Everything has to be just right before I can (insert dream here).
This is the potential enemy of every new entrepreneur or any project that needs to get off the ground. Whether you are a hairdresser who wants to run their own salon, a craft brewer who wants to create the newest bacon flavored beer, or just a couple of developers who have a smart idea for a new app…. There was a defining moment, the one deep within yourself when you realized you could create something or perform a service better than the next guy or gal down the street. Or you worked for someone that inspired you so much that your “inner potential” just kept tugging at you daily to step out and do your own thing. To move on and make your own mark so that you would be in a position to make those almighty decisions.
You get the picture…
It’s a beautiful place to be, right? Until you actually have to do it. There’s also a hefty chance that the business plan you are rolling out, may not have taken into account a few hiccups that will happen along this journey. If you are still reading this, you are possibly on the verge of considering this extraordinary leap OR you have already taken it. Either way, BRAVO!
As a small startup company based in Cleveland, Ohio, we know exactly what it feels like to go at it alone and wanted to share a few lessons we have learned along the way. We’re hoping you’ll take the time to share what you’ve learned too.
- Get rid of the idea that all your ducks have to be in perfect alignment before you are open for business. This is seriously the biggest challenge; knowing when to flip the switch even if every little, tiny, itsy-bitsy detail has yet to be figured out. It’ll never be perfect, but you have to start somewhere.
- Be flexible with your business plan. In project management the term “being agile” refers to the ability to make changes to a project before a completion phase. Small businesses can afford the luxury of being responsive to real issues that arise and your customers will thank you.
- Welcome feedback on your product, service or business. Put on a few extra layers of clothing as this is the time that having thick skin will truly pay off. Haters may love to hate, but you’ll learn a great deal from their observations and often, those who may have questioned your product will become your biggest advocates.
- Tell your family and friends about your big decision. Sharing your intentions will help you remain accountable and will enable you to tap into professional services of your peers you may not have realized were available.
- Don’t throw up all over social media regarding your new business venture if you are still gainfully employed. Chances are you are friends with plenty of your fellow employees. Be respectful of your current employer and give them reasonable notice regarding your exit strategy.
- Realize that you most likely won’t be able to excel in all roles of running a successful business such as the accountant, controller, marketer, programmer, and salesperson. There are endless part time contractor websites offering reasonably priced, qualified professionals to handle these specific skill sets in the fraction of the time that would be required by you going at it alone.
- Hire people that you want to be around…all of the time. This is your business and you’ll be putting a ton of extra hours in, so being able to enjoy working with your team is now permissible. The beauty of being the business owner is that for the first time, you get to create the work culture you’ve always dreamed about.
- Share your successes on social media. Ask delighted customers to leave their raving reviews on your preferred platform. Most of us love rooting for the underdog and are thrilled to support local businesses that positively impact our neighborhoods.
Speaking of successes, we’d love to hear how you overcame your fears or what helpful advice you may have for someone just starting out on their own!