If you’re like me, you’re always seeking nuggets of wisdom that will help you run your business better. I’ll make it easy for you by including some real gems here. These folks are small business owners like you (or like you aspire to be), not corporate bigwigs, so they understand the pains that you experience in starting a business and helping it grow.
1. Do Your Research
Before you even start your business, do your homework, says Tracey Allen, author of Do it Yourself Press Releases: Helping to Promote Your Organization.
“…you might think your business idea is great, but who are your competitors, what makes you different and how are large is the market for your product are just a few questions you should research,” says Allen.
Digging into your industry can help you find areas of weakness that your competitors haven’t covered. These could become your competitive advantages.
2. Focus on One Thing at a Time
Casandra Roache, aka Coach Cass, is a Healthy Relationship Expert/ Life Coach. She knows it’s tempting as an entrepreneur to bite off more than you can chew, but she encourages you to focus on one thing at a time instead:
“Entrepreneurs tend have the big vision to want to do everything at one time. Yes, you can have it all, but not all at once.”
If you’re working on your niche, zero in tightly rather than trying to be all things to all kinds of customers.
3. Aim for Constant Tweaks
Alexis Weinerman, President & CEO of On Point Media Group, encourages the ABC methodology: “Always Be Calibrating. You must always be adjusting your business model until it is perfect. Your first draft of your business plan will not be your last.”
Whether it’s your business plan, your product or service offerings or your marketing strategy, don’t be afraid to tweak it again and again.
5. Don’t Wait for a Masterpiece
We’ve all been there: we wait to release a product because it’s not quite perfect. But Corey Leff, Founder & CEO of spendLO, LLC, says if you wait for perfection, you’ll never find it.
“… release your product early and often. In other words, don’t wait until YOU think you’ve completed your masterpiece. The truth is that the consumer doesn’t know your vision for the future. You can always add features later. It is more important to get the product out to the target user. You’ll find they often will be able to provide great feedback for you to use moving forward. If you are striving for perfection in the first release, you likely will never get off the ground.”
5. Don’t Jump in Before You’re Ready
Eager as you are to start a business, if you’re not financially ready and don’t completely have your business plan ready to go, start slow. Andrew Shrage, founder of Money Crashers, suggests starting a business while you’re still working your day job:
“Starting a business is risky and scary when it comes to your finances. For that reason, don’t overlook the possibility of starting a business while working another job. This will take a lot of the pressure off and you can work up your business’s cash flow before finally deciding to quit your job.”
Photo: Daniel*1977 on Flickr