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8 Tips To Build A Thriving Business

Monica Allen March 2023 1

Business Starter Thought Leader: Monica Allen

Having a successful business requires more than just a great idea.

It requires a solid business plan, the right amount of funding, the right people, a strategic store location, a unique niche, a mentor, and a willingness to change and pivot if something is not working. Here’s a closer look at each of these elements and how they can help you build a thriving business.

“A well-thought-out business plan is essential for the success of any business.”

1. Write A Solid Business Plan:

A well-thought-out business plan is essential for the success of any business. It should outline your goals, target market, marketing strategy, pricing strategy, financial projections, and much more. A solid business plan serves as a roadmap for your business, allowing you to make informed decisions and stay on track.

Truthfully, in my first business I did not have the formal 40 page business plan that I learned to put together in my MBA Entrepreneurship class. However, what we did create was an approximately three to four page executive summary. It included such items as our product descriptions, target market, and three year projected sales. It also included expenses, a competitive analysis, and the executive team’s professional background. We primarily had to put this together for the bank, but it was also great to get these items down on paper and be able to review and revise them over time. 

2. Get The Right Amount of Funding:

Money is a crucial part of any business, and having enough of it can make or break your success. Before starting a business, make sure you have a clear understanding of your financial needs and secure the necessary funding. This could mean bootstrapping your business, finding investors, or getting a business loan.

The amount you need will be determined by what you are selling. Are you having to mass produce a product or are you selling a service. If you are selling a service, there are still costs to take into account such as marketing, networking, and subscription services like scheduling software, email automation, and your website. 

3. Hire the Right People For Your Business:

Your team is a vital part of your business, and hiring the right people is essential. Look for candidates with the right skills and experience, who share your vision and values. Building a team that is dedicated, motivated, and passionate about your business will help you achieve your goals.

“Starting with a great job description and outlining your hiring process is key here.”

Admittedly, I have done a good job in this area as well as not so great in this area. What I have learned over time though is that you can train skills, but you cannot train the values and work ethic of a person. Starting with a great job description and outlining your hiring process is key here. You even want to do this if you are hiring a virtual assistant, because they still need to know their job responsibilities. 

4. Think Strategically about Your Store Location:

Choosing the right location for your store is critical if you are opening a brick and mortar location. You want to research your target market and look for a location that is easily accessible, visible, and has the right foot traffic. The right location can be the difference between success and failure. The phrase “location, location, location” is very true. 

When we opened our 1st store location, we actually opened next to another fraternity and sorority store. Some people may have thought that was crazy, but the items we sold complemented the other store. There is a reason why car dealerships are often clustered into one area of town. A customer can easily visit multiple locations. In our case, customers spent money at both. Eventually our neighbor decided to close, and we purchased a portion of her store and acquired many of her customers. 

5. Solve a Business Problem:

The most successful businesses solve a problem or fill a need. Identify the pain points in your target market and develop a solution that meets their needs. A business that solves a problem will always have a customer base. The bigger the problem and the more people with it, the more successful your business can be. 

6. Find A Strong Niche:

Finding a unique niche can set your business apart from the competition. It can be a product or service that no one else offers or a specific target market that is not being served. A strong niche can help you stand out and build a loyal customer base. 

“Having a mentor can be a valuable asset in building a successful business.”

With my first business, the target market was fraternity and sorority members and our niche was specifically these extremely elaborate jackets that they liked to wear. Over time our product line expanded, but this initial niche is where we made our mark in the industry, and now some 20 years later our name is still synonymous with these high quality, elaborate jackets. 

7. Get A Mentor:

Having a mentor can be a valuable asset in building a successful business. They can provide guidance, share their experience, and offer advice when you face challenges. Look for a mentor who has experience in your industry or has built a successful business. 

Keep in mind too that your mentors do not actually have to be people you know personally. It could be someone you admire from a distance and follow their business dealings. You may read their books or listen to their podcast. 

8. Be Willing to Change/Pivot:

This one is probably the most vital for your business. The ability to adapt and change course is essential for any business. If something is not working, you must be willing to pivot and try a new approach. Be open to feedback and always look for ways to improve and evolve your business.

We have made so many pivots in our business. Changing our hiring process, our financial processes, our training processes, our product offerings and so much more. In many cases, changes that we had to make to survive, have grown our revenues and allowed us to get through a recession and a pandemic. 

Putting It All Together:

In conclusion, having a successful business requires a combination of elements. A solid business plan or executive summary, the right amount of funding, the right people, a strategic store location, a unique niche, a mentor, and a willingness to change and pivot are all critical components. By incorporating these elements into your business strategy and reviewing them on a regular basis, you can set yourself up for success and build a thriving and sustainable business.

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About the Author:

Monica Allen is a serial entrepreneur who overcame the obstacle of growing up with a young single mother, living below the poverty line in a small town with very little opportunity. After obtaining her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia, she worked in Corporate America and obtained a Master’s degree in business.

After 8 years in corporate she took the leap to set out on her entrepreneurial journey. Starting with just $700, she has since grown an 8 figure company and is now the host of the Become Your Own Boss podcast helping aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs launch, grow and scale their businesses while also being the boss of every area of their lives. You can follow Monica on IG here. For more business insights, tips and inspiration visit www.monicaallen.com.