I have had the privilege to be involved in buying an existing business and starting a home based business. I have learned a fair amount of things along the way. My husband and I love being our own boss and plan to run our own businesses for as long as possible, with no plans to go back to work for someone else. There is such a sense of achievement, and control when you are in charge of your own enterprise. Of course there are pitfalls, but it really just depends on the type of person you are, and if you do things right, you will do them well. This will create the security and freedom that a “normal job” can give and so much more.
From the Heart: My top five tips for starting your own business are:
#1 PASSION: Passion is the number one thing you must hold if you are going to go into business for yourself. If you are not extremely passionate about what you are about to embark on, then your customers/clients will see it immediately. And lets be honest… why would you leave the security of your normal job for something other than what you are totally passionate about?
#2 Check Yourself: Always remind yourself about why you are going into business for yourself. As I write this blog post I am sitting by my pool, watching my daughter have the time of her life with her best friends. It’s a Tuesday afternoon and If I was working for someone else, I wouldn’t be here, hanging with them. I would be in someone’s office. Although working from home has its challenges, I am in total control and in the presence of my children, and that is so important to me.
#3 Know Your Stuff: Do your due diligence, research your industry, know who your clients or customers are, know who your competitors are. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues for advice and what they think about your product or service. The power of word of mouth is insane. Use it, it’s free. If possible find a mentor, someone you look up to and who is successful in life and in business. They don’t even have to be in your chosen field. I have received advice from all sorts of business people and non of it has been irrelevant.
#4: Support Each Other: Yes thats right even your competitors! Make friends with the shop owners next door, join your local Chamber of Commerce. Network and promote each other. If you do it for another business 9 times out of 10 you’ll receive it back tenfold. If possible align with your competitors, there are strength in numbers. Do business with a conscience, this can mean different things to different people. Of course we all go into to business to make money, but helping others, the community, the environment should be a part of your journey. Try to remain a good person in your dealings and good things will always come to you.
#5 Focus On Your Strengths: When starting a business you will most likely have small budgets to deal with, especially until you start earning. It’s so easy to think you can be all and do all. I believe when business owners do this they are setting themselves up for disaster and a possible burn out. Stick to taking care of the aspects of the business that you enjoy. If you hate doing the advertising, hire a marketing company to help you out with it. If you hate doing the book work, or don’t have the time, or the knowledge to do it well, outsource it. It may be an initial outlay but if it is creating more time for you to develop your product or service, it’s money well spent.
Like the title explains these tips are from the heart, It’s what I would tell my best friend if I was lucky enough for her/him to ask my opinion on starting a business.
Next post will be five technical tips on starting a business.
Do you have any great “from the heart” tips on business start ups?