Starting your own business can be an amazing experience. You’re your own boss, doing it for yourself, setting your own hours (or too often failing to). It’s your chance to bring your vision to life, and to create something that is totally and uniquely yours. How inspiring!
BUT - just because you are responsible for doing everything, doesn’t mean you actually know how to do everything. Nor should you expect yourself to. It’s okay to go looking for help when you need it, and fortunately, there are more resources than ever available to offer advice and ideas. And thanks to the collaborative small business culture of the internet, that information is flowing freely. Competition be damned - there’s room for everyone aboard that S.S. Entrepreneur. You just have to know where to look. Here are some of our favorites:
If you’re reading this, you’re already taking advantage of one of the best resources on the internet - good on you. People who have gone through exactly what you are going through are itching to share their experience and knowledge that they’ve gained with the world, and they like to do so in blog form (probably in part to help their own SEO). So take advantage! Whether it’s through googling your topic of interest and finding personal or small business sites hosting their own blogs, more well-known publications, or platforms like Tumblr and Medium, people are writing a ton about their own experiences every day.
Another way people are creating their own content and sharing their experiences is through podcasts. What was once a niche radio spin-off has become a vast and rich resource with topics ranging from general business advice to incredibly specific industry stories. Finding a great podcast can feel both like getting a graduate level education, and like making a personal connection with a new friend.
Forums & Social Media
Speaking of making connections, forums are one of the oldest ways on the internet for people to gather together, united by some common topic or theme, and discuss freely. And while the format may be an oldie as far as internet technology is concerned, it is still most definitely a goodie. Whether the forums exist on dedicated websites, through sites like reddit or digg, or even in a slightly newer format like a Facebook group, forums provide a deep knowledge base, and can be a great place to get specific questions answered. For the most bang for your buck, make sure you post and interact in these forums instead of just browsing. If you become part of the community, you’ll have an extra place to go when it comes time for advertising and promotion.
Of course, not every single question, concern or issue has been previously addressed on the internet. Sometimes, you need more dedicated advice and guidance that is specific to you, your situation, and your business. That’s when it’s time to reach out to an expert you trust and you can relate to, such as us here at 10twelve. Experts can help you save time, get answers quickly, and maybe even take some of the work off your hands so that you can get back to what you care about - making your small business dreams a reality.