From business plans to budgeting and all the hundreds of details in between, starting a business is a huge undertaking. Not only are you embarking on a new venture that involves a lot of time, money, and energy, you’re also taking a leap of faith—in yourself, the economy, and your market—by pursuing a passion or interest in the form of a business. And to that I say congratulations! Many creative, talented, business-minded individuals dream about branching out on their own but few try. Here are three initial tools to help you build your new business.
1. Know the Basics
Even though you wouldn’t be starting a small business if you didn’t have expertise or specialized knowledge in a few areas, the truth is that no one starts out knowing it all. It’s easy to overlook a few necessary steps when there are so, so many details to pay attention to in the process of starting a business. To ensure that you don’t miss anything essential, refresh your knowledge and learn a few new facts and skills by taking small business classes through your local chamber of commerce, an e-learning site with good credentials, or by meeting with a small business consultant specializing in startups who can offer your plan an objective outside eye and let you know what gaps need to be filled in.
2. Ask for Help
Now that you’ve gotten input on the basic structure, laws, and operations and have launched your venture, it’s time to build upon the strong foundation you’ve laid by asking for professional help in the areas that you can’t cover on your own. Professional help from outside sources won’t look the same for every startup; maybe you’re a strong bookkeeper but not so great at staying on top of emails. Perhaps you have a great website concept but updates and changes take forever because you’re unfamiliar with site maintenance. Whatever your “weakest link”, hiring a consultant or an assistant can save you time, money, and stress. We offer hourly support with content management, client relations, and email marketing—among many other things. Whether you reach out to us or someone else, don’t let your strong mission and all the work you’ve put into your business go to waste because an area where you lack skills is allowing important details to fall through the cracks.
3. Stay Positive
On the surface, this seems like the easiest tool to employ, but in fact it can be the most challenging. Let’s face it: as an entrepreneur tackling the huge project of business ownership, you’re going to face a lot of obstacles, challenges, and have a few doubts along the way. No successful business owner has gotten where he or she is today without jumping over some hurdles, emotionally and operationally. Now that you’re aware that you’ll hit bumps in the road, make the decision now to keep your head up and keep moving forward no matter what! This is not to say that you shouldn’t throw in the towel if, after a wholehearted attempt, complete with patience and due diligence, your business isn’t working, but that you’re setting an intention to take everything as it comes and bring your best self to your business. What’s the worst that could happen if you stay positive? Even the most successful and admired business moguls have faced failure, defeat, and heartache. The difference between them and the many who gave up for good are that successful businessmen and women stay positive and keep moving forward, turning lemons into lemonade along the way.
What tools have you used to build a strong small business foundation?