Friday, November 7, 2008

Rethink Success

unique business tips
Are you familiar with the Saturn commercial depicting current social stereotypes compared with the purity of well known symbols? Although our society deems certain steps necessary in order to gain success, I would like to share with you that doesn’t always have to be the case. When you hear the term success what do you think about? I’m sure what you have in mind right now isn’t a mom busily tending her family and home during the day, often in pajamas, while juggling a baby on her hip. Perhaps with the exploitation of my experiences…you too, will rethink success.
Yes, that’s right I am a proud military spouse and mother of two with no college education. Hardly your typical example of success but I have found a niche and learned to wisely use resources to become a successful business owner. Although my success factors are no exactly classic they are what I consider success. The chance to help improve our children’s quality of life and to make my husband proud to say “She’s mine” has always been my ideal achievement.
These are turbulent times and the ability to be resourceful is paramount. Resourcefulness is not something inherit it is learned. I hope under this, particular topic, I can help you become as resourceful as needed to be your own “non-traditional” business owner.

1. Familiarize yourself with your public library-Back in January, of this year, when I was searching for a direction to take for business startup, I looked to the library. I scoured for books on business topics and began to read. There I found everything from writing a business plan to 101 ways to advertise on a shoestring budget. Some of the books I continue to use over and over and some I took a bit of advice and moved on to the next. A book in particular that stood out for me was called “The Purple Cow” By Seth Godin. In it he teaches you to transform your business by being remarkable. With his advice I learned to think more creatively. In so, I have learned to stamp my mark on the work I do leaving folks wanting to come back for more. In most cases there are more than one library in any given county. Most libraries carry different books from their neighboring counterparts so visit a few to get some variety. Search for local libraries here.

2. Create a budget and stick to it- We all have different amounts available to work with. It’s very important to know what they are. Once you know that amount work inside that. It will keep you from going under. You will then be able to spend wisely at startup. It’s ok if you star off small and slow. It will give you the time you need to become more experienced and allow you to work through growing pains. Trust me you will appreciate that in the long run. Get your free excel budget template here to help get you on track. Just plug in your info and see where you stand. .

3. Learn from your peers- There have been so many others who have gone before us and most often are honored to share tips, experiences as well as mistakes and lessons learned. Most local business’s contact information is available online. Don’t be scared to call, email, write or even schedule an interview. Contact local businesses in your community by searching the online yellow pages.

4. Know your target market- It’s easy to get roped into “blanket” advertising opportunities in order to overwhelm as many people as possible. That, I must admit, has been my biggest mistake since my start in January. The money it costs to do so is not worth the type or quality of business you are looking to get. Owning your own business means you are providing a product or service that has a need to fulfill. With that being said, there is a precise group of people looking for your particular product and/or service. It cuts into your valuable time and money to throw darts blindly at a target. So do some research and find your demography. Don’t be scared to get creative. My target market is shared with photographers and various wedding boutiques. In the past I have contacted countless of these businesses and offered them a deal. In exchange for advertising, I would offer them a percentage of my profits per sale. This way I had no upfront cost and would give them a portion after I had been paid. Just be aware you may get 100 “No’s” before you get that 1 “Yes”. But believe me that one yes makes it worth all the while. This article helps explain how to narrow down your target market.

5. Be Trusted-Start your business off right and give careful consideration to how you treat every person you come in contact with; customers and non customers alike. There is nothing that will hurt you more than negative comments spread around about the quality of your service as well as the value of your words. Yes, I ‘m sure there are a quite a few big businesses you have talked bad about before or even cringe as you pass by. The truth is as a small business you can’t afford to lose customers based on untrustworthy actions. Think of all the ways you would like to have been treated as a customer and surpass those expectations. Here are some basic guidelines to proper business etiquette.

6. Know the Law- When organizing your ideas and directions don’t forget to include educating yourself on the lawful requirements you must fulfill. Check out this small business guide and track down all the information you can on which category you fall into.
Of course it’s not surprise by now my attempt was to change your perspective on how small and nontraditional the scale can be for success to be achieved. In this, particular case; ignorance would certainly not be bliss if it meant the difference between a flourishing business and a failing mess.


Jan said...

Very nicely done, and informative article!

Meekiyu said...

I agree with jan.. great article! Cute little child and I really like your blog and the way it looks... =D