29 September 2012, by A. Cedilla
When you’ve made your decision on the business you’re getting into, you have to commit to what you’re planning to do, because if it’s something you only tolerate, you’ll be crippled right out of the gate.
See, doing stuff only for the money is a very nice thing, financially speaking — nothing wrong with being able to cover the necessities, and a little sumptin’ sumptin’ to make you happy — but realistically speaking, how long will ‘nice’ hold up for you in the context of your life?
In the long run, if money’s the only thing you get, this leaves you with nothing but trouble in the places money can’t cover; sooner or later the imbalance will ripple out into the other areas of your life. What you do has to be a fit between your personality, your interests and your goals.
What business to get into depends on what your interests and strengths are. You also have to have some concrete plans that support your answers to the following questions: Continue reading Shaping Up For Your New Business
22 September 2012, by A. Cedilla
How do you lay the foundations for a new business — one of your very own — while you’re still employed?
- You’ve been thinking about it for quite a while now. Especially on those days when it seems everyone in your office (and out of it) is breathing down you neck with their impatient follow-ups for Things Owed, Things Past Due, and Things They Need Right Now. When you hit your limits, you just want to shut them out, or snipe at them to shut up, and just walk away.
- You long for the freedom to pick your own hours and sleep when you need to, instead of trying not to suffocate in traffic. You want to be happy on Mondays, not morose on Sundays because, yes, you guessed it, tomorrow’s a Monday. You don’t want to keep doing what you’re doing now. You want to make something new, do things your own way.
- You want something more. You want to be in charge of your life and where it goes, and you believe having your own business is the way to do it. And something is just telling you it’s time to make a serious change.
And you’re making plans to do so.
On your lunch break you fill pages with scribbles about your ideas, and draw a lot of contingency plans. After work you squeeze all the free time you can into doing the research, making contacts, crunching the numbers, and preparing the paperwork. As you plan, you keep working. You know you have a great idea, but it takes time to get things up to speed, since you still need to work and save some fall-back money, and well as store up more capital for your business idea.
What else can you do to make the break easier for everyone concerned? Continue reading Making the Leap From Employee to Entrepreneur
15 September 2012, by A. Cedilla
No business can survive without customers. This is true whether you operate a brick-and-mortar store, or run a purely online enterprise.
The issue in the virtual world is that there are a myriad of business competing in various areas of e-commerce, and unless you’re in a very specialized niche, you’re likely to have a lot of competition. How can you make sure that the people in your target market can find you?
You have to let them know you’re there, and you have something that can answer their needs. That involves getting people’s attention – spreading information about your possession of something — a product and-or a service –that can help the people in your particular market.
For a business that physically services a particular community, it can mean posters, signage and flyers announcing your services, hours and rates.
For a business that’s virtual, it can mean using SEO and a targeted information campaign, as well as a well-designed website with an FAQ and a communication set-up that can process additional inquiries from people interested in your product.
Getting word of mouth around can be as simple as asking your readers or customers to forward your newsletter to people they think can use your services, or using social media to gather followers, or asking for ‘likes’ if they liked your post or article. Positioning your product on-line can take judicious SEO, while positioning yourself as a reliable expert in your field takes time and networking on the way to getting known.
Part of running a business is taking a professional approach to public relations from the ground up. Now, the following is a thinking exercise.Connect the dots and make your own story about the picture that comes out: Continue reading Answer Other People’s Problems To Solve Your Own