Start Smart(er)

Today I’m thinking about a topic that may not feel relevant for some of you, because you’re already past this point, but I’ve got some good insights for you as well, so don’t check out yet. Today I want to talk about starting a business. It sounds silly to revisit it if you’ve already started the business, I know but I often read articles about starting a business because everyone does it a little different, and it’s a very different story to start a business today than it was even 10 years ago. Let’s take a look at a few different aspects of starting a business.

Why?
This is one of the most important questions: why are you starting it? I think you can start a business for the money (you’ve got greater potential for increasing your income with a business than with a traditional job), but I don’t think that can be your only reason. I think there needs to be a reason that you chose to start a business walking dogs or marketing or making pastries, and I don’t think it should just be related to the amount of money you can make doing it. Why? Because those who will be buying from you are people with a personal stake in whatever you’re selling.

A Business Plan?
Do I think you have to write a 30 page business plan before you start? No, but I do think you need to research your potential business industry and customers and have a written plan for how you’re going to make money, care for customers etc. As your business grows this is something you should revisit on a regular basis (at least yearly) to make sure that you’re on task or even when you’re planning a course revision.

How will you make an impact?
This goes back to the first question in many respects, but has more to do with the results of what you’re offering. What are you making people feel and think when they buy your products or services? What do they feel or think when they see your marketing or your logo, or think about using your product or think about meeting with you in the future? If you really want to make an impact with your business you need to make an impact that people like.

Of course, once you’ve got these 3 things taken care of you should create a website, even if it’s a simple one for starters, as well as join at least one social media site. You should also look for opportunities to share about what you do and invest in your local community, even if you only offer services or sell online. And the research never should stop once you’ve started your business, there are tons of great resources online to further your business education and help you understand and tap into the newest trends and technologies, and determine if they’re right for your business and customers.

If you have an existing business I’d love to hear what have you learned in starting your business and what was important to you as you started your journey so we can all learn from your experiences as well.

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