There is so much that goes into starting a business, beyond actually having a good product or service. There are the start-up costs, registering with the state, city, & county, marketing, networking, and more. I find it rewarding, challenging, and exhilarating all at the same time! As with anything, it is a growing process. Below are some take-ways I want to share in regards to starting a business; this is in no way an exhaustive list, just my take-a-ways.
Don’t try to do EVERY marketing strategy that is out there. Initially, it is easy to believe that if you are not engaged in every marketing strategy available, your business will not be successful. I realized it is about finding and focusing on those that match your business model, you enjoy, and will get results. It is way too overwhelming trying to “do it all,” and I found it unnecessary and waste of time. I highly recommend Mary Cravets, Business Development Expert, and the various programs she has to help make marketing less overwhelming (Marycravets.com). I am not receiving anything for suggesting it, but the program dramatically changed my outlook, saved me time, and money, so it’s worth sharing this! (to me, it was worth the investment and not at a ridiculous amount)
Networking—all networking events are not the same; consider what you expect to get out of each event, what you want to put in, then determine the right fit for you. Networking events can be a great way to build a business, but keep in mind, everyone is there with different intentions. Yes, essentially, the goal is business growth, but what I mean is that some events consist of people who are there to grow but to also help others; some consist more of people just focused on selling, other groups are about creating authentic relationships to really get to connect and refer business. Many networking groups include a combination of connecting, referring, and business and professional development as their structure. I am a believer in leveraging my time, so I ensure the networking events in which I attend match my goals and marketing strategies, otherwise, I am just spending money with no ROI, return on investment. View the description, visit, and then determine if the event is worthwhile. There are also virtual networking events; the few I looked into were set up as speed networking, providing about 10 minutes with the other business owners.
Invest Wisely, We not only need to invest time as business owners but also money. But consider: What is absolutely critical for you to invest in now? What can wait? Don’t try to do everything all at once. Again, look at what is necessary based on HOW you want and need to market your business.
Get a mentor—yes, do your own research, but it can be hugely helpful to have someone who has been there and is willing and able to help save you some steps--maybe that’s the life coach in me, but I believe in giving backJ --the mentor may not even be “formal” as in, you are paying them, but they are someone who is more than happy to help guide you.
Practice Patience, Daily-I definitely believe that life coaching is not a “get rich quick business,” if done correctly; it is about helping make positive life changes and transformations in the lives of others, therefore having long- term, sustainable income--that takes patience, persistence, and consistency in excellence. Many businesses I am sure are the same way. Keep pushing and persisting toward what you are destined to do and if you feel defeated, remember,
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” - Maya Angelou