[tweetmeme]What does it take to really need to successfully start a business? Martha Stewart, one of the most successful women in business today, lists down the essential elements to start an entrepreneurial venture in her book “The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Build, or Manage a Business.”
The idea for the book came from Martha’s time in prison. While incarcerated for lying about a stock sale, Martha met with women serving their sentences in prison yet harboring dreams of becoming a business owner once they are released. Given her proven success in building a business empire, the other women in prison constantly asked for her advice of what she thought about their business ideas. Martha then arranged to give a talk in prison about starting a business, which became the outline for this book.
Martha’s 10 rules for starting a successful business are:
1. Build your business success around something that you love – something that is inherently and endlessly interesting to you.
2. Focus your attention and creativity on basic things, things that people need and want. Then look for ways to enlarge, improve and enhance your big idea.
3. Create a business plan that allows you to stay true to your big idea but helps you focus on the details. Then remain flexible enough to zoom in our out on the vital aspects of your enterprise as your business grows.
4. Teach so you can learn: By sharing your knowledge about your product or service with your customers, you create a deep connection that will help you learn how best to build and manage your business.
5. Use smart, cost-effective promotional techniques that will arrest the eye, tug at the heart, and convey what is unique and special about your business or service.
6. Quality should be placed at the top of your list of priorities, and it should remain there. Quality is something you should strive for in every decision, every day.
7. Build an A team. Seek out and hire employees who are brimming with talent, energy, integrity, optimism and generosity. Search for advisors and partners who complement your skills and understand your ideals.
8. When faced with a business challenge, evaluate or assess the situation, gather the good things in sight, abandon the bad, clear your mind, and move on. Focus on the positive. Stay in control, and never panic.
9. In business, there’s a difference between a risk and a chance. A well calculated risk may very well end up as an investment in your business. A careless chance can cause it to crumble. And when an opportunity presents itself, never assume it will be your last.
10. Make it beautiful. Listen intently, learn new things every day, be willing to innovate, and become an authority your customers will trust. As an entrepreneur, you will find great joy and satisfaction in making your customers’ lives easier, more meaningful, and more beautiful.