The two things you need above knowledge for success today

A lot of “know-it-alls” are unsuccessful. What’s worse, many know-it-alls do have an excellent command of a lot of information, yet they accomplish little.

I’m making this point to stress the truth that knowledge alone won’t make you successful in business. I truly value and encourage your ongoing education, but two other elements are required to be successful in business:

  • A management plan, and
  • The discipline to execute it.

Combine those two elements with good knowledge and you’re well on your way to creating a business that has potential for long-term success. And let me tell you a little secret: You can always acquire the knowledge you need, by either training yourself or hiring someone who has the knowledge you want. However, if you lack a plan or lack discipline, you might find yourself in a situation where it’s too late to acquire those elements – and you can’t buy discipline at any cost!

Where are you in the evolution of your business? If you’re in the planning stages, you need to focus your efforts on your initial business plan. But once you get a launch date within reach, you need to be formulating your management plan.

It’s important to remember that the tone and culture you create as you launch your business will, in great part, determine the trajectory of your business. If you launch in an unorganized, haphazard fashion, that will be difficult to overcome as you move forward. Further, your team will sense that “anything goes” as long as it gets you through the business day.

Processes and people need to be in place to handle production, personnel, quality assurance, scheduling, marketing, and accounting. If you’re just a single, self-employed individual when you launch, those are a lot of bases to cover. Apps, cloud services, and contact workers can cover some of those; don’t delay finding the right assistance – that’s where discipline starts to kick in.

You probably know the right way to get something done, but when you’re under the pressure of launching or growing a small business, cutting corners can be tempting. I’m reminded of an old saying, “A stitch in time, saves nine.” When you have the discipline to do things right the first time and put systems in place to assure they are done right every time, you save yourself countless problems later on that could kill your business.

I have one little “homework” assignment for you. Honestly look at your strengths and see where discipline ranks. If it’s at the top of the list, that’s great. However, if you’re more of an “idea” person who bristles at being confined within a disciplined system and your reject imposing discipline on others, you probably need to bring in a partner or board that will inject some discipline into your management.