When you're in the early stages of building a stand-out business, there are lots of moving parts and pieces to keep things running smoothly. There are also a lot of things that seem important, but are just distractions.
So where do you need to focus right from the start?
The things that will move the needle the most.
Easier said than done, right? Because those things can look different for each business. But let's look at the most common things you need to be thinking about right from the start to ensure you're on the path to success.
Your brand is the heart and soul of your business, and it's what sets you apart from the crowd. So, take the time to craft a brand that reflects your unique personality and style. Remember, a strong brand will attract the right customers and help you stand out in the marketplace.
A strong brand isn't about flashy websites or spending a lot of dough to "look good". Your brand is your business's identity and how you want to be perceived by the world. It's the story that lives in the hearts of your Raving Fans when you're not actively marketing to them. Take the time to think about how you want your business to come across and create messaging and marketing that reflects that. The stronger your brand is, the better your chances of success.
With a strong brand, your business becomes memorable - even when you're NOT marketing!
Next, seek out good advice. As a creative entrepreneur, you might feel like you can do everything on your own, but the truth is, everyone needs help. Surround yourself with people who have been there and done that, and learn from their experience. Trust me, it'll save you time and energy in the long run.
The right people - including legal experts, consultants, and those who are experts in your specific industry can be invaluable sources of support, encouragement, and insight. And they don't need to be on call 24/7 to be good for you. Expert guidance, that's focused on helping you reach your goals and dreams, will help you have a much higher chance of success and shorten your learning curve..
Building a business can be overwhelming, and you don't have to do it all alone. Seek out mentors, coaches, and experts who can guide you along the way.
When you look at the successes and failures of previous business owners, so much of it comes down to the people they had access to when they started out. In essence, you are in a much better position, with a much higher chance of success, if you are able to get in touch with the right people at the start. Consult legal experts (like Manfred Sternberg & Associates, or other legal consultants) and those who are experts in the needs of your specific industry.
Of course, we can't forget about the moolah! Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. If you're self-funding everything, that means you carry all the risk and financial burden. That may or may not be a problem for you, but it's important to know what you're really dealing with when it comes to the "money stuff" in your business.
Look for sources of funding that align with your values and goals. Maybe that's crowd sourcing or finding a lender through Kiva. Or maybe it's your own credit card. Been there. Done that! The key is to have a secure source of funding that will give you the financial stability you need to grow and thrive.
Seek funding you can rely on before you think you'll need it. Because often, when you finally need it, you may have a hard time getting it!
Last but certainly not least, you need to build the best damn team ever! If cash flow is the lifeblood, then your team is the backbone of your business. Who you surround yourself with is arguably the most important factor of all. When you have a team you love (that loves you right back), you'll have a much better chance of success.
Take your time to find the right people for your team. Be willing to let people go that don't fit your team culture (and do it FAST!). This includes contractors, part timers, and anyone else supporting you and your business. The people you surround yourself with are crucial to your business's success. That means your advisors AND your team support! Develop a rock-solid recruitment process that helps you find the right people who share your vision and passion. With a strong team, you can tackle anything that comes your way.
So, there you have it - the four things you need at the start of your business: a strong brand, good advice, secure funding, and the best team you can afford. Remember, building a successful business takes time. It can be challenging, requires effort, and dedication, but with these four elements in place, you'll be on your way to creating a thriving business.
In my house, there's a never-ending battle that's almost as epic as the fight for the remote control. The thermostat. My husband likes it hot. He closes the vent in our room and bundles under at least two blankets even during Summer! My son likes it cold. If it's warmer than 65, he'll turn the thermostat […]