Staring at my laptop screen, I was carefully planning how I would tackle starting a small business from the ground up. Having great business-minded friends and family who own successful businesses, I was in the best place possible to being thinking about doing this for myself. The issues were deciding what I wanted to do, the reasons I wanted to do it and what I hope to achieve from the venture. I needed to brainstorm. It took me three days of drawing word maps and jotting down notes before I decided that I was ready to commit.
I came up with 14 individual parts of creating a small business that myself, as well as other new small business developers, should ponder. Each part is a separate concept but is linked in every possible way to the others.
How will this small business make your future brighter? Will you be achieving your career goals and supporting your family? How long have you been working in roles that you weren’t suited to? Shouldn’t you be doing something you really love by now?
A pocket full of inspiration
Inspiration is all around you. Your past. Dreams of your future. Your home, your children. Your partner and their life experiences. Your parents and siblings, extended family, friends and ex-classmates. Step out into your local community and breathe it all in. There are just as many people out there who have done what you are about to do as the number of those who are in your shoes right now. What urges you you to be successful? Where do your ideas originate and what gets your motor running? As a woman and mother in business, what inspires you to make the future better for yourself and your children?
Trust not what inspires other members of society to choose a career. Trust what inspires you.
– The Lazy Person’s Guide to Success
We are here for a good time, not a long time. Life is about loving. Love what you do and it will show in every way. Your driving force should come from within. Whether you are working for an employer or working for yourself, you are pushing yourself to succeed and only you can make your dreams a reality. There is nothing better than meeting a business owner who truly loves what they are producing day to day.
If you don’t have these skills, no matter which industry you stem from, you need to learn them. Researching is a part of every day life and should be a large part of your daily work. What you research depends on your business, but how you research is the same across the board. Scholarly information, recent information, ensure it is relevant and informative. Use a variety of sources. Just make sure they are not Wikipedia!
You need to be prepared to work. And work hard. Your hours will vary. The time you need to spend on setting up certain aspects of your business will be different from the next small business owner’s- they are producing a different product or service for a different market with different experience behind them. Always go the extra mile to show your service is exceptional. Work hard when creating a network. Put the time into researching into your market, your product or service, your clients and where you believe your business will take you.
Start with who inspires you! You love their work, their ideas, their creative process and ultimately their success, so tap into getting some sort of assistance from them. Trade services where appropriate, go beyond texts and get talking to the people who have made it (or who haven’t, it’s all valuable discussions to have). Search far and wide for documents, products, services, supports, tools, systems and people who will help create your dream and keep it going in the long run.
Your family, your friends, your colleagues, your online community, your local community, other small business owners. Enough said. Never be afraid to ask for help, a kind word of encouragement or for assistance when it comes to tackling even the smallest or seemingly silliest business issues.
There’s an underlying reason why you wanted to create your own business, so the motivation is already there. Think about tying it all together and pushing forward. Why are you doing this? Who are you doing it for? What will keep you going and keep that flame alight? Just remember on the bad days, it’s just a bad day, not a bad life. Apply it to your business development. You will get there and it will take time. Just keep finding sources of inspiration to spur you on.
See Motivation! Just keep going, when you think you can’t go any further. And don’t give up.
If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? If you don’t believe in your product or service, it will show. If you aren’t confident, at least act confident. A friendly smile and well constructed and carefully rehearsed sentences may just get you that big lead you were waiting for. As Eleanor Roosevelt so gracefully said- Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. Believe in yourself and the belief in your business will follow.
Your life experience and personality has set you apart from other small business owners from the outset- no two entrepreneurs are the same. What makes your service your own, even if you are in a franchise situation, is a bubbling flow of creativity. Making ideas your own. Using standards and boundaries and stretching them just a little.
Things just don’t always go your way, especially outside of business. We all know that. It’s those people who can be flexible in trying circumstances that make their business work for them. If one idea doesn’t work, change it up. Head back to the drawing board, brainstorm, use your resources effectively and be open to change. Always be open to the opinions of others. You never know what precious, game-changing information you can get from people in times when you need it most.
These need to be short term and long term. Make them realistic and make them attainable. Be flexible to the notion of change, as your business direction may change in 6 months and you’ll need to reassess where you are headed. Reflect on what has worked for you and what hasn’t been achieved. Look at time frames, prioritize your workload and business activities. Most importantly, don’t compare yourself to others.
Each concept discussed ties naturally into your business ideas. You need motivation to put your ideas into practice. You need goals to make your ideas and dreams a reality. You need inspiration and resources to concoct a fresh batch of thoughts. You need to be creative in your business development and networking or your ideas will become stale, and you won’t achieve your goals when you set out to. Believe wholeheartedly in your ideas- they are the heart of your business. Research with focus and utilize your resources effectively when developing/brainstorming your business ideas.