So here’s the final part of our published article for yesterday. Sure your business/creative juices are already flowing. Enjoy!
5.Understand Your Personal Finances and Choose the Right Kind of Money You Need for Your Business.
As an entrepreneur, your personal life and business life are interconnected. You are likely to be your first–and possibly only–investor. Therefore, having a detailed understanding of your personal finances, and the ability to track them, is an essential first step before seeking outside funding for your business.
As you are creating your business plan, you will need to consider what type of business you are building–a lifestyle business (smaller amount of startup funds), a franchise (moderate investment depending on the franchise), or a high-tech business (will require significant capital investment). Depending on where you fall on the continuum, you will need a different amount of money to launch and grow your business, and it does matter what kind of money you accept.
6. Build a Support Network: You’ve made the internal commitment to your business. Now you need to cultivate a network of supporters, advisors, partners, allies and vendors. If you believe in your business, others will, too.Network locally, nationally & via social networks. Here are some networking basics:
– When attending networking events, ask others what they do and think about how you can help them. The key is to listen more than touting yourself.
– No matter what group you join, be generous, help others and make introductions without charging them.
– By becoming a generous leader, you will be the first person that comes to mind when someone you’ve helped needs your service or hears of someone else who needs your service.
7. Sell By Creating Value: Even though we purchase products and services every day, people don’t want to be “sold.” Focus on serving others. The more people you serve, the more money you will make. When considering your customers or clients, ask yourself: – What can I give them?
– How can I make them successful in their own pursuits?
– This approach can help lead you to new ways to hone your product or service and deliver more value, which your customers will appreciate.
8. Get the Word Out: Be willing to say who you are and what you do with conviction and without apology. Embrace and use the most effective online tools (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn) available to broadcast your news. Use social networks as “pointer” sites; i.e., to point to anything you think will be of interest to your fans and followers.Even though social networks are essential today (you must use them!), don’t underestimate the power of other methods to get the word out: e.g., word-of-mouth marketing, website and internet marketing tools, public relations, blog posts, columns and articles, speeches, e-mail, newsletters, and the old-fashioned but still essential telephone.
If you take these steps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming your own boss. It’s important to remember that you are not alone. If you want to “be your own boss” but you still feel stuck, reach out and connect with other entrepreneurs in a variety of ways. You may be surprised by the invaluable contacts that are right at your fingertips.
Good luck with the launch of your startup!