At AltamontCowork over the past 5 years, I have seen all sorts of small business owners / wannabes come and go. A few have succeeded, some struggle like crazy to make it, and some just think that having a business address, a web site, and a fancy office will ensure success. This last bunch is what I call “One and Done” at AltamontCowork. I can pretty much tell when a person first rents if they will be “One and Done”. The fire is not in their eyes and they never come into the office (and not because they are out drumming up business)…..you can tell.
Here are a few tips for the small business wannabe:
0. Follow your PASSION.
1. In a GOOD economy it takes 2 to 3 years to build your business.
2. Start slow and build. Hire people only when necessary to keep growing.
3. Trust your instincts: You know your offerings better than anyone.
4. To build your business you are going to have to work your ass off.
5. Working your ass off means you are networking with other small business owners and potential clients (get to know them, don’t just give them your card), you are marketing / advertising the crap out of your business including keeping up to date Facebook pages, web sites, blogs, Twitter, Instagram….etc etc.
6. Be prepared to give away free stuff.
7. It is going to take some $$. Make sure you have enough money to last 2 years minimum. I am still here after 5 years of not breaking even…I had enough $ saved.
8. Save money, increase your exposure, get help and advice for free, by COWORKING. Renting a $500 to $800 a month 10 x 10 office, with a door, will do nothing but drain your much needed budget.
9. Just as things look the bleakest…do NOT QUIT! So many businesses leave too early….hang in there, things will get better, and may even BOOM.
10. Failing is not failure. Try again….this time with more business knowledge and a better understanding of yourself.
Plan on putting LOTS of time building and growing your business. 2 to 3 years and tons of hours. And save money where you can…make sure you have enough money to last for the long haul.
Starting a successful small business is a lot of work, but, it is worth it to be your own boss.