Failure Factors – What Not To Do To Keep Your Company Successful

ASSUMED FACT: 4 out of 5 small business will FAIL within the first five years. It’s true that business failures happen, and generally within the first five years, however, the truth might be much more promising. So then, why do business fail? Most small business surveys show that the primary reasons for failure lie in the following areas:

– Inefficient control over costs and quality of product
– Bad stock control
– Underpricing of goods sold
– Bad customer relations
– Failure to promote and maintain a favorable public image
– Bad relations with suppliers
– Inability of management to reach decision and act on them
– Failure to keep pace with management system
– Reluctance to seek professional assistance
– Failure to minimize taxation through tax planning
– Bad personal relations
– Loss of Key personnel
– Inability to cope adequately with competition

This list goes on & on & on… but do you see a common theme here? BAD RELATIONS with…. INABILITY TO…. FAILURE TO… the biggest secret to success in your own company is NOT knowing everything! But realizing your weaknesses and and bringing in the right people who have the strengths in the area you lack, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and do seek professional advice and communicate effectively with your peers and employees!

List and statistics found in “‘The Entrepreneur Magazine’ Small Business Advisor Second Editions Page 15 Chapter 1 Personal Evaluation”

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Posted in Business Blogs, business success, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship effort, Failure Factors | Leave a comment

Mistakes of Startup Entrepreneurs

Everyone in history makes mistakes. Even the greats. Take Henry Ford for example who failed and went broke five times before he succeeded. But, if at all possible, it’s best to learn from others mistakes instead. Read the following “>10 Mistakes of Start up Entrepreneurs as originally posted on The Wall Street Journal.

1. Going it alone. It’s difficult to build a scalable business if you’re the only person involved. True, a solo public relations, web design or consulting firm may require little capital to start, and the price of hiring even one administrative assistant, sales representative or entry-level employee can eat up a big chunk of your profits. The solution: Make sure there’s enough margin in your pricing to enable you to bring in other people. Clients generally don’t mind outsourcing as long as they can still get face time with you, the skilled professional who’s managing the project.

2. Asking too many people for advice. It’s always good to get input from experts, especially experienced entrepreneurs who’ve built and sold successful companies in your industry. But getting too many people’s opinions can delay your decision so long that your company never gets out of the starting gate. The answer: Assemble a solid advisory board that you can tap on a regular basis but run the day-to-day yourself. Says Elyissia Wassung, chief executive of 2 Chicks With Chocolate Inc., a Matawan, N.J., chocolate company, “Pull in your [advisory] team for bi-weekly or, at the very least, monthly conference calls. You’ll wish you did it sooner!”


3. Spending too much time on product development, not enough on sales.
While it’s hard to build a great company without a great product, entrepreneurs who spend too much time tinkering may lose customers to a competitor with a stronger sales organization. “I call [this misstep] the ‘Field of Dreams’ of entrepreneurship. If you build it, they will buy it,” says Sanjyot Dunung, CEO of Atma Global, Inc., a New York software publisher, who has made this mistake in her own business. “If you don’t keep one eye firmly focused on sales, you’ll likely run out of money and energy before you can successfully get your product to market.”

4. Targeting too small a market. It’s tempting to try to corner a niche, but your company’s growth will quickly hit a wall if the market you’re targeting is too tiny. Think about all the high school basketball stars who dream of playing in the NBA. Because there are only 30 teams and each team employs only a handful of players, the chances that your son will become the next Michael Jordan are pretty slim. The solution: Pick a bigger market that gives you the chance to grab a slice of the pie even if your company remains a smaller player.

5. Entering a market with no distribution partner. It’s easier to break into a market if there’s already a network of agents, brokers, manufacturers’ reps and other third-party resellers ready, willing and able to sell your product into existing distribution channels. Fashion, food, media and other major industries work this way; others are not so lucky. That’s why service businesses like public relations firms, yoga studios and pet-grooming companies often struggle to survive, alternating between feast and famine. The solution: Make a list of potential referral sources before you start your business and ask them if they’d be willing to send business your way.

6. Overpaying for customers. Spending big on advertising may bring in lots of customers, but it’s a money-losing strategy if your company can’t turn those dollars into life-time customer value. A magazine or web site that spends $500 worth of advertising to acquire a customer who pays $20 a month and cancels his or her subscription at the end of the year is simply pouring money down the drain. The solution: Test, measure, then test again. Once you’ve done enough testing to figure out how to make more money selling products and services to your customers than you spend acquiring those customers in the first place, roll out a major marketing campaign. (See related article, “On a Tight Budget? How to Land a Client.”)

7. Raising too little capital. Many start-ups assume that all they need is enough money to rent space, buy equipment, stock inventory and drive customers through the door. What they often forget is that they also need capital to pay for salaries, utilities, insurance and other overhead expenses until their company starts turning a profit. Unless you’re running the kind of business where everybody’s working for sweat equity and deferring compensation, you’ll need to raise enough money to tide you over until your revenues can cover your expenses and generate positive cash flow. The solution: Calculate your start-up costs before you open your doors, not afterwards.

8. Raising too much capital. Believe it or not, raising too much money can be a problem, too. Over-funded companies tend to get big and bloated, hiring too many people too soon and wasting valuable resources on trade show booths, parties, image ads and other frills. When the money runs out and investors lose patience (which is what happened 10 years ago when the dot-com market melted down), start-ups that frittered away their cash will have to close their doors. No matter how much money you raise at the outset, remember to bank some for a rainy day.

9. Not having a business plan. While not every company needs a formal business plan, a start-up that requires significant capital to grow and more than a year to turn a profit should map out how much time and money it’s going to take to get to its destination. This means thinking through the key metrics that make your business tick and building a model to spin off three years of sales, profits and cash-flow projections. “I wasted 10 years [fooling around] thinking like an artist and not a business person,” says Louis Piscione, president of Avanti Media Group, a New Jersey company that produces videos for corporate and private events. “I learned that you have to put some of your creative genius toward a business plan that forecasts and sets goals for growth and success.” (See related article, “Are Business Plans a Waste of Time?”)

10. Over-thinking your business plan. While many entrepreneurs I’ve met engage in seat-of-the-pants decision-making and fail to do their homework, other entrepreneurs are afraid to pull the trigger until they’re 100% certain that their plan will succeed. One lawyer I worked with several years ago was so skittish about leaving his six-figure job to launch his business that he never met with a single bank or investor who might have funded his company. The truth is that a business plan is not a crystal ball that can predict the future. At a certain point, you have to close your eyes and take the leap of faith.

Posted in 10 Mistakes of Entreprenuers, business success, Wall Street Journal | Leave a comment

Taking The Law Of Attraction To The Next Level: Momentum The Qualifier for Venture Capitalists

When I first engage with a client and see their company I am looking for one key ingredient and that is; momentum!

It is the x factor in a business that will lead to attracting more business to a company and more excitement in the market than any other ingredient.

If you want to make more money, develop more momentum. If you want to sell your business at a good price, develop more momentum. Everything starts and ends with how much forward movement you can develop in your business.

When you walk into a room where people are excited and have a great future ahead you can feel the increase in energy. You want to be involved in their vision and investors sense this level of urgency as soon as they meet the prospective CEO or directors.

2008/9 have been extremely difficult years for everyone involved in business, but through it many have turned tragedy into triumph and some people have found the champion inside themselves that they never new was there.

If you read literature about successful entrepreneurs you will find countless stories about people who were stuck in or inherited businesses that were going nowhere and taking them along. They desperately needed investment but they were not likely to attract it without a huge push forward.

Gert Boyle from Columbia Sportswear is one of the entrepreneurs I think of when I speak about momentum. She lost her husband and took over the family business with her son, who was at University, close to bankruptcy. They took some radical chances and built the company into one of the leading brands in the skiing and apparel industries and then took it public.

Learning from the best we can find one common denominator they developed momentum, they didn’t put up with the status quo they took what they had and put it all on the table and moved forward with a new strategy that would make the company more money than they could have dreamed of.

John C. Maxwell talks about “the law of the big mo” as one of his 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership in his book by the same name.

“The Law of the Big Mo basically says, ‘Momentum is a leader’s best friend,’” John Maxwell

If you want an investor to come with their check book open, develop momentum. Drive sales forward, empower your team with good rewards, but as a ceo and director, be the companies champion yourself. It is hard work, but as a shareholder you will be well rewarded for your effort.

Inspired by Business Blogs

Posted in 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership, Business Blogs, Business Cards, Columbia Sportswear, Corporate Branding, Corporate Services, John C. Maxwell, Law Of Attraction, law of the big mo, Momentum, Portland Business | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Portland Toy Drive Christmas in July Open House & Fundraiser

Portland Toy Drive Christmas in July Open House & Fundraiser

Thursday, July 15th from 4:30pm to 8:00pm

Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center Hotel

550 SW Oak Street Portland, OR 97204

  • Complimentary hors d’oeuvres & appetizers
  • No host bar
  • Silent Auction
  • Raffle drawing for donated gifts – see below
  • Donations – cash/credit card/checks are tax-deductible
  • Dress code – standard business casual
  • Accepting toy and book donations

Thank you for those that RSVP! Please invite guests and friends, they are welcome also!

For those of you I have not had the honor of meeting I hope to do so this Thursday at our Christmas in July event. For those who I have met and know I thank you for your continued support

Primary auction items include:

  1. Take your kids to a PDX School on a Fire Truck (2 available)
  2. Celebrate your kids’ birthday at a PDX Fire Station (2 available)

Other items for auction and/or raffle ($5 per raffle ticket):

One Night Stay at:

  1. Hotel Monaco
  2. Hotel Deluxe
  3. Courtyard by Marriott
  4. The Nines Hotel
  5. Hotel Vintage Plaza

Restaurant Dining Certificates:

  1. El Gaucho
  2. Salty’s on the Columbia
  3. Pazzo Ristorante
  4. Nel Centro
  5. Red Star Tavern & Roast House
  6. Paragon Restaurant & Bistro
  7. The Original Dinerant
  8. Old Spaghetti Factory

Other Gifts/Items:

  1. Spa Services at Avalon Spa & Hotel
  2. Spa Services at Portland Pearl Salon & Spa
  3. 90 Day 24 Hour Fitness Gym Membership
  4. Gift certificate via Portland Spirit Dining Cruise
  5. Helicopter Ride w/Jerry Trimble Helicopters
  6. Rafting Trip For 4 w/River Drifters Rafting Co.
  7. Portland Tour w/Pedal Bike Tours

*ADDITIONAL ITEMS UNDERWAY

In addition to bringing a toy or book donation we encourage you to bring your business cards and network with other community supporters in our effort to help needy children.

Click here for the official invitation from the Fire Dept’s Toy & Joy Makers.

To confirm your reservation please contact us or Toy & Joy Makers.

Respectfully,

The Portland Toy Drive Team

Huy Nguyen, Lead Director/Coordinator
PortlandToyDrive@gmail.com
503-791-9376

Tiffany Lange, Business Support Specialist
PortlandToyDrive@gmail.com
503-880-9894

Karen Howell-Rice, Portland Toy Drive Marketing Specialist
PortlandToyDrive@gmail.com
503-358-3048

Candace Achenbach, Portland Toy Drive Marketing Support Specialist
PortlandToyDrive@gmail.com
503-844-9200

www.PortlandToyDrive.com
www.facebook.com/PortlandToyDrive
http://twitter.com/pdxtoydrive

Posted in American, Business Cards, business plan, greenest city, Local News, Portland, Portland Charity, Portland Fire & Rescue, Portland Toy Drive, pro bono work, Toy and Joy Makers | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Serious Blog & SEO Tips For Serious Small Businesses and Professionals

On Thursday 24th June 2010 Beth Schillaci, President and Founder of VillageWorks Communications, an entrepreneur was the guest for a small business Tweetchat. A tweetchat is a conversation on Twitter where participants connect the conversation by searching for keywords known as hashtags and respond to them. This Tweetchat had the #smallvolution hastag for following Tweetchats.

There was such great info in the chat and here is a summary of the questions and answers from the participants.

What should small businesses consider when looking to start blogging?

  • When thinking about blogging, companies should think about goals first. What info you want to share and who will blog
  • Content creation  -getting in habit of looking at daily business from blogging perspective (@eyeinfo)
  • Reasons to blog: Thought leadership, education, seo, branding, customer service and event promo
  • The blog is the hub or center of your business community, usually. Another key reason to maintain a blog w/social links (@CreativeSage)
  • Your biz blog is also a content mgmt system- tag, archive, categorize, track posts/comments, RSS, objects…(@loudoun)

How important is adding some branding/personality to your small biz blog?

  • I think customers love to see/hear the personality of a company (@bethschillaci)

Are there pros/cons to a single person blogging versus a group of people participating in the blog, esp. for small biz?

  • A group spreads the responsibility but best for 1 person to be the main point of contact
  • small business with a single blogger time constraints can be tasking
  • A group I work with has spread it across 12 people to lessen time commitment. #smallvolution One person is main editor
  • You can also invite Guest blog posts from customers and associates to help make it a multi team of bloggers (@shashib)
  • Having your own blog is a great way to promote your message and position as a thought leader/expert
  • A group spreads the responsibility but best for 1 person to be the main point of contact (@bethschillaci)
  • Blogging helped me find my inner author, never published before, finding it challenging, fun, rewarding @eyeinfo

How do you generate blog post ideas?

  • @bethschillaci questions left in comments on other blogs (or yahoo answers etc) make great blog post topics.
  • Honestly try to tie pop culture to Smallbiz – Ex: http://bit.ly/dd8gK5 (@kikscore)
  • This is huge: 6 Tips to Instantly Improve Your Blog by @lisabarone via @Smallbiztrends http://bit.ly/9GSCQ7 (@TJMcCue:)

If multiple team members share a blog, how do you maintain a voice/tone?

  • Voice can vary by author but overall goals should be shared by the group

Should SEO be a top consideration when starting a Blog?

  • SEO is a great goal but for a business blog, I feel that producing content that is useful to the reader is most important (@bethschillaci)
  • SEO should be a constant consideration for your blog, but content is always King. SEO is a tool.
  • Creating content that is useful to the reader only helps SEO. The two cooperate, not compete. (@bencookNS)
  • Mix up your blog posts with video, pictures, and audio some times. (@bethschillaci)

How do you find the right blog for your interests?  I have tried goggling but not sure I really am finding what is out there

  • blogsearch.google.com/ good place 2 start
  • maybe the first step is to search for blogs  in your field and comment there

What is the most effective frequency for blogging – daily? Weekly?

  • Blogging weekly is hard but keeping an editorial calendar might help.
  • Reports say the more the better. I’m a fan of quality over quantity. No less than once a week.
  • If it’ s just U blogging, try 2 post once a week consider posting a photo w/a short tag line as a  post when stretched 4 time

Any recommendations for ways to promote a new blog, gain an audience

  • Promote new blog by commenting on other blogs, linking  other social accts add to email signature
  • Remember when adding RSS to your blog, also offer subscription by email. Feedburner is great for this (@bethschillaci)
  • Negative comments can definitely be good for generating conversation (@bethschillaci)
  • I want my blog to be secondary to my content.  So, I actually want a link to my blog on my main website. (@YaoTyus)

How important are niches, to blogging?

  • A niche allows you to focus your blog more easily. For business blog, stick with your business niche.
  • People with tighter niches tend to do better with attracting audience and advertisers (@bethschillaci)

Do you recommend WordPress over Blogger?

I like self-hosted over free blogs. Better control, better customization no changing terms of service. (@bethschillaci)

  • I prefer #WordPress & recommend using it on your own domain. Keep the link juice you attract! ( @skitzzo)
  • Recommend WordPress more customizable, better built-in SEO, thousands of great plug-ins, helpful community (@creativesage)
  • yes use WordPress, also have to ensure blog hosted on your web domain for max exposure (@andrewsmith1443)
  • Hosting your blog on your site (yoursite.com/blog) means links to the blog will help your entire site’s rankings. (@bencookNS)
  • When setting up your self-hosted blog, add comment spam filter and analytics (@bethschillaci)
  • Most of the blog templates that I see seem to have a set format that is blog centralized. (@YaoTyus)
  • You don’t have to have the blog on home page. My site http://www.villageworks.net is built on WordPress (@bethschillaci)
  • Have you looked at Joomla? It is a comprehensive CMS and very powerful.  (@lavanyad)

What is SEO ?

  • SEO is the art of getting your site to rank higher in searches. It stands for Search Engine Optimization. (@benCookNS)

Any good examples of small biz blogs?

I have been blogging for a while now but am still not very clued up on how to monetize effectively

  • Monetization can be done several ways. @problogger is a great resource for monetization (@bethschillaci)

Is there recommended developer or type of person or resource for finding a website develop

  • Ask for referrals from people that have sites you like. (@bethschillaci)
  • You need to find someone you are comfortable with.  IMO the more nerdy the better- look for less sales, more nerd. (@ckieff)

Any tips on what to avoid when blogging?

  • People sometimes fear negative comments. I say B prepared, have comments policy & open them up 4 comments. (@bethschillaci)
  • Try to avoid constant selling. Provide information that educates and resonates with your audience. (@bethschillaci)
  • Social media and blogging do not live on their own. Integration is key (@creativesage)
  • SM strategy works best if it’s integrated with your entire bus. dev, mktg, PR & CRM/SCRM, rather than just in sep. parts. (@creativesage)
  • Tie it all into one message and take it to where the audience is. (@creativeSage)
  • We sometimes get hung up on each detail, not seeing the whole context enough. Multiple channels.. (@Creativesage)

How important is it to use photos and/or videos when blogging? Where can I get free or low cost images?

  • I like to use a bunch of photos if possible (under a cut).  I take most of my own. (@bethschillaci)
  • I blog you blog everyone blogs. What gets readers back? Multi-media content does  (@lotajune)
  • Add media to your blogs- if you write a recap of this tweetchat here is a picture for you http://flic.kr/p/8cZZ2M (@shashib)
  • Research all the different Creative Commons licenses before using Flickr pics. Some are not for biz use. (@ckieff)
  • I come back to a blog if it’s interesting, intelligent, and has personality. Multimedia doesn’t really matter. (@jesshibb)
  • Take your own photos if at all possible. If you look for photos on Flickr, make sure you respect copyright/CC. (@jesshibb)

I blog at http://lavanyad.com – used to do so frequently but have lately lost my mojo.

Here is a question that needs another chat or for you readers to comment and point us to more resources .Any suggestions for technical step-by-step set-up  process for new bloggers?

The article was possible only because of the excellent discussion and conversation by the participants of the #smallvolution tweetchat . Thank you.

Content Credit: http://smallbiztrends.com/2010/07/how-to-blog-effectively-to-market-your-small-business.html#comment-766751

Posted in American, Blogging, Business Cards, business plan, business success, entrepreneurs, marketing ideas, marketing plan, Registered Agents, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, small biz trends, Virtual Offices | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Portland Get’s #1 Summer Destination By Travel & Leisure: This Is Good News For Portland Business

PORTLAND, Ore. — Despite not starting until — hopefully — sometime in July, summer in Portland was voted No. 1 by Travel + Leisure for seasonal travel destinations.

The ranking listed the Rose City a top vacation spot for its parks and its farmers markets.

Travel + Leisure chose cities based on good weather — and some of the hottest cities ranked lowest. They also looked at family-friendliness, great parks and access to outdoor activities.

The plethora of local produce and food fanatic farmer’s markets in town also helped push Portland to No. 1.

Neighbor to the north Seattle ranked third. And coming in last of the 32 cities — was Phoenix mostly for its average temp of 91 degrees.

See the whole list here

Content Credit: http://tinyurl.com/nwexec1

Posted in American, business success, entrepreneurs, greenest city, Internet Marketing, Portland, Portland Business, summer destination, Travel & Leisure, twitter, Virtual Offices, Web Design | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Business Professionals Surveyed: What are the 3 most important things to you when starting a business?

NW Exec (we are a consulting and advisory firm that specializes in business development) went directly to the top executives and business professionals within our network and asked them what was most important when starting a business. A compilation the top 30 of these expert tips are organized below for our clients and subscribers to use as tools for their own business goals.

  1. Find a good accountant. They can help you in many ways, and they are risk adverse and an entrepreneur needs this as a balance.
  2. Find a good banker. If you have a good accountant they will likely help find you a good banker. “pick a banker not a bank” is a quote from someone I cannot remember, but it is true. If they are good you just got a FREE business consultant, and oddly enough they will be worth more than most you pay for.
  3. Find an attorney and HR consultant. The attorney in my field is essential and a good one is rare. I am lucky. The HR consultant is also key. Good talent, rules for them to follow, and metrics for growth will come from a good one. I went with Pamela Moore from Compass Human Resources and I will tell you she is worth every penny I paid her.
  4. Target Customers. My Target Customers and why should someone buy my product (or service). Something that works for me is -> try to put myself in their shoes and try to understand why would someone buy my product? The market differentiator that would make my product unique.
  5. Access the Demand and Benefits. Is there a demand for your product or service? What is the benefit? You need a product or service that provides a solution to a problem or a physical or emotional benefit.
  6. Business Identity. It is very important to create your own unique identity in whatever business you are in. It is also important to remember that your success relies on your ability to serve your customer, not the other way around.
  7. Get a Mentor. It is also extremely important if you are starting out; to find a mentor who is established in the business arena you want to go into. Their experience and insight can literally save you years of trial and error, and if you can create a business that is mutually beneficial, the sky is the limit to your success. What a number of people forget is the isolation and depression that most people who run companies go through. It would be advantageous to get a mentor, or even seek to job swap with some one else in a similar position (non competitive business). Here you are both able to learn and have positive impacts on each others business. It is sometimes a case of woods and trees. Getting too close to your business can blind you to faults and opportunities. The most successful people in business have all made it a point to surround themselves with many people and at least one close mentor who can be a positive influence and show them the ropes. You can learn from their failures and triumphs and have a huge advantage in your own personal journey towards business ownership!
  8. First Clients. The one and only thing that matters most when you start your business is who your first 5 clients will be, and how you would provide your product/service so that it helps them better their business.
  9. Finances Evaluation. Specifically does the business have a clear picture of their financial needs and cash flow.
  10. Business Plan. Create a simple, professional business name with a professional logo and marketing plan that integrates everything together. Your business plan (yes, you must have one) should be flexible and reviewed often. Does the business have one and how detailed is it, in terms of exploring what the business does, how it does it, and how it will tell the community. You must use a plan, then plan and revisit it on a regular basis. Use your accountant as a sounding board. From here set goals and do not become distracted, unless you identify an opportunity that is within your abilities, then go back to the plan. Planning will enable you to be single minded about your business.
  11. Marketing Plan. Related to Business Plan, but different enough that it should have its own plan which explores how new and traditional marketing will be used to establish and sustain relationships with clients and prospects. How I am going to market my business to my niche audience?
  12. Research. It has to be saleable so do your market research before you spend a dime. Research the market to establish that the product/service fulfils a need and that you can see a competitive edge to it. Test this proposition with as many stakeholder types as possible and look for the show stopper difficult questions. You have to first study about the product you want to introduce. Also the latest position about marketing that product.
  13. Referrals. Get those first customers and treat them like royalty – referral and recommendations from happy customers don’t come with a PR or marketing budget cost. Remember the practice of referrals and refer business to anyone you can. Become a resource to others, and they will be a resource to you.
  14. Focus on Goals. Don’t lose sight of the goal once the business develops its day to day momentum. If you are still in the initial stages of determining what things I should know about starting a business, then you will need to be sure to write out your financial and business goals. Make a timeline as well for when you hope to achieve them. Why do you want to start a business and what do you hope to accomplish? Do you want something hands-on that will require your presence in order to run smoothly or are you hoping for something more automated to allow a more flexible schedule for travelling and family time?
  15. Maintain Flexibility. Plan and be Flexible to take new directions if they present themselves to be sound business ventures.
  16. Business Model. The business model is how you create and capture value. Way to often people uses all their imagination on the product, thus leaving no creativity to the actual business. Business model innovation can be just as much a source of advantage or revenue as product innovation.
  17. Competitive Advantage. Any business should have something that makes it difficult for others to copy. For the startups that get loads of buzz it’s usually some IP protection (patent, copyright, design, trademark), but it can also be control over a resource that’s hard to come by (the “own the oil field” strategy), or having large switching costs (Facebook).
  18. Do What You Love. You should love what you do because you’ll be doing it all the time. For me, starting a business means pouring one’s heart and soul into that business. So, I would want to make sure that the business that I start is one that I want to make my life.
  19. Study Sales. Know how to sell because you WILL have to be a salesperson. Read everything that you can starting with Tom Hopkins’ books on selling (you are always selling, even if it is only yourself).
  20. Identity. First and foremost, before you have an idea, a plan or money, look at yourself and be honest: are you an entrepreneur? Too often, too many people start a company based on a romanticized idea of personal freedom that comes along with starting your own business. Quite the opposite is true and if you are not willing to give it all you got or if you simply to not have the skills or knowledge; don’t do it. 50% of all start-ups won’t make it through the first year and only 10% will survive over all.
  21. Cost Analysis. Possible revenues and expenses to run the business.
  22. Delegation. Will you hire employees or doing your self. Try to divide work among a partner.
  23. Location. Selecting the “right” location; some professionals will argue the top 3 things are location, location and location.
  24. Financing. You must know where your funds to operate are going to come from.  Know what your break even is each month and what it will take to become profitable.
  25. Fundamentals. You should plan on being professional, passionate about your business, and personable. If you are all those, then you would also be ethical and honest and believe in customer service.
  26. Networking. Be intelligent about providing services or products that people actually will pay for, not ones that you think they should want. Then market, network, market, and network. Remember karma, the art of giving to others what you want to receive back.
  27. Study Online Marketing. Possibly the most important of the things I should know about starting a business, is that in this day in age, almost everything is done online. Most of the world tends to shop, socialize, communicate and do business online. So whether you intend on owning a bricks and mortar business or something using the power of the internet, you will need to understand how to market your business online. Unfortunately some people think that having a website will be enough when it comes to building an online presence. But when you consider the sheer enormity of the world wide web, you need to understand that just having a website without putting any real time into properly marketing and advertising your business online to drive people to your websites, you’ll likely just float around the internet and never be found. So it is crucial that you enroll in an online marketing and mentoring school with the ability to train you in the important skills of online branding and internet marketing.
  28. The long term vision. Know that this is going to be a daunting task and a journey of many steps, focus on the prize and how you are going to get there and don’t let short term discouragement slow you down!
  29. Timing. Being ahead of, or better planned than the competition.
  30. Create your own. Email us (info@nwexec.com) or leave a comment with yours!

At NW Exec we thrive on sharing ideas and networking.  Please feel free to check us out http://nwexec.com and reach out to us.  Also invite us to your networking events!

Posted in business identity, business success, Find Accountant, Find attorney, get a mentor, marketing plan, Online Research, research, target customer, Virtual Offices, Web Design | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment