Words have impact. Words carry weight. Often when we think of four letter words, we think of the ones that cannot be printed here. It is true those words may have shock value; however, there are four-letter words that directly impact the success or failure of any business.
FEAR is a four-letter word that often prevents great business ideas, services and products to never happen. Fear paralyzes action, causes undue panic; it sets the stage for bad decisions. However, fear is a natural reaction to the unknown. We fear what we don’t understand, we fear what we cannot see, and we fear what we believe we cannot change. Taking the time to actually define what we fear often gives us a broader view of reality. Once you can see the true picture of something, it is easier to develop a plan of action.
FAIL is one of the biggest words in the English language. Unlike FEAR, FAIL is not an innate instinct. Babies learning to walk do not understand the concept of fail. Nothing deters them from learning to take those first steps. They may fall often, but they get right back up. They do not understand any other option. As adults we have learned the dreaded word FAIL and everything that goes with it. The Fear of Failure causes us to stop trying, give up too early, lose our focus, stop thinking creatively, stop learning and stop finding solutions. It is these actions or lack thereof, that actually create the environment to FAIL.
The above four-letter words can destroy business success. The following four-letter words can spell victory for a business.
TELL – You have a great idea for a product or service. However, even a great service or product without a market has NO VALUE. Defining that target market is only the first step in a complicated process. Key questions have to be asked, such as:
- How are you going to TELL your target market about your product or service?
- Have you crafted a concise and clear message to effectively TELL your audience about the benefits of your product/service?
- Can you TELL the story of your business model?
SELL– You may have a great product, but how good are you at selling? Many people think SELL is a bad word. SELL is the second part of TELL. TELL creates the interest, SELL creates the business. Making sales invokes a lot of anxiety for many business owners. There is the fear of failure, rejection and loss. To SELL actually means to SHOW benefits. Showing the value of your product and/or service is the key element of a good sales plan.
PLAN – Taking the time to PLAN the Who, What, Where, When and How of your business is critical to the initial and continued success of any business. Who are going to be the key players in the business? What is your differentiation factor? How are you going to fund your start-up costs? Finding the answers to these questions and countless other ones is a requirement for success.
HEAR – Listening to the experts in the various fields that pertain to running your business successfully is a key to business success. Now the experts are not always right, but you have the ability to HEAR and discern what you want to incorporate into your business strategy. Life-long Learning is not an option, it is a necessity. The business environment changes daily. The window to implement positive change in business is getting smaller. Learning as much as you can before you make a mistake is much less painful and costly than learning from your mistake.
RISK – Starting a business is a gamble under the best of circumstances. One only has to look at the statistics for business survival to realize that. However, RISK is an essential factor in running a business. RISK cannot be avoided, but it can be managed. However, RISK can only be controlled when you have true and correct information at your disposal. Do your financial records tell you what you need to know? Has your target market changed? Do you know what your competition is doing.
CASH – It is true – CASH is KING. Do you have the cash either in the bank or access through resources to not only start your business, but sustain it through its early years? Do you have a comprehensive financial system in place that provides you critical reports to help you make the right decisions for your business and its future?
WORK – Most new and current businesses do not become successful just through another four-letter word – LUCK. Another four-letter word BUSY does not necessarily translate into profit. Are you prepared for the WORK involved? Do you have a concrete business plan? Does your family support the time commitment that will be required.
Did you notice there are many more positive Four-Letter Words than Negative? Now get to WORK.