Loral was featured on Inc – check out her article on “Bootstrapping 101: 4 Ways To Launch Your Startup Without Cash” here …
What should your first steps be in building a new business?
As a woman who’s owned nearly a hundred businesses in my career, I know a thing or two about starting them and putting them on the path for success.
Almost everyone has an idea for a new business or enjoys thinking about what it would be like to start their own. Succeeding with a new business, however, takes more than just the initial idea or even ambition. While a lot certainly goes into both starting a business and seeing it succeed, that first step is crucial. Here’s how to make sure you take one in the right direction.
Contrary to what many people believe, success with a new business doesn’t begin with thinking about that perfect product or service. Rather, it starts with considering that primary problem or need. Entrepreneurs have failed countless times because they invented that perfect product or service that no one actually needed. You’ll be much better off if you begin by considering problems people regularly face and then solving them with something you can sell.
As much as possible, test this idea before going all in. While there are no guarantees, if you can’t sell your product to three people, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to market it to 300.
Usually, people take their business’ first steps with others. This can mean investors, business partners or just friends and family. No matter who those people are, it’s important they share your values and goals. Too many businesses have been doomed from the start because those involved were naysayers. Instead, be sure the team you’ve established are positive-minded people who all believe in your company just as much as you do. This is important for many reasons, not the least of which is because the early days of a company can be especially tough, and you’ll want people who will support you.
Every new business starts with a plan. For many, it means certain milestones they hope to hit, how they’ll hit them, and the deadline for doing so. Successful businesses, though, involve plans that consider how much it will cost to hit each milestone and how to pay for them. No matter how much success you achieve at first, your new business won’t get very far if you wind up in debt. In fact, debt is a great way to bring your dream to a close early on.
The road to success is certainly a long one for any business, but that doesn’t mean it has to be full of challenges. Start out on the right foot and you’ll ensure yourself a much easier trip on your path to success.
Service Business Startups
“One thing that really helps a state like New York is having a service business community that’s very attuned to the needs of entrepreneurs,” said Eric Thompson, an economics professor and director of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln according to a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article. He continued to say that the Northeast and west coast states are top contenders for startups.
These states, according to Thompson, have the highest number of potential investors and concentration of experienced entrepreneurs. Hmm.
I say, service business startups, or entrepreneurial endeavors of the same vein, don’t really need startup money AND I know there are experienced entrepreneurs all over the country (and the world). But even if you’re not experienced as an entrepreneur, you are experienced and have marketable skills. I know you do! Don’t worry about getting going, entrepreneurship can be learned very easily. That’s what I teach!
However, don’t get the wrong impression. I’m not arguing with Thompson or the article about his findings. His statement about having a service business community attuned to the needs of entrepreneurs is a great revelation. And it’s one that more people should pay attention to.
We’ve got to finally come to the conclusion that traditional employment is a thing of the past. We are literally running out of jobs. Too many people are unemployed and under-employed for us to hold on to that past. Our young folks, 20 and 30 somethings, seem to know this very well. They are getting into service business startups in droves. And they are succeeding at phenomenal rates.
This is a great thing! I’ve said hundreds of times, small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of our nation and our economy. And service businesses are a great place for anyone wanting to get in the entrepreneurial game.
Being your own boss isn’t the only benefit of starting your own business. You can easily make more money than you would in a traditional job. You can work a schedule of your own choosing. You can hire employees and eventually replace yourself so you can have more time for yourself and your family. Plus you can give yourself a raise simply by expanding.
It’s all about marketing, but anyone and everyone can sell business services because each of us has skills, knowledge or experience that other people need and are willing to pay for. Service businesses can perform the service, share knowledge/consult or even teach a skill.
Even young kids can, and often do, run service businesses – such as operating lemonade stands or babysitting and after school care. There are no boundaries. And if a kid can do services for others to raise money, why can’t you?
You know you have the skills. All you have to do is make the decision and get started. Are you ready to get started? What are you most concerned about? Let’s have an open conversation about this, right here, right now.