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Practical and Inspirational Tips for Start-Up Success
Published on Aug 19, 2010
Read 'Practical and Inspirational Tips for Start-Up Success' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
A recent article written by Tory Johnson, ABC News workplace contributor and CEO of Women for Hire, focuses on how to culminate efforts into successful results.
Following are some practical and inspirational tips Johnson offers to keep in mind when pursuing your dream of starting your own business:
Tip #1: Bootstrap solutions. Ah, yes, our topic of yesterday's blog -- bootstrapping. Johnson cites an idea for a food product as an example. Since costs can magnify when trying to meet zoning laws and other regulations for preparing food at home, Johnson suggests looking into "renting inexpensive hourly space in a co-op kitchen (which you can find by searching online in your area) or even by calling churches to ask about renting during off hours in lieu of committing long-term to an expensive commercial kitchen before you know the real potential."
Tip #2: Chat with bankers before seeking a loan. Johnson advises seeking help and advice from your current bank on what is getting approved. She also recommends finding out expectations for a business plan. "Poke around and get friendly with the branch manager before just showing up with what you think they want."
Tip #3: Do your homework on funding options. There are still credible ways to secure funding even if the bank turned you down. Consider peer-to-peer lending, credit unions or angel investors. Refer back to our BizFilings blog for some other options.
Tip #4: Share your story. Sharing your personal story humanizes your cause. Strangers are more likely to lend a helping hand if they feel like they know you and your passion.
Tip #5: Reach out to companies in your industry. Go straight to the source. Find individuals and companies of all sizes who are involved in your industry of interest. Pick their brains for information about factories, vendors, resources and more. Johnson says, "You can find just about anyone through the Internet -- and very often they're willing to share, since it strengthens the whole industry."
Tip #6: Take home an award. You can harness some attention for your company by applying for awards pertaining to your industry. Not only do you have the opportunity to win a prestigious award, but you also have the opportunity to open doors to connections.
Tip #7: Socialize. You are able to get in touch with anyone through social media. Nobody knows you exist if you aren't already in a prominent storefront building. Through social media, you can create that business facade you've always wanted.
Tip #8: Solve problems without reaching into your wallet. According to Johnson, "It's easy to say you can't possibly make things happen without a big bank account to back you up. I started my company 11 years ago with $5,000, which I definitely couldn't afford to lose. That meant finding ways to barter and beg (never had to steal!) to launch and grow the business. As the saying goes, where there's a will there's a way -- you have to really want it. The best way to fund your growth is by generating sales."
Tip #9: Concentrate on sales. "Without sales, you have no business. Thousands of people have great ideas -- they can envision exactly who will use their product or service. But they have no clue how to reach those desired customers or clients, and they're not spending nearly enough time developing a sales strategy. Sales solve problems. Sales create a business. Sales enable you to grow and shine. Invest time in developing your sales strategy early in the process, even though it's the least sexy and least fun part of plotting and planning your business launch. More businesses fail not because of a bad product or service, but because they can't sell it. Similarly, plenty of lousy products and services do just fine because someone knows how to sell them." -- Johnson says it all!
I'd like to add one more tip to her list:
Tip #10: Protect your assets. This tip also isn't that fun or sexy, but it's important. Once you start making those big sales, you'll be glad you took the steps to protect yourself. Incorporating your small business can add a layer of protection and help safeguard your hard-earned personal assets.
Do you have your own tips that you'd like to add to this list?