Tips For First Time Entrepreneurs… and long-time entrepreneurs as well! Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or a long-time business owner, it is always good to have a refresher course in making the best of your business opportunities.
Tips For First Time Entrepreneurs
Have a clear focus. If you’re starting a business and you have only a vague idea of what you’re going to do and whom you’re going ot serve, you may make money but you could be thwarting your chance for success because you’re not laser-focused.
Follow your passion. Just because you see Competitor A making scads of money selling Product B, doesn’t mean you want to jump on the bandwagon and sell Product B. The reason Competitor A is making that money is because he or she likely has a passion for the product. You need to follow your passion and focus on your core competency in order to be happy as a business owner.
Know what you don’t do. It’s easy to say “yes” to every opportunity that comes along when you’re just starting out, but you need to stay within your niche and know what you need to say “no” to. If you don’t want to say no, then you need to build a referral network so you can refer rather than let a prospect walk away.
Work lean. Even if you have a healthy start-up bank account, it’s best to work like a “starving artist.” Forgo the big offices and fancy equipment for as long as you can. Work lean. Save your money. Build your nest egg. If your business continues to thrive, have a focused plan for growing and expanding.
Take care of yourself. If you’re a solopreneur, every task for running your business falls onto your shoulders. If you fall ill, who will pick up the slack? You need to take time to eat healthy, get away from the keyboard, take a walk, go to the gym. Clear your mind.
What was the best piece of advice you received when you were starting out?
Should You Get An Accountability Partner? The answer is, “It depends.” Many people find they benefit from working with an accountability partner while others feel they don’t put enough weight into what their accountability partner brings to the table and therefore has no follow-through. In order to make the relationship beneficial for both of you, you need to find someone you respect and admire and who brings something to the table that you need. Conversely, you need to bring benefits to your accountability partner as well.
Should You Get An Accountability Partner?
Here are items to consider:
What do you want to get out of the accountability relationship? An accountability partner will not, and cannot be expected to, fix all of your business woes. The partner’s goal is to help keep you on track with goals you have set for yourself and your business.
Is the accountability partner you’re considering working with reliable and organized? Are you reliable and organized? If the accountability partner you’re considering is always late or can’t meet a deadline, it may not be a good fit.
Do you like this person? You don’t have to be best friends with your accountability partner, but you do need to like and respect him or her.
How often will you speak? Once a week works best for most people, but you may want to start out with talking every other week. If you only talk once a month, chances are, the relationship will not flourish.
Make a commitment of at least one year for the accountability relationship. Focus on a long term goal you want to meet as well as other smaller milestones throughout the year.
An accountability partner is an ideal business investment, whether you’re just starting out or if you’ve been in business for a long time. Solopreneurs benefit from an accountability relationship as a way to interact with other like-minded entrepreneurs.
If you’ve ever wondered how to network in social settings or even if you should look at a social setting as a way in which to network, I am hear to tell you that you certainly can… as long as you do it right. You certainly don’t want to attend a family wedding and walk around handing out business cards like they are wedding favors, but you can strike up a conversation and let a contact know who you are and what you do.
How To Network In Social Settings
When you’re traveling look for networking opportunities. Use the time on a plane or cooling your heels in an airport to strike up a conversation. You never know who you’re sitting next to and what the potential for a networking connection is. The person you’re next to could also benefit from knowing you — keep that in mind if you’re feeling shy of striking up a conversation.
Add value to others. Remember, ask about what the other person does. Get to know them. If you feel you can add value to their business or personal life based on your business then by all means speak up.
Being at a conference is the ideal place to network — in fact it’s almost expected that you will hand out a business card and introduce yourself to others. Don’t attend an event without a plan in mind for how you want to connect and with whom.
Seek out opportunities to network. Standing in line at the grocery store could be a way to network. If you’re in the business section of the local bookstore, strike up a conversation, “Hey I see you’re looking at XYZ business book, that really helped me when I starting out in my business… oh here is another one I’d recommend.” You’re not overtly shoving your business card in their face, but you are making a connection and adding value.
Be authentic. No one wants to talk with a huckster. Be authentic. Genuinely listen to what they’re saying and ask “getting to know you” questions.
When is the last time you found a way to network that might not have been an ordinary networking situation? We’d love to hear!
Are You Suffering ‘Info Overload’? If you are, it’s time to take a step away from what is causing that overload and take a deep look at your business and how you’re running it. In working with business coaching clients I find that many of them are looking for the “latest and greatest” and this is especially true when they are struggling with an challenge in the running of their business.
Are You Suffering ‘Info Overload’?
If you find you’re unable to move forward and that you’re spinning your wheels, you could very well be suffering information overload. Here are some ways in which you can overcome that feeling of paralysis and move forward.
Step away from all technology. Get out of the office. Take a walk. Go swimming. Meet a friend for coffee. When you remove yourself from the situation you may be able to see it more clearly.
Determine, if you can, what is making you feel overloaded and overwhelmed? Too many tasks to complete? Too much new technology to learn? Too many new staff to train? Put systems in place to address all of the areas in which you feel overwhelmed. Business systems can help you run your business with ease and you can put systems in place for something as seemingly trivial as ordering office supplies. Don’t let yourself get too mired down in the process of putting together business systems or you will put yourself into another state of overload!
Think about what you need to know, versus what you do know. Do you need to know something you don’t already? Look for ways in which to gain that knowledge. If you are doing certain tasks in your business that you could easily outsource, but you are afraid of the expense. Look at your hourly wage then determine how much time you are spending on non essential tasks. The figure you arrive at could very well show you that you can afford to outsourse those tasks at which you don’t excel, but that need to be done.
Are you in a state of information overload? Are you overwhelmed and are not certain why? Working with a business coach could help you overcome that feeling and move forward.