Yesterday, I met a young couple trying to start their own business. After talk with them there are few points I want to share here, because I was in their position not long ago, and a few of my clients are new start-ups, too. I can testify that being an entrepreneur is sometimes a lonely, difficult and thankless journey. Only hoping the following points will make it become a much enjoyable journey.
Do your homework before you jump into any thing. You may have hundreds of ideas jump out, while you brand storm what can you do or which business can be profitable, but you may only one or two left after a week. Then do research. As yourself questions like:
- What are the requirements or other government regulations?
- What is the best location for this type of business?
- Who is the best in the market? Are they perform well under current economy? Learn from them
- Which stage is this market at? New, growth, mature, or it is just despairing?
There are a lot of business out there making good return, but are they suit you? Find something you like and Passion about, will keep you going for a long way.
Also, you will find most people want to do business with you not because what are you selling, or how you are selling. It is all about WHY you are doing what you are doing now.
Tell people why, and with passion!
The reason why I want to start my accounting business is because I believe accounting should be simple and should work for all the small business owners as well. It is not only about tax.
Once you understand the business a little bit better, start to put a business plan for yourself. It only need to start from a few sentences to note what you have learn and why you want do it.
Then, keep that peace of paper with you, refine it every day. Book yourself out for “ON” plan time to work ON your plan. You will find it will not only help you keep track all the information but also make you stay focus.
Time to go out talk to people what are you going to do! Networking is always a great opportunity to learn from others. “There always is someone out there has done what you have done.” Learn from them, void the mistakes they have made.
But you need to listen with confident, be resist what you want to achieve. Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Speech carried a strong massage:
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Marketing & Sales
Spend time and money on marketing yourself and sale you products. The days of waiting for customers to find you are already gone. You need to proactive with your target market. Website, twitter, Facebook, webinar, seminar, do them all. Or who is going to know you?
There will be difficult times while you working hard for your dream. One day you may ask yourself what are you doing? You will only know how far have you gone through, but you would never know how far are you away from your goal. If your want to try something else, then you have to start all over again. The only way to get out of this is keep going. So, stay focus and be tough.
“If you’re going through hell, keep going!” Winston Churchill
You may think you can do all this by yourself. Human’s emotion are fluctuating. You need external support to maintain it. I found most effective ways are:
- Family. Of cause, they are the number one on my list. My little home is like my recharging harbour. My son’s smile and my wife’s warm words keep me going for a long way. They are my WHYs as well.
- Friends. I talk to my friends when I need. Sometimes they could help me to solve problems, but most of times I found they already helped by just listening to me. (Of cause, beer does help as well.)
- Coach. Every sport champion need a coach, so do we! Find someone can be there to maintain your energy and courage by just “kicking ass”.
Every business need a “system” to keep the business running. No matter how simple it is. Write it down and keep improving it over time. It won’t be prefect, but you know it is getting close to, everyday.
Human is not the most strong or the most powerful creature on earth, but we are ruling it. Why? Because we are using tools. The modern technologies are helping us to be more efficient, and they are just so cheap and so easy to assess to. You just need to open your mind and grab them.
PS: by writing this posting, I am still working on my own business, as an accountant, too. I just want to share this with you and also remind myself stay focus.