“If you want to live a life you’ve never lived, you have to do things you’ve never done.”
– Jen Sincero, author, life coach, self-help guru
In honor of National Small Business Week, we wanted to provide some encouragement to those who aspire to start their own business ventures, now or in the future. Here are a few of our tips to get the wheels churning and your motivation up for taking the first steps towards entrepreneurship.
- Set aside time to explore. Not quite sure what type of a business you want to start, but you have the itch to go out on your own? Brainstorming is a safe place for exploring all possibilities, big and small. Take the time to consider the types of business services or products you would like to provide, where you would want to provide them, and who you think may need them. Consider the problem you want to solve or the gap you want to fill. If you find yourself being overwhelmed with this step, reflect on what motivates you in your current job and what your dream job might be like. Include supportive friends, family and mentors in your brainstorming because they could offer fresh ideas that align with your goals, personality, and interests.
- Purposefully find inspiration. As you come across inspirational quotes, biographies and business stories that that resonate with you, keep reminders of these inspirations in places you see often, such as posted on your bedroom wall or on the corner of your laptop. Constant reminders of who you want to be or what you want to do will keep you on track for taking the next steps to get there.
- Take advantage of local resources. There is a plethora of small business resources available to entrepreneurs at all phases, to include those just brainstorming business ideas and those who are already in business and looking to grow. Small business development centers have professional mentors, speaker series, training events, and other various resources to help entrepreneurs find success in their new venture. Furthermore, the Small Business Administration website is a great place to start because it has online resources and webinars for creating business plan templates, understanding financing options, taking online training, and learning more about your target industry. Many of these resources are free and cover a large variety of topics.
- Start planning. A thorough business plan is an intimidating task to start and finish. However, the end result not only builds an investor’s confidence in your business model but also bolsters your confidence in yourself. The exercise of creating a comprehensive plan helps you think through the challenges that you will likely face and enables you start identifying methods to overcome them. Business plans should consider your target market, identify your value statement, analyze competitors, and outline financial projections. Additionally, a business plan can serve as a working document that you update regularly and use to reevaluate your overall business approach.