If you plan on starting a small business then you might know the struggle of deciding on what type of business to start. Please don’t misunderstand this post. I am a huge believer in everyone starting a small business. In fact I think everyone should have or be working some type of small business. There are so many benefits to running your own business, but you have to be smart. Deciding which kind of small business you’ll start is a pretty important step.Your best #smallbusiness ideas exist where KNOWLEDGE, PASSION and DEMAND converge Click To Tweet
We are all chasing the next “Big Idea.” But I want you to think about what your personal big idea might be That one thing that you could be really good at doing. Have you figured it out? Don’t worry if you don’t I can help you find it by mixing three ingredients. Starting a small business successfully takes knowledge, passion and demand. Combine these ingredients and a light bulb turns on, and you will have a big idea for starting a small business.1
Starting a small business takes know how. What is it that you know? I mean really know, very well. What subject or task do you have a tremendous understanding? Beginning with something you know is important because you will need to be able to convince others of your expertise once you being to sell yourself. As a business owner you have to comprehend your company better than anyone else You may not be the top in your field, but you will need to be intimately acquainted with everything you plan to do.
Do you even know what you’re doing?
The person running any successful venture will not be surprised by any circumstance that might present itself. Imagine a landscaper who doesn’t have a clue about the flowers he plants. He’ll have flowers that need more shade in direct sunlight! You don’t want to be that type of business owner. Your customers shouldn’t walk away from consultations with you asking more questions than when they came to you. You should know. It really is that simple.
Knowledge is flexible. The Wikipedia website understands this better than most. By allowing input from other sources you fuel and increase in what you know If you don’t know something do some research. Go to the experts and listen to them. Gain their knowledge. Make it your own. Become the expert. The internet proliferates the knowledge that’s available at your finger tips.
Gain knowledge by reading books
I posted a quote by Charlie Jones a few weeks ago. “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” So start reading great books. You will be amazed at the knowledge you will retain for starting and running your small business. Reading takes discipline and discipline take times. If you only have time for one book this year then I recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. This is a great book for any small business owner. The concepts presented in the book caused me to regularly consider the small actions I take each to that add up and contribute to my success or failure.
Listen to the experts in your field
Every day it seems like we hear about a new business that started with really great ideas. Ideas we haven’t thought about in our wildest dreams. However, there’s a strong chance that the idea you have has an expert or at least there’s been an attempt to bring that idea to life. Find that person and listen to them talk, read their articles. If they are already where you want to be when starting a small business then more than likely you can learn from them. If someone has already created the small business you want to start – don’t worry! You can strive to do it better. Read this interesting article by Malcolm Gladwell about Steve Jobs being “The Tweaker” and not necessarily the source for all of his big ideas. If you can improve a small business that already exists without ripping off intellectual property, then I say – “Go for it!”
Sign yourself up for continuing education
There are so many sources for a small business owner to improve his education. Industry associations, local community colleges and online learning are all great sources for knowledge. Lynda.com is a great place to learn about many different aspects for running and starting a small business. They recently launched an online training course about how to create a business plan. For only $25/month you can have access to the entire training library at Lynda.com. I have personally used their services and I cannot recommend their website more highly.2
Running a small business takes a healthy dose of passion. Passion is love for what you do and enthusiasm for who you serve. But the daily grind can chip away at your passion like an ax does to the chunk of a tree. I wrote an article about how to maintain some small business motivation. I am more passionate myself about helping small business owners fan the flames of passion they have for running their business. I enjoy helping people become excited about what they are doing.
Passion is love for what you do and enthusiasm for who you serve #passion Click To Tweet
How bad do you want to make this happen?
Take time to reflect on what you do
Make sure you truly are passionate about what you do. If you’re going to spend time on completing tasks today, then you might as well be passionate about what you’re doing. I read about a lawyer from Australia that left his practice to make candy. Find what you love and pour all of yourself into that.
Become proficient at one thing
We have all heard the phrase “Jack of all trades, but master of none!” Those skills are great for entertaining at dinner parties or answering questions on the game show Jeopardy, but they don’t do much for starting a small business. If you decide to wash windows for a living then be the very best window washer money can buy. Far too many people dabble and get disinterested As a business owner you have to commit to one specialty and one message. And on top of that you have to remind the world what you are good at often.3
A business that doesn’t generate revenue is a charity. I fully support charities and non-profit organizations. I give at least 10% of my income to charity and volunteer a minimum of 5 hours a week at non-profit organizations. What I’m talking about is running a for profit business. Ask yourself, “Will this business make money? I know what I need to know and I’m convinced about my passion for the cause, but can I sell this idea to other people?”
Is anyone buying what you’re selling?
Many business professionals advocate finding where the money is going and positioning your business to get in the way of that revenue stream. In fact many internet companies have taken advantage of that concept alone and turned it into millions of dollars. I’m assuming you are like me and don’t need millions. I do want to be able to provide well for my family and that means having an income.Find out where the money is going and place your #smallbusiness in the way! Click To Tweet
Know when to fold ’em and walk away
Have you heard the story about the two shoe salesmen that were giving the same sales territory of a remote village deep in a thick jungle? One salesman gave up and quite because he notice none of the villagers wore shoes. The other salesman ordered an additional shipment from his supplier. He was excited to learn that none of the village people had ever even seen shoes before! The internet works these days to connect us to more buyers than ever before. No longer do you have to find people face to face with websites like Ebay.com and Etsy.com. It’s also very easy to setup your own e-commerce website. Contact me and I can help you launch.
Sometimes all it takes it a little salesmanship
Don’t give up. Finding the demand takes a little hustle. Talk to any business owner about starting a small business and they will tell you about the struggle to make it successful. Always be selling yourself and never stop. Donald Trump in his bestselling book gives this advice. “Never do things for your customers and prospects in a small way. Make it big and important or don’t do it at all.”
Starting a small business doesn’t have to be a mystery. Although knowing exactly what to do can be. If you are wanting to start a small business, ask yourself these three questions: