- Your business
So you have a business idea… you know it’s brilliant… Or you yearn to be your own boss… but where do you start?
What’s your motivation?
The motives behind wanting to start your own business are important, while they might be optimistic and well intentioned - the reality can be quite different.
You may want to be your own boss yet the impact on your lifestyle and the commitment required from a business could leave you disheartened and scanning the job vacancy websites. Wanting to be financially independent through a profitable business has to be weighed up against the risk of losing everything you own.
What keeps you going when you’ve worked until two in the morning to finish a proposal, when you pay your staff but can’t afford to pay yourself, when your new brochure is printed back to front and when you’re juggling eating your dinner, talking on the phone, writing in your diary and hugging the dog/child/spouse?
When money is tight, when you’re tired and feeling overwhelmed and when things just don’t go to plan…. it’s enough to make you think ‘why am I doing this?’
Here are some strategies to help get you through those days:
When you start or buy a business, growth can happen organically or be planned, nurtured and driven.
A worthwhile question to ask yourself is; should I grow this business or not?
Think about the goals you have for the business and for yourself and your family; do you want to make a comfortable living or become a major competitor in the market? Ask yourself what would happen if you strategically grew the business or if you didn't? Sometimes not risking is the biggest risk of all (as the Chinese proverb says; Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid of standing still.)
You’re in a corporate job.. It’s great… but you’ve always wanted to have your own business… how do you ‘take the leap’?
Tracey of ‘My Canvas’ wanted to be her own boss – here is her story of how she did it.
Annie Conza is the dynamo behind Westside Motivation Ltd and her business is all about providing the tools small businesses need to propel themselves forward.
Read Annie's story here...
Why you should read/subscribe to Seth's blog: Seth is a prolific blogger, posting regularly with short, thoughtful, sometimes acerbic posts to challenge the way you market your business. And pointing out what others are doing well and not so well.
In a nutshell: Seth's blog easily makes it into the top ten must-read and most-read business blogs so subscribing is a no-brainer for anyone in business wanting to lift their marketing game.
Diversification is an important avenue for growth in all businesses, from the tiniest one-person, home-based operation upwards. It can help you weather general economic or industry-specific slowdowns: relying on a single revenue stream makes you extremely vulnerable during tough times. And the new challenges that arise with diversification can reignite the business owner’s enthusiasm, which may be burning low after a series of major business goals has been achieved.
There are three avenues you can take to diversify your business....
What it’s about: Hugh MacLeod is a cartoonist and professional blogger, known for his ideas about how "Web 2.0" affects advertising and marketing.
Hugh, was an advertising copywriter when he started blogging at gapingvoid.com in 2001. He started off just publishing his cartoons drawn on the back of a postcard, but now he combines his cartoons with his blog posts about marketing.
Why you should read Hugh’s blog: The post ‘How to be Creative’ is a classic in itself. Hugh shares 36 tips (with cartoons) on being ‘more creative, in art, in business, whatever’ that have worked for him over the years – here are the first six:
1. Ignore everybody.
2. The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to be yours.
3. Put the hours in.
4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.
5. You are responsible for your own experience.
6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
In a nutshell: Witty, wry and addictive cartoons and commentary on marketing.
What it is: SlideShare lets you share your presentations and ideas with the world. You can share publicly or privately.
How to leverage slideshare:
- upload your best presentations (or create some especially) to share your expertise; or as a smart viral marketing tool.
- Embed the link on your website or blog for potential or exisiting customers to view your slides
- download relevant slideshows to add to your own presentations (or website or blog)
Look for: The slideshow on ‘Death by Powerpoint’ (already viewed 345,000 times) makes for a valuable tutorial on how to make a great slide presentation.
Check out ‘Meet Henry’ for a fabulous example of how you can use slideshare for smart promotion of your business. Meet Henry has been viewed 107,000 times.
In a nutshell: YouTube with slides instead of video.
What’s it about? Whether you have an interest in technology, books, business or Chihuahuas you’ll be able to find a local group on your topic and go along to one of their meeting events.
Or you can start your own ‘meetup’.
There are lots (and lots) of different group topics from knitting to business, all spanning the globe.
Why? Putting your group on MeetUp could attract new members and alerts existing members of your network of upcoming events, venues and costs – and profiles new members as they join.
How to leverage MeetUp: Start your own local MeetUp group; a brainstorming group for business owners, a focus group or a referral group….
Join existing groups to connect with…join a relevant group to your industry/business that’s not local to see what they’re doing and talking about…or advertise your own existing groups and networks.
Guy Kawasaki blog – How to change the world
What it’s about; It’s about Guy Kawasaki. He commentates on Venture Capital, marketing and presenting and general innovation and trends in business.
Why you should subscribe/read it: Guy started blogging end of Dec 2005 and he’s worked hard to get into the Top 100 blogs list, so he blogs regularly and wisely (no, he didn’t invent the motorcycle… as one of his hilarious – though adult rated - posts alludes to). Check out his ‘top’ voted posts for a quick insight into the diverse content his blog offers.
In a nutshell: It’s a top 100 blog with some valuable business gems
Do you have a vision for your business? Or is your business more a fly by the seat of your pants kind of venture?
Maybe now is a good opportunity to take stock and to ask yourself where is my business heading?
Released at the end of last year, and currently selling for $359 (US) the “ipod of digial books” allows you to download e-books, books, newspapers and blogs onto the reader. Apparently the device uses e-paper, so it looks and reads like real paper.
So at last there’s a portable reading device to take on the bus, to the beach and into the bath…
That’s great news for bloggers and e-book authors; making their content a whole lot more accessible to the reading public who don’t like to read off their computer screens.
And good news for the environment…. No printing out documents onto paper… just download them to read on the Kindle.Check out the Amazon spiel at:
Periods of economic decline have direct impact on your profitability and on relationships with suppliers, customers and even employees. Yet the fact that conditions are changing opens up opportunities for resourceful companies to outsmart larger competitors who, during a downturn, carry on business as usual or are unable to adapt quickly - except to fire employees. Entrepreneurs who survive and even prosper during hard times must be able to look beyond the present, to see their business from a new perspective, and do business differently.
Here are 14 specific recommendations for small business owners and managers to follow during economic upheavals!
"Owning my own business." It sounds like a wonderful idea: making your own choices, setting your own goals, keeping your own money. However, not every business makes it out of the starting blocks, and not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur.
Before you look outward to the benefits of owning your own business, look inward and make sure that you are 'entrepreneur material.' At the heart of every new business is the entrepreneur, the base upon which all other aspects of the business will rest. The qualities of this entrepreneur will be reflected in the ultimate success or failure of the new venture.
Here's a great explanation
So where do we start. How to we take our business from small to medium sized and with whom or to which marketplaces?