B.L.A.C.'s financial expert gives non-financial advice for soon-to-be entrepreneurs
ot everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. It is not for the faint of heart or thin-skinned. It is not for the person who is needs immediate financial gratification or the person who is unwilling to make sacrifices.
If you think entrepreneurship is for you, ask yourself these questions:
Do I have discipline and persistence? Am I willing to work 18-hour days, or 24-7, if necessary? Can I deal with the ups and downs of business? Am I willing to risk my money, knowing financial institutions aren't loaning seed money for new businesses these days? Can I deal with slow paying clients or people that want my product or service for free? Do I value myself and my business enough to ask customers to pay what I feel I am worth? Can I maintain my cool and provide excellent customer service when a client has gotten on my last nerve?
If you answered yes to these questions, keep reading. Based on my experience as a successful entrepreneur for 21 years, here is my advice for people who want to start their own business:
- Find a need and fill it. Use your life experiences and creativity to provide a better product or service than anyone currently has on the market. Be unique.
- Consider working in the field or doing an internship to ensure you know what you are getting yourself into.
- Obtain a mentor who knows more than you do about your industry and running a small business.
- Make your goals visible. Set up a dream board with photos of your goals or a poster with columns that breakdown action steps you should take daily, weekly or monthly, to achieve your goals. Put it in a place where it is the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night.
- Market your business consistently. This helps to minimize the peaks and valleys, but also helps to keep your pipeline full.
- Network to grow your business. Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are excellent resources. But you also may need to get out and meet people face to face.
- Establish a support system. Include your spouse, friends, family and colleagues who are honestly want to see you succeed. Join associations. Surround yourself with people who share your mindset or who are have already achieved things you aspire to do. Sometimes they'll be needed to remind you how good you are at what you do.
- Establish balance in your life and work. Take care of your health and nurture your relationships. No one can do it all or have it all, but neglecting one area or the other can affect your success. Have fun in the process.
GLINDA BRIDGFORTH IS THE AUTHOR OF "GIRL, GET YOUR CREDIT STRAIGHT!" AND FOUNDER OF BRIDGFORTH FINANCIAL AND ASSOCIATES, LLC.