This is for all those who want to build on a great idea. Seemingly, starting a business of your own can be rewarding, exciting and challenging. You second guess, take baby steps, research, become overwhelmed, give up, regress, accept defeat and start anew. These scenarios sound familiar? What does it take to prepare prior to entrepreneurship? Can you see the forest for the trees?
Anatomy Of A Socially Responsible Entrepreneur
Can you handle the business side of business? Sure, you feel invincible. You have decided to make this work. Early on though, fatal flaws crop up because the prospective business owner failed to heed the subtle warnings of fatigue and burn out. Many confuse and misinterpret the freshman elation conjured by the idea of becoming free of a boss. You have mustered the ‘I can do anything' attitude. Great, keep it realistic.
Suggestion: Know your strengths and weaknesses. Find out first if you have the necessary qualities to see this thing through to the end. A start-up is serious and should only be undertaken if you are ready. Look online for other new business owners who are just like you. Seek them out via email if you feel a phone call is a bit to forward. If you are not a phone person don't force yourself to cold call someone you do not know. This creates undue pressure and unwarranted awkwardness that could bite you in the end.
Prepare For Disappointment-This Is No Debbie Downer Moment
I have an expression: You don't throw a rainbow on garbage. Period. The reason I say this is because everyone looking for an easy route will be setting themselves up for a world of hurt. Some things do not work out. ACCEPT THAT. It's ok, really. For every 50 to 100 no's you might come upon a ‘yes'.
Suggestion: Be grateful and gracious, using these outlets to learn from without stewing about it. If you don't, by the time you recover from licking your wounds, someone else will be taking advantage of your down time hence gaining ground on your hard earned efforts. Have a plan B,C,D…
Set The Bar High But Don't Lose Your Mind
Initially you had a nest egg. Wrote down all real and imagined expenditures. Six months in you are broke-why? You bought into every alluring webcast program or formula imaginable. You spent money on high-end equipment without reviewing the fine print on warranties, coverage, required maintenance not covered that you are wholly responsible for. But the printer-copier-mailer-phone was so pretty, right? Stop it!
Suggestion: Your volume of need may require less fuel in the beginning. Slow down. Find companies who handle fair trades on all of your equipment so when it is time for upgrades you can move up without losing out. Check company ratings, consumer feedback. Search out companies in your area offering deals on new, used and trade-ins.
Buyer Beware: Certain second hand items may be appealing but consider the age, manufacturer, pre-existing issues on the makes and models before purchasing second hand. Were any of these discontinued, if so,why? Second-hand name branded goods, as reputable and trustworthy as they may sound, may not be held liable for the wear and tear imposed by former owners.
Read the fine print on the manufacturer's definition of normal wear and tear. It might be worth the extra expense and effort to have a professional investigate. Someone from that field of expertise will be able to identify numerical/alphabetical codes and other markers that are tell-tell signs of age, refurbished and the like.
Set The Bar High But Don't Lose Your Mind
Now that you are ‘movin on up' you have big dreams. Nothing wrong with that. Lose the drama and keep the perspective.
Suggestion: Keep realistic goals. If you know you can only give a few hours to your project do not expect a Jack in the Beanstalk result. Very few will tell you wonderland stories of instantaneous success. When seeing others who seem to have fallen Nestea plunge deep into money, trust me, the truth at the heart of it, is that these fortunate few worked extremely hard before their proverbial ship came rolling in. Write out and update your business portfolio. As you experience growth, metrics will change for your business model.
Familiarize On Lingo Connected To Your Business Model
How do you feel when others talk around you in another language? Lost right? As beautiful as the conversation is, it is lost on you. You either nomadically nod in agreement or walk away. How sad if upon getting as far as ownership you lacked comprehensive engagement. Perhaps Six-Sigma or Lean will never factor into your business. Think outside the box-others may have these skills which increase depth and net worth, instigating process improvements.
Suggestion: Upon researching, seek out a good business coach that will mobilize your credibility. This is the time to put your money where your mouth is. Everyone cannot afford a high profile coach so attend career seminars. This is an easy, non-committed segway into gaining free access to reliable referrals. The wealth of knowledge you gain surpasses the money you may opt to spend later on a coach. Coaches have awesome connections by the way.
One last thing: Learn when not to settle, when to negotiate and when to keep quiet.
Anyone gearing up for their own piece of the pie I wish all the best. I love it and enjoy the diversity, hard work and fulfillment
Let me know how you make out and feel free to forward any questions you have.