Taking the Leap!
(4 minute read)
Starting a business is no easy task, especially if you feel like you just don't have the time. That's why we're here to help you get started.
Anytime Can Be The Best Time To Start A Business
There is no time like the present! If you wait for the perfect time to start working on your business, then it will never get done. You don't need to quit your job or go to business school. All you need is an idea and the confidence to pursue it.
It might be best to start small, like taking a few hours per week to work on your business, and then slowly dedicating more time to it at a rate you feel comfortable with. Starting a business doesn't mean you have to abandon everything else you're doing at the drop of a hat. It's all about baby steps.
Utilizing Your Network
Networking is an essential part of starting a business. The key to successfully utilizing your network can be broken down into three main aspects:
- What do you need
- Who can help you
- What can you offer
First, figure out what you need. The most important thing to remember in this step is to be specific. Found below are two example requests:
- Lack of detail: "I need help marketing my business"
- Good use of detail: "I need help marketing my children's apparel business to new customers and I think you would be able to help me because of your time working as managing director at XYZ marketing firm"
The more specific you are, the more serious people take you. By demonstrating that you understand the needs of your business, others will recognize your professionalism and be more likely to help you.
The next aspect is figuring out who to reach out to. Ideally, you want to reach out to someone who you have a strong connection with and will be able to offer help relating to your business or specific obstacles you may be facing. This doesn't mean you have to be best friends with who you reach out to or even know them. A strong referral can go a long way as well.
The final aspect is figuring out what you can offer. Not everyone you ask for help will be kind-hearted enough to invest their time and effort in helping you for free, especially if your connection with them isn't particularly strong. Some connections might offer their services to you at a discount or help you out as long as you promise to use the services of their business in the future. Others might just be investing in you, with the idea that the cost of helping you now will be outweighed by the value of having a strong connection with you in the future. While there's always a chance a connection may offer to help you out without asking for anything in return, it's important to remember that every case is different.
LinkedIn is a great tool for managing your network and building new connections while remaining more professional than other social media sites like Facebook or Instagram. Another great way to network is by using your connections as an alumnus of a high school, university, or even workplace. Networking events are also a great way to form connections and get your name out.
Making a Good Business into a Great Business
Ther is no "secret sauce" to making your business stand out. To succeed you have to be creative. Creativity is not some innate quality that certain people are born with; it is a skill that you can develop with practice. You can look to others for inspiration, but what's important is how you use that inspiration to create your own solutions.
It is also important to recognize your strengths and weaknesses, both for your business and yourself. Look at yourself and your business from the perspective of others. How might a business partner view you? How might customers view you? Running a business without taking the time to reflect on these things is a recipe for disaster. Once you take the time to reflect, you can begin to grow your business more effectively by playing to your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses.
Be Confident, You Can Do It
There is no best time or method to start a business. You're going to make mistakes along the way, just as everyone before you have. Nobody knows how things will end up. All you can do is make the most informed decisions possible with the resources you have and follow what you feel is right. You may face some hardships along the way, but if you have the drive to overcome them then you will definitely succeed.
Learn From Experience
This article was inspired by the following podcast with Stephanie Graupera: Do It For Yourself Podcast – Episode 12
Stephanie founded Stork Agency, a boutique nanny placement agency, in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic while taking care of her 3 young children. In this episode she talks about her experience starting a business from the ground up and offers advice to others looking to start a business of their own. Be sure to check it out!
You can learn more about Stephanie and Stork Agency by visiting thestorkagency.com