10 Secrets to Starting Your Own Small Business
Christy Wright is the creator of Business Boutique -- a business that equips women to make money doing what they love. Last year, she wrote the best-selling book Business Boutique to give women a step-by-step guide on how to start, run and grow their businesses to the level they want.
“As a certified business coach and a Ramsey Personality, I travel the country helping women pursue their passions by helping them move past fear, let go of mom guilt, set goals and succeed,” said Wright. “But that’s just what I do during the day. At home, I’m a mom of two wild boys and a wife to a very patient husband. I’m pursuing my passion, and I hope these tips will help you do the same.”
Keep reading to get Wright’s 10 secrets to starting a business.
1. There’s never been a better time
Thirty years ago, business was vastly different, and starting a business wasn’t for everyone. Now things have changed. The barrier to entry into the marketplace is lower than ever before. You don’t have to have a bunch of investors or even a brick-and-mortar store. You could start your business today with nothing more than your idea and a Facebook page.
2. You don’t have to be ‘business-minded’
You don’t have to have an MBA. And you don’t have to be a certain “type” of person to start a business anymore. In fact, I see more “accidental entrepreneurs” than I do people who set out with the goal and intention to start a business.
3. Solve a problem
Businesses exist to help people, so your business needs to solve a problem that people face. Consider what needs you fill, what problems you solve and why people should care about your business. This is the value you provide, and it’s what you market and ultimately charge for.
4. Work with what you already have
Your business has the best chance to make money, and therefore be successful and sustainable, if you keep costs down. A great way to do this is to start with what you have. When you look at your resources with new eyes, you’ll be amazed at how much you have that you can put to use. If you already know what you need for your business, challenge yourself to be as resourceful as possible with what you currently have. It can help you save a tremendous amount of costs.
5. Bartering could be your best friend
For the activities that you can’t and shouldn’t do yourself, barter. You have something to offer that people need, and people have something to offer that you need. What can you trade to get services or supplies while you’re getting started? Be sure to give yourself credit for the valuable talents you have, and don’t be afraid to offer them in exchange for the talents of others.
6. Get creative
Creativity allows you to bypass many startup costs. Who do you know who can help? Which connections might be able to assist you? The connections you already have can help you get around your biggest expenses -- like a workspace. With a little creativity, you always have more options than you think.
7. Treat your business as a business
There’s a difference between a hobby and a business. A business makes you money. A hobby costs you money. It sounds simple, but many people miss this reality. So if you want to turn your hobby into a business, you must treat it like a business. That comes from recognizing and accepting the reality that in order for it to work, it has to make you money.
8. Keep your accounts separate
Your business needs to have its own checking and savings accounts instead of co-mingling with your personal finances. This helps keep your money separate, which makes life much easier for you.
9. Having a plan is a must
Begin with the end in mind. Many people slide into business instead of being intentional. When you don’t have a plan, you can end up overwhelmed and discouraged. Think through the details and the pricing of your business, which includes covering the bases of how you’ll operate. Having a plan gives you focus and control, and helps you have fun with your business.
10. Do it scared
So many people have the dream in their heart to start something, but they stay stuck because they are scared. They aren’t “ready.” Entrepreneurs face real fears every day at every stage. But the successful ones do it anyway. If you’re waiting until you’re ready to try, you’ll never try it. Ready is a myth -- so push past your fear, put in the work and it will be worth it.
(By Gabrielle Olya)