Three key things to build a successful business

Three key things to build a successful business

There are three key things you need to build a successful business:


  • Time

  • Energy

  • Money

If any one of these is lacking, it is going to need to be made up for in one of the other areas.

Let’s take a look at them one at a time.


Building a successful business takes time.  And it is likely to take a lot longer than you think.  All too often we set up our small business thinking we are going to be drawing a full time wage within a month or so.  All too often the reality is different.  We end up working for nothing for the first 12 months or just drawing a paltry sum that barely covers a pair of tights each month.

And on the subject of time, everything we do seems to take longer than expected.  I will just write a quick blog I hear you say.  And three hours later you are still staring at a blank screen.  I will just make a quick update to my website I hear you say.  And two weeks later you are still playing around with the design and the layout.  I will quickly set up a mailing system I hear you say.  And days later you are still tearing your hair out and wondering what the hell everyone else is on it about when they say it is all so easy.

If you don’t have time, you are going to have invest money to make up for it.  You are going to have to spend money on marketing rather than trying to do everything for free on social media.  You are going to have to spend money outsourcing all those tasks that are eating up the precious hours in your day.


You are going to need massive amounts of energy to build your own business.  The time it takes will easily leave you feeling drained and exhausted and it will be all too easy to feel like throwing in the towel.

One of the dangers of building a business, particularly when working from home, is that we let healthy habits slip.  We stop taking exercise as we just want to get one more task squeezed into the day.  We stop eating healthily and grab chocolate bars and coffee whilst chained to our computer screens.

This soon leaves us feeling sluggish and out of kilter.

To build a successful business, you need to take of yourself first and foremost and keep your energy levels up.  You need to take regular exercise, you need to keep healthy and you need to get enough sleep.  If you energy levels drain, you will end up either ill or having to take time out to recharge the batteries.

If you don’t have energy, it is going to cost you more in time and money.  It will take more time to build your business or you will have to invest more money to get someone to take over your work for you.


Yes, you are going to have to invest some money!  I’m sorry to break the bad news to you but those get rich quick schemes where you only have to put in a few pounds or dollars up front just don’t work.  I have had numerous people send me their schemes but when I ask to see their bank details or profit and loss statement to validate their claims, they disappear into the mist never to be heard of again.

You need to invest in the tools to do the job.  You can get many free versions of systems and software, but if you really want to build your business, it is the paid versions that you need.  You need to invest in yourself and the businesses that really move forward faster than the others invest in a coach.  I invested in thousands for a coach for myself.  Even though I am a business coach, I still need someone to help me with new ideas and to hold me accountable for achieving results.  Without this, my business would have taken vastly longer to be successful.

If you don’t invest money it is going to cost you more time and energy.  You can try to build a business on a shoestring but you are likely to end up just running a very expensive hobby for many years to come.  And more time is going to take more energy. You really need to look at the potential return on investment and savings in time and energy rather than holding on those purse strings.


Do you have these three key areas covered or is the lack of one of these hampering your success?  Let me know in the comments below.

The secret to business success

The secret to business success

One of the biggest differences between those achieving business success and those who fade into the shadows is long term commitment.  All too often we set off with rose tinted glasses in a euphoria of excitement that our business is going to be the best and we are going to join those glamorous people in the Facebook ads sat on a beach working just a few hours a day from their laptop.

But reality tends to be rather different.  When the money hasn’t started rolling in within the first 6 months, doubt starts to creep in.  When the first tax return is prepared and you haven’t been able to draw the equivalent of the minimum wage as yet, you start to feel under pressure to return to the world of employment.

It is those who plan, those who are prepared for it to take time and those who refuse to give up that succeed.   They are committed to their plans for the long term, not just on the hope of a get rich quick scheme.

As Steve Jobs said, “Half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance”.  Too many people want instant gratification these days. That’s not going to cut it.

As a general rule of thumb, and from my experience working with small businesses over the years, I tell clients to expect to make a loss in year one, break even in year two and start to make a profit in year three.  By year five you should be making a decent enough income.

If these timescales scare you, then think carefully before going out on your next venture.  You may well be lucky and achieve financial success far quicker than this, but being prepared for your true business success to take five years will put you in a better position for reality.

To be successful you will have to be consistent and persistent in your efforts.  Going guns a blazing with your marketing for 3 months and then losing your mojo as the results are not what you expect and so then doing nothing for the next month is not going to get you anywhere.  When you start up your marketing efforts again, you may as well be starting from scratch.  Doing one small thing every day will get you greater rewards long term than intermittent blasts of activity.

Liken it to training for a marathon.  If you train hard and get to running 16 miles but then take a break for a couple of months, you are not going to be able to get up and go out the door and pick up where you left off.  You will have to take quite a few steps backward to get back on track again.

It is tough being a small business owner.  You will need to remain focused and determined at times when others around you try to instil you with their doubts.  You will need to retain your self-belief when the naysayers come calling.  But if you are prepared and committed for the long term, the rewards will most certainly be worth it.

Remember the adage, all good things come to those who wait.   Do you have the commitment necessary for business success?