In our “Take 5” feature, we ask a local CEO for 5 things it takes to be successful in business. This Month we interview Dave Northup, CEO of InShape MD in Louisville, KY
Don’t do it for the money – Of course you want to make money, right? But most new companies don’t make money at first. In fact, most start-ups take 5 years to get into the black. So find something else to motivate you. For me, it was the prospect of not having to work for someone else. Along the way, I got to know my clients and their success became very important to me. I also became fascinated by making our operation more and more efficient. The more I focused on these things, the better we did financially. It sounds cliché, but money comes from being good at what you do, not from chasing money.
- You will make mistakes – Oh yes, you will. Big ones! The ugly, face palm type that in retrospect, you absolutely should have seen coming. Try to have the memory of an NFL cornerback when that happens. Hey, Deion Sanders got burned a few times and he’s still in the Hall of Fame. Learn whatever lesson you can from that mistake and move on.
- No one will love your business like you do – Every business owner will tell you this and it is true. Nobody else will be there (unless you pay them!) at 10:30 on a Saturday night working away while the rest of the world is out enjoying their weekends. No one else will get teary the first month that you make a profit. Your employees want the business to succeed, but mostly because it pays the bills. Expect to do most of the heavy lifting and don’t expect anyone else to be impressed by it.
- Figure out what your company is good at doing – It seems like business 101, but everyone needs a competitive advantage. Figure that out fast! Sometimes it may even be dictated by what your competition are not good at doing. Listen to your customers. They will tell you what they want. Often they will tell you the thing they dislike most about your biggest competitors. Get really good at that – trust me, it will pay off!
- Early on, beware of long-term commitments – even if you have a really clear vision of where you want to take your company, things will look very different in six months. Heck, they will probably look very different in six weeks! Do not sign onto something until you know it works. Even then, make sure you can opt out with reasonable notice. Advertisers, vendors, even customers will want you to commit to things for long periods of time. Don’t. Ask for their patience, tell them you are new at this, and flat out say no if you have to. Every new business owner I have ever talked to has signed up for “the latest and greatest” and later regretted it. I have a hard and fast 3 month rule, and I let people walk if they can’t abide by it.
At InShapeMD Louisville our passion is “helping you manage your health” with a comprehensive plan addressing your personal health goals…whether they are weight loss, anti-aging, or nutrition in a professional, medically supervised, boutique wellness clinic setting.
4151A Shelbyville Rd
Louisville, KY 40207