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Diane Hendricks, who founded ABC Supply with her husband, Kenneth, in 1982, offers seven business tips that will benefit business veterans, those just starting their business, and people looking to grow their companies.
- Be Flexible - Have a goal in mind, but be willing to try more than one avenue to get there. If your method doesn't work, how could the second method be better? "Change your path, be willing to, and don't see that as a failure," Hendricks says.
- Think: Do You Want to Do This? - Being an entrepreneur is more than just having a great idea. Building a business takes commitment and passion. "Because the success rate is very poor, and if you truly don’t have a passion, and have a burning desire to build a company, you may not be happy in this venture," Hendricks says.
- Plan It Out - Figure out what you want your business plan to be and write it up. Show it to people you trust as well as a bank (but don't ask for money when you do). Make sure you do your research on the industry you want to enter and understand it fully before you begin planning your own venture.
- Some People Might Not Believe in You - Some banks might not believe that your venture will be around for the long-term or, as your business grows, you might not match that bank's business model. Your business may have garnered a reputation as a "'flash in the pan'" "and you can’t overcome a reputation that somebody tags on you until you can prove that you’re not that," Hendricks says.
- Do Your Best to Juggle Family and Business - Hendricks and her husband made sure that they were home every night to have dinner with their children. They also made sure that they never worked weekends so they could tend to the family farm and spend time with your family. Building a business is stressful, but make sure you set boundaries to make sure that your loved ones are getting the attention they need.
- Take Chances When You Get Them - "Opportunity is not always at an opportune time," Hendricks says. "Sometimes you just have to change your plans, because that opportunity is not going to come again."
- Don't Quit - Keep going even when time gets tough. "You’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to be dissuaded, don’t quit," Hendricks advises.