potential answers will surface allowing the entrepreneur to develop a path or strategy to begin, but the learning rarely ends. Pursuing a strategic approach can seem like an overwhelming process but it’s necessary for success, especially if you’re hoping for growth and profit quickly. Following that path is where grit must kick in.
Understanding why it is important to plan, organize, conduct market research, develop financial projections, and know as much about your industry as possible can help strategically determine the rate of growth you might expect. Markets and economic conditions change, and marketing strategies may need to be refined which results in a constant cycle of modification to your approach. Having grit will not only help you form your strategy, it will also allow you to make changes to your original plans when necessary.
The Wyoming Small Business Development Center can assist, at no cost and confidentially, with every step of the process of starting or growing a business. One step you’ll likely find in your internet search to start a business is to find a mentor or advisor. The experienced team at the SBDC helps entrepreneurs break down tasks, interpret competitive intelligence, design an individualized plan, and implement or revamp strategies. Finally, the SBDC can customize an entrepreneur’s experience by making connections to the vast array of resources available in Wyoming.
About the Author: Jill has been with the Wyoming SBDC Network since 1998 and loves nothing more than seeing entrepreneurs succeed. When she’s not in the office or on the road, Jill enjoys loving on her dogs Buttercup and Dilly, spending time with her husband, and knitting something cozy.