Many people approach me and ask, “How did you start your company and obtain so much in a short time and can you tell me how I can do the same thing with my company?” The reality is I would need to type 50 to 100 pages while sipping on my favorite extra Caramel Frappaccino to truly answer that question in detail. But nowadays, who has that kind of time on their hands when someone wants to know the answer to their question YESTERDAY!
For me, it all began when I finally decided to apply a message that I heard at a motivational event to my own life. The title of the message … THE TIME IS NOW! My true defining moment came towards the end of the event. A woman entrepreneur approached me and shared that if I had goals or dreams that I wanted to see happen in my life, I better get up and do it NOW! Do it without fear, do it without looking back, and do it without questioning whether or not I should do it at all. Below are 10 tips to help you capture your NOW when it comes to starting a business.
What does starting your own business NOW mean for you? Start somewhere!
1. Find Your Passion and You Will Understand Your Purpose
One great life lesson that I have learned is that your passion in life helps define your purpose in business. People who are passionate about something pursue it with joy, without complaining, and work on it for hours on end. You may have a hobby or passion that you always wanted to do full time.
You may think about it while cooking dinner, taking the kids to school, or while you listen to your outside friends tell you how excited they are about starting their own businesses. Constantly thinking about pursuing an idea but not putting the plan to action can be torturous to one’s soul. Some great advice given to me was to start a business around my passion and something I love doing, otherwise I may lose focus on the company’s purpose.
2. Create a Game Plan
You must divvy up the proper framework that will keep your company afloat. Take the time to complete all the necessary legal paper work and write out a thorough business plan. Understand the direction you want to go with your idea, especially when it comes to selling and marketing, so that you are not wasting time or money.
3. Be a Courageous Mogul and Pursue!
You only have one life to live. Do not allow your dreams to rest in the richest place on earth … the cemetery! The cemetery is filled with great dreams and ideas that never came to pass by many people who never had the courage to step out and move forward.
4. Don’t Quit Your Day Job!
Don’t quit your day job just yet – start with a side gig. Until your company is able to sustain itself, YOU will be your most reliable investor. Create a realistic budget on how much you can invest each month into your project and monitor the progress. You can even consider becoming a 503c company and receive donations to help your idea reach your target market(s).
5. Ask for that Money!
Asking others for financial assistance, seeking out volunteers, or creating a crowd-funding video (such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo) can give you the leverage that you may need in the initial stage of your business. You would be surprised on how many people are willing to support your endeavor if you simply ask.
6. Start Socializing on Social Media
When you are starting your own business, network EVERYWHERE! Join similar meet up groups and network with others within your industry. I network at the gas station, grocery store, in line at the movies, the doctor’s office, at the post office, on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, you name it!
During the beginning stages try to post on social media sites daily to help brand your company. Write interesting content that people want to read and post as if you are human relating to the everyday life of your customers. Remember, always talk about your business and promote, promote, promote!
7. Blog Like a Superstar!
Everyone needs an online presence such as a website and a blog. I cannot stress enough how blogging and becoming part of the conversations of other blogs helps to get your brand noticed. I have a friend who blogs, posts, and comments on other posts of other people’s blogs and in one year she gained over 27,000 followers on one site alone. It is the advice she has given to me for my company and now I am sharing it with you. Post, comment, and increase your postings daily to develop a committed group of customers.
8. Find a Mentor
Having someone support and encourage you along the way is imperative. There will be times where you WILL get weary and you will need to hear someone on the side lines saying, “keep going, do not quit, you are awesome, etc.” I used SCORE for free mentoring and a few of my friend entrepreneurs came on board to help mentor me as well. This was the best move I could have ever made when it comes to the organization and flow of my business. You can also look up plenty of helpful information on The U.S. Small Business Administration.
9. Learn! Learn! Learn!
Understanding all the moving parts within your company is very important. The more you know about your particular field the better chances for success. I did not know how to code, but I watched a You Tube video and was able to help design the company website. I did not know how to lay out a book, but I studied other books and enjoyed laying out my first children’s book with the graphic designer. I sat down with the accountant to learn how to manage the company funds and I have even learned how to edit my own videos, and lots more. You never know when you will have an emergency deadline and YOU may need to be the one to fix the problem at the last minute.
10. Product Development – Where’s your Product?
How can you sell something you do not have? Create test products and pre-order forms to see if someone will buy your product or sign up for your service. Consider attending trade shows or conventions and sell from a booth. People are visual nowadays and want to see something (even if it’s a video demo or promo for a service) before they buy into it! Remember you are trying to convince customers to reach into their pockets and spend their hard earned money on you!
Final Word – Sow Your Seed and Believe!
I am a firm believer that if you sow into good ground you will reap a harvest. Be realistic, growth does not happen overnight but you will see sprouts of hope here and there. Do not quit, get rid of the naysayers, keep moving forward, and you will surely see a harvest that will create an amazing reward that will seem unimaginable to even you!
The time is NOW!
Let’s hear from you! What do you see as the biggest challenge in starting your own business NOW? Tell us in the comments below!