You start your business because of a passion, a desire to help others. And, okay, because you’re ready to get out of corporate too. (I get it.)

The best part is, you already have one of the most important ingredients to a successful business: a talent in your passion. But that doesn’t mean that you’re destined to succeed.

Small business success: 5 things you need to know

What many business owners forget is that there’s a lot of business acumen needed to grow a profitable business. Often it’s not knowledge that comes naturally, but rather requires training and study–and some help from others in the form of a coach, mastermind or contractor.

No matter how long you’ve been in business, make sure you have these five key principles on your mind. When you’re ready to grow further, you need to have them down pat.

1. Business Strategy

Business is hard, and you’ll be completely distracted over and over again throughout the life of your business. Trust me on this. You’ll make poor investments, you’ll feel overwhelmed and you’ll lose a sense of direction. With a clear business strategy in place, you’ll have the structure in place that allows you to critically assess wins and losses–and help you stay the course.

Without a biz strategy, you’ll make poor investments and settle into overwhelm way too often.Click To Tweet

2. Mission, Vision, Values

You need a centering point to help remind you what’s important to you. Having a clear (and written) mission, vision and values will give you direction on who to hire, what clients and projects to seek out and help you find your footing when it comes to business growth. Be sure to revisit these regularly so you can both stay grounded and make tweaks as your business grows and develops.

3. Support System

You have a support system in life, why not have one in business too! Business is frickin’ hard. You can’t (and shouldn’t) do it on your own. I recommend getting business besties, family and friends championing you in your business. Include people in your local area and virtually in your support system. Diversity brings different skill sets to the table–skills you’ll need at different times in business.

4. Financial Acumen

This one may hit home more than the others because some business owners are unfortunately very unprepared to make financial decisions in their businesses.

You have to take a test to prove you can drive before getting your driver’s license; you should have to learn how to manage your finances before getting your business license. Not knowing your numbers leads to self-doubt, a lack of clarity and, sadly, business failure. Financial acumen is truly the biggest gap in entrepreneurship today, especially in the small business sector.

Financial acumen is truly the biggest gap in entrepreneurship today, especially in the small business sector.Click To Tweet

5. Marketing Plan

If you started your business based on a passion, you automatically feel that people should just line up to get the “thing”–whatever thing is is you sell. It doesn’t work that way. And if your sales start to slow down, you need to think about what you’re doing to market the product or service you have. A solid marketing plan is what’s going to help you with the financial stability you need to keep the lights on in your business.

If you’re determined to succeed in business (and I sure hope you are!), check out my free workshop that outlines what you need to invest in now and in the future.

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