Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Surprising Reasons to Start Your Own Business

The motivations for starting a business run the gamut from running away from corporate life to running towards making a lot of money. Regardless where you fall on that line, some of the most common reasons people start a business may set them up to struggle if not down-right fail in this effort.

Be My Own Boss

Many people start a business because they are tired of dealing with the vagaries of working for someone—or something like a corporation—else. Unfortunately there is a serious problem with this reasoning. Take a look at the statement: if you’re going to be your own boss that means you’re still just going to be working a job. A different job than you had before, but still a job. Running your business is nothing like working a job.

Take a minute and really consider: I’m completely serious about this. If you want to be your own boss, don’t start a business. Become an independent contractor, a sales person with a route, or something similar. I’ve done all of these well things and made good money at each one. Most people find that the things that drive you crazy as an employee are much easier to deal with when you’re an independent contractor/consultant in the same arena. And in most cases once a project is completed you can move on to something else.

Starting and running a business so much more than a job. You must become more than an employee or a boss. While I love it and believe with all my heart that anyone can learn to be a successful entrepreneur with the right help, each person must answer the important questions about why and how they want to do this type of venture. I took one of my clients through this process and he found out that starting new business actually wasn’t his top priority at this time in his life. That’s HUGE!

So what is a good reason for starting a business? In truth you need three things to make it a success.

The Three-Way StartUp Success Formula

#1 An usual method or approach: Very few completely new markets exist. Most businesses or services are new combination or updated product to handle an existing problem. No matter your product, service, or focus you must have a unique approach to make it work. Since you ARE unique this isn’t as hard as it might seem. Your unique spin on your business however is essential to your success. Even if you’re doing something as routine as being an insurance agent, you must identify and magnify the qualities that make your business different from others around you.

#2 Spending less capital on the startup: If you’re going to succeed, you’ve got to take advantage of every way to save money on the startup process you can. I’m not saying you should cut corners so much people can’t take you seriously. And over and over again I’ve watched people romanticize starting a business and spend money in wasteful ways. You can spend money in literally hundreds of ways that will not increase your bottom line. Don’t do it! Your money needs to go into growing the business not your ego or other crazy things many new entrepreneurs fall into. (My eBook on just how to do this will be out early this fall if you want to get head start on saving money AND starting your business.)

#3 Unique understanding of your market: This one is perhaps the hardest factor to discover and create. Many new entrepreneurs in service businesses don’t know yet what their ideal customer is like. So this may feel like a Catch 22. That’s one of the reasons I offer The StartUp Genius Online Bootcamp. You CAN start this process effectively while learning who your idea customer is. And the standard methods for accomplishing this often slow new entrepreneurs down rather than speeding up their success.

So when you consider starting your business, start with your best foot forward: realize you are NOT the boss and this isn’t just another job. It’s much, much more. Then add in the three qualities of a successful startup to increase your chances of success. There are no guarantees for a startup. If you dream of running your own business, however, you may be guaranteed regret if you don’t ever do it.

Wishing you Success & Heart,

Heidi Sue

Friday, July 9, 2010

What does it take to create a successful startup?

Startup companies come in many flavors and styles. From solo ventures that power ahead despite the usual odds to dream teams that manage to fail despite the expectations, what do you need to make your startup dream a success?

Here are the key factors for a startup company that will make the bank—or break you in the process.

Ability: Although most people know Einstein’s famous quote that inspiration is 99% perspiration, in reality if you don’t have the 1% spark of some kind of genius there’s nothing build on a goal worth the perspiration. And right now is a great time to take your talent and build on it. Lots of smart, valuable people simply can’t find work.

2010 is a powerful startup environment for this reason. And the same basic idea applies: add to your personal genius strength. Whatever it is about your drive to do this business that is different and unique can be used to attract others with compatible genius you need. In fact, it’s best to work with others who are talented in ways you are not. You can create the phonebook-strength rather than reinforcing only your own abilities.

Entrepreneurial Attitude: Have you ever worked for a company where your co-workers were great and the rules of the company made everyone crazy? Well one of the secrets to creating a successful startup is creating an environment, a way of doing business, which allows entrepreneurial success. Valuing attributes such as creativity, inspiration, discussion, and testing ideas is key to having everyone support you in a powerful way.

Even if you outsource things rather than hiring employees, the attitude you instill into your entire process is still essential. It becomes nearly intangible and in turn gets other people excited about you and your business.

Oddness: The quality of oddness may be the hardest to explain and grasp. The idea encapsulates actions such as choosing and working within an area of the market that is either under-utilized or seen as too risky. You can literally take this in a couple directions. Perhaps you have a truly unique way to work with an existing market or product segment. In fact most innovate products come from updates of something that already exists and taking it in a completely different direction.

An oddity might be doing something this is completely counterintuitive to what’s happening in the market. When you know the rules, break them deliberately and do so in a way that creates success you create a very hot property. And lots of people will observe this and be sure you’ll fail. Is failure possible, of course. It is not however guaranteed.

Instinct: Entrepreneurs and startup companies typically need a lot of help. The question is who do you trust? Too often excitement overrules common sense and gut-smarts. If you’re considering an engagement with someone as a result of your startup, trust your senses. Seems too good to be true? It probably is. Something about this person gives you pause? Resolve that before moving forward. Developing your instincts on who to trust, how much and when makes a huge difference to your success.

What’s the most powerful way to create your startup? Combine these elements into one thing, one dream, one plan. Any one idea shared here increases your chance for success. Combined you move from addition to multiplication. We’re all looking for more powerful results.

Good luck with your venture—I look forward to hearing what you discover as you work these ideas into your startup.

Wishing you Success & Heart,

Heidi Sue