Month: September 2019

Building A Business

We take risks every day. Ultimately things either goes well or they go badly. So why are many of us so worried when we have to make a decision that involves money? The fact is that most of us are afraid to lose money. We have culturally been exposed to the tradition of being afraid to lose the security that money supposedly brings them. Plus it has been a standard in our country that losing is for losers, even though people like the Donald lose money from time to time or filing new 3-paper corporations for bankruptcy and yet many people do not understand what happens under the curtain. The problem is that most of us do not see ourselves as being wildly successful. Therefore, instead of trying to grab for the brass ring, most of us avoid taking any chances of becoming losers. Has the tradition and culture implant fear on us. Boy that is a big yes.

But what if you do not want to think like that? If you want to position yourself with the ultimate goal of achieving financial freedom through owning your own business, what can you do to make risk the smartest decision of your financial career? You can start by changing the way you think about risk. You could stop thinking about risk as being highly dangerous, as something that has to be avoided at all costs when it comes to wholesale or doing general business. At least that is what I will do. Starting your own business is taking a risk. Accept that, and learn how to take smart risks. There is a big difference between a risk and a smart risk, and I am more than confident than you know that.

If you plan your business carefully, do your due diligence, take the steps you need when you need to take them, you will reduce your risks enormously. Learn quickly from your mistakes. Take action. Move forward. Taking the risk of moving from a job to a business can be a smart career move in my experience and strong opinion. You will be your own boss with nobody telling you what you need to do and when you need to do it. That for many of us as entrepreneurs are ways more smarter than enriching someone else. No matter if you are 20-60 years old, you can still smell the roses of freedom even if you are retired or planning too. You will be responsible for your success or failure. If you plan well and take action, the smartest decision you could ever make in your career is to start your own income producing business.

Keep Friends Close and Investors Closer

Family and friends are critical when running a business and, “investments from friends and family are often what make a startup possible in the first place” (Wasserman 257). Those individuals also provide support, encouragement, and constructive criticism for the entrepreneur. The ability to bounce ideas off others and gain confidence in presenting a business plan is invaluable. “A founder is greatly influenced by the family and culture in which he or she grew up in. The most powerful influences may come from the early messages sent by the words and action of older relatives or by the culture in which a person grew up” (Wasserman 30). The founder will ultimately have the final decision though loved ones take part in a powerful influence.

Regardless of the business stage, startup or growth, the entrepreneur should be prudent in choosing an investor(s). According to David Amis and Howard Stevenson in the book, The 7 Fundamentals of Early Stage Investing, an investor can participate in one or more of the five fundamental roles: Silent investor, reserve force, team member, coach, controlling investor, or lead investor. Other considerations when selecting an investor should include:

  • Investor’s goals and passions
  • Market knowledge/expertise
  • Social capital in a specific industry
  • Successful experience and reputation
  • Financial capacity

It is not out of the realm of possibility to have a friend or family member(s) invest in the entrepreneur’s business and attain a high level of success. The founder either provided a professional structure for the member to abide by or the friend/family member encompassed several or all of the characteristics listed above.

Investments from family and friends are difficult to handle when the member values the small amount of wealth donated, does not provide any business skills or industry knowledge, and struggles with a professional relationship. “A boss-subordinate (entrepreneur-investor) relationship may make perfect organizational sense but will not suit a pair of best friends very well; nor will positions of equal authority suit a father and son” (Wasserman 102). The success of the business sits on the shoulders of the entrepreneur and all decision-making is his/her responsibility. Stressful business situations and differences in opinion can significantly increase tension in a personal relationship. Retaining a friend or family member as an investor eliminates a non-business environment, which can cause impacting relationship damage.

In conclusion, family and friends will always be a valuable part of an entrepreneur’s business. Personal investments can be beneficial, especially in startup, but it is imperative to define boundaries and limit activity in order to preserve personal relationships. Entrepreneurs should keep friends close for support and encouragement while working closely with quality investors to further advance the business.

Learned From Business Failures

  • $$$ should not Be a Primary Motivator
    Up front, I will cede the point that $$$ is a vital factor in any business endeavor and without it or a lack of it from poor management will lead to business failure and personal loss to some degree. In saying this, I would strongly state that your business motivation should not come from $$$ because you will miss one of the true foundations of any successful business: focus on keeping the customers satisfied and offer products / services that help customers solve problems and enjoy life optimally. Instead of being inward focused in terms of generating revenue and cash flow, you should become other’s focused and be motivated by the solutions and joy your products / services give to your customers.
  • It’s Not About Maximizing Every Opportunity; It’s About the Context of the Opportunity
    Here’s my point here: all opportunity is not your opportunity. You should learn and discipline yourself to undertake opportunities in which you understand the context. Webster’s Dictionary defines “context” simply as environment or setting. In other words, before jumping into business endeavors that look and sound great on the surface, take the time to ‘tear apart’ or ‘stress test’ it. Not to get too saddled down into analysis, dig in enough into the opportunity to know (if possible) the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. Take the time to understand the setting and especially its connection to where you are both professionally and personally. Don’t be a rabbit chasing many trails, instead be like the tortoise and move with purpose and a committed determination to finish what you start.
  • Listen To But Be Not Motivated By Group Think
    This one is truly colossal and to me the most important. We are by nature drawn and influenced by the company we keep, listen to, or follow. It’s no different in business. True, we need others especially those who have gone before us and accomplished feats we only wish to attain to. What we forget most though is that we all take different roads to reach the end. One person’s walk will more than likely be different than the next person’s and that’s OK. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned about business have been when I’ve ventured off the path of group think, not because I’m a rebel, but because I reacted and responded to circumstances as only I could or essentially because of the way I’m wired.

Ways to Network for Young Entrepreneurs

Always introduce yourself first

You are the immediate ambassador of your brand. When you meet new people, clients or potential investors, the first impression is always created by the way you present yourself. Introducing yourself formally will create a good impression and give you the credibility that investors are looking for. The way you present your ideas also matter a lot. Be clear about what your business entails and any important thing that you need to add.

Have a business card

A business card is important when creating new contacts. It helps people remember you even after the event is over. A business card also includes crucial details about your business and the services that you offer. When designing one, making it simple and formal yet containing all the information that needs to be there.

Follow up your new networks

After having a hearty chat, it doesn’t mean that’s the end of it. You need to strengthen the ties and create strong relationships with the people you have just met. This can be achieved by thanking the person, and asking if you could meet them for further talk when they are available. Whenever possible, reach your contacts via email or phone calls.

See networking as an opportunity to learn

Networking events provide opportune moments to learn about other people in your industry. It also equips you with the necessary knowledge about new industry requirements, the latest technology, and practices that can propel your business to greater growth and success. Entrepreneurial networks are the only reliable source of information pertaining to your competitors and developing channels for distribution. By making use of the acquired knowledge, you can tailor your business to what the market requires. This is especially important for startups and new enterprises.

Steps To Effectively Review Performance

Determine what you truly love to do

In a word it’s called passion. Doing what we love keeps us motivated and that motivation translates into passion and momentum. We all have some things that we enjoy more than others. What is it that you freaking LOVE to do? Perhaps it’s something that you would do whether you were paid for it or not. Or maybe it’s just a part of your job that gets you stoked or excited. What is that thing? Determine how you can do more of it as well as ways you can monetize it.

Decide what you need to delete or discontinue

This is the hard part. Many of us don’t want to look in the mirror and give ourselves tough love to change something we know needs our attention. However, if you want to grow and win big you must have the conversation with yourself to STOP doing what doesn’t serve you. It could be spending money or wasting time with the wrong people or things. Whatever it is, decide now that you will make a change.

Figure out what you want more of

This is the fun part. Many of us wish we can have more money. Because money just makes things easier for most of us. BUT besides money, what do you need more of? Is it training, coaching, reading, education, networking, collaboration or office assistance? Determine what you need that will move the needle in your business. How can you get more of what you need without necessarily paying for it? It’s time to get creative to figure out how you can get more of what you need to help you grow.

Analyze areas where you need help

There’s something that each of us wishes that we had assistance in doing. If you could wave a magic wand and have the life or business of your dreams… what would be the one thing that you would not personally want to be responsible for? It’s that thing that drives you nuts because you don’t like doing it. Do you need to outsource a particular part of your business? Perhaps you need to bite the bullet and hire someone.

Starting Jewelry Business

Assess your mechanical abilities and design skills. Make drawings of your ideas. First, begin designing jewelry for yourself, your family, and your friends before you actually invest much money into your business. Compare your jewelry to the competition’s and research thoroughly before you try to sell yours, but don’t let the competition make you fearful.

Do your research and then purchase the tools and materials that you need to make your jewelry designs. Purchase in bulk or wholesale to save on production costs. Use a spreadsheet to create an inventory system, making it easy to order supplies as you need them. Keep jewelry supply company sites as bookmarks on your computer.

List your business goals and write your business plan. Decide who your target customers will be. This will help define your choice of designs and your marketing plan. Create your niche, the designs that set your jewelry apart from the competition. Determine how much profit you want to make. Set the prices for your jewelry designs, taking into account the amount you spent for supplies, your operating costs and your investment.

Plan where you will sell your jewelry, who is your target audience, and focus on one area or a combination of areas. Set up an online store, go to craft shows or farmer’s markets, do home parties, or sell to local boutiques. Sell to your target audience on social media.

Set up your company, get a tax permit and tax identification number. Check out business insurance and get liability coverage. Get official permits and licenses. Then design a logo that can be saved on a computer and have sales flyers, cards, letterheads, and glossy brochures printed. For the financial part of your business that you don’t understand, take classes and read books to learn what to do.