If you are starting a business, thinking of a new venture or contemplating working for yourself, chances are you may have some anxiety or be nervous about the thought of controlling your own destiny. Well, this is very normal in the entrepreneurial world. I am here to give you a few tips on how to manage what you are going through.
1. Get organized with technology:
Organization is important in life, let alone when you are starting a business. Project management is an important tool to have by your side. We use tools like iCloud, Office 365, Basecamp and Box as our go-to management tools. Having all of your contacts, email, notes, information, projects and such organized and available at your fingertips via your desktop, tablet or mobile device is key to reducing stress and being lean. If you do not have to scramble every time you need something, it is much easier to focus and get sh*t done. Create a workflow and put the tools in place with technology. It matters and will help you tremendously.
2. Over communicate:
Many people assume just because you sent a text, email or note, things will happen and people will engage. It is simply not that easy. Your priorities are not someone else’s. Utilize phone, email, text and project sharing tools to work with the people you are dealing with. Do not be shy. Your job is to manage and make things happen. Nobody but you will or can do that as you may see fit for your organization. Communicate as much as it takes to engage the people in your start-up, consulting service, new business, ecommerce website or whatever you are doing.
3. Do research:
Know the thought leaders in your industry, potential business relationships, paid consultants, competitors and product market you are participating in. Time spent ahead researching will save you tremendous time in the short term and long term. This helps you gain knowledge of the industry; learn from successes and failures of others; gain insight on sales and marketing tactics; gather creative ideas such as logos, websites, marketing material and see the promotions used by other companies. All invaluable information to find your place. Do research. The time invested will pay off.
4. Make a plan:
How big of a company do you want? Do you want an office? Do you want to be able to work from your laptop and cell phone? Make a plan that outlines your organization design, business administration, how you make money, local marketing, local business, hiring, talent pool, daily duties and various other business “stuff.” It does not have to be fancy. In fact, keep it simple. Make it a quick outline for a snapshot. This will come in handy when you meet people that may fit into your plans. Chances are you use Google maps, Wayz or some type of navigation when you are going somewhere you haven’t been. It is no different in business. I often compare life and business to driving a race car. Wherever you look, you will go. If you are not looking ahead to the next turn, you will end up someplace you do not want to be, like a wall… Keep your eyes up and focus on what’s next and where you are going. It matters. BIG TIME. Visualize the end result to keep you focused.
5. Make a map for your plan:
The metaphor of “have the map before you get lost” fits here. What resources will you need? Looking for digital agencies, ecommerce solutions, business-to-business software, management consulting or a fulfillment partner? Make a list of what you think you need or areas you feel weak in. It is ok to ask for help, so do it before you need it…NOT after you’ve started the fire.
6. Seek advice; don’t always follow it:
The best lessons I have ever had have been what NOT to do. I have sought small business advice. I have networked for social entrepreneurship. I have met with and talked to other business owners. Every person or company I have met with, consulted with or hired has provided something. Some lessons have resulted in big growth for my past companies or led to the sale of an organization I owned. Some have simply resulted in “remind me not to do that.” All lessons are important. Make your own decisions that work for you. Utilize the lessons in other people’s opinions, stories and experience to make the right choice.
7. Adjust as you learn:
The business intention you start with is rarely the actual business you end up with. Things will change as you go. Whether it be bootstrapping, new business ideas, hiring changes, growth hacking, social innovation or whatever, you will have to adjust. New opportunities will arise; new people or companies will enter your world. All of this is good. Simply re-visit your plan and adjust as you see fit to make room for the new; ONLY if it/they belong.
8. Be diligent, disciplined and follow through:
You will get frustrated. You will get overwhelmed. Welcome to the club! It is OK to feel all these things. Keep focus, stay on par. Use the tools you have put in place to get some perspective. Talk to people you trust, seek inspiration and keep driving forward. Most people quit just as the road is about to turn. FOLLOW THROUGH. I cannot say that enough. Ninety percent of success is just showing up. SHOW UP. It will all be worth it.
Questions about how to start a company? Need help with your current start-up? Contact us at 10twelve for solutions. We love start-ups and hungry entrepreneurs. We have 20+ years of owning our own companies. Call us for a free consultation on starting a business, growing a business or anything creative. We would love to help you move forward.