In the last blog post I wrote about networking, but some of you may not even have a business that requires you to go to networking events yet.
As a serial entrepreneur and the owner of office space in Ballantyne, I talk to tons of business owners. Many of them have become friends, and in our conversations over the years, I have realized that almost all of us have something in common; We all wish we would have started sooner. If you’re looking to start a business, learn how-to:
Get it started-
Years ago when I was having trouble writing, somebody told me, “Don’t get it right, get it written”, or in other words, just get started. It’s great advice if you sometimes struggle to write a blog post, or even just an email. Sometimes all’s it takes is getting it out on the page. Before you know it, a bunch of words and thoughts are written down, and it just needs a little editing.
I’ve certainly followed this advice, and over the course of time I changed it a little bit. Some people may call it “paralysis by analysis”. No matter what you prefer to call it, it all boils down to Doing It! Of course you’d like to start at the most perfect point possible, or have a well laid-out business plan, but sometimes you just gotta get started. Pick something and do it. When that’s over, get moving on something else.
Get The Word Out-
Whenever I’m starting a new venture I always tell people right away, probably long before I should. I do this for a few reasons though; the first is that it holds me accountable. Once I’m serious about starting something, and I’ve told a few people, I hope that they ask me about it b/c I want to be held accountable. Some people may never mention it again, but it’s a great feeling if they do ask me about it again, and I have major updates for them. It helps me feel like I’m in control, and that everything’s moving forward.
Telling people about your new business venture can obviously help get more business, but I find that when you tell people early, you also help build that business. When you chat it up with people they’ll be excited to hear about it and they’ll offer suggestions from a consumer stand-point. Also, as soon as you tell people that you’re in “Real Estate”, “Web Design”, or maybe that you’re a “screenwriter”; whatever it is, they’ll start telling you all about people they know in the industry. It’s a great way to exchange business cards, meet contacts, freelancers, sub-contractors, and a host of other people in the business community. It’s a great way to build a support system.
Dream Big, But Be Realistic-
When you’re starting a business it can be a lot of fun to dream big. Who doesn’t want to dream about being a successful business owner, calling all the shots and being their own boss? Before you start dreaming about becoming the next Apple, or that retirement home in Hawaii, you have got to be realistic. Instead of “what will I do when I have all that”, you have got to think, “What will I do to get all that”.
I’ve had tons of business ideas that sounded brilliant and grandiose, but in the end it’s the realistic ones that have worked out; the ones with a clear set of goals.
If you are serious about starting your business now, there are great events around the Charlotte Area. The Institute of Entrepreneurship is holding a free, 2 Hour, “Start Your Business Now” course at CPCC on April 8th 2013, and their website has lots of other stuff to help you get started right.