10 Don'ts For Starting A New Business
There is a lot to do when you step out on your own. In your enthusiasm, it is easy to be naive - I've been there. Don't let possible detours drain your enthusiasm for your dream. Each of these DON'Ts is a detour you can and must avoid to start your business strong and fast.
It is important to be realistic about what's important and who really will help you most. Strip away the fantasy to ensure your success. Or indeed you will fall among the statistical 4 out 5 new businesses who fail. Forewarned is forearmed. Be successful.
1. Don't hide in your office.
No one knows how good you are until you get out and show them. Use all the face-to-face marketing tools in your kit. Ask me if you need more.
2. Don't be afraid of the phone.
When you are in business, the phone is your friend. It is a lifeline to your customers. Use it wisely. Ask me if you need skills to improve your results.
3. Don't assume your family and friends will be or will refer to you all the clients you need.
They know you as family and friend. Your business will grow exponentially as soon as you start working outside that circle. Don't wait. Reach outside that comfort zone as fast as you can.
4. Don't go it alone.
Solicit the support of others - experts you need (legal, banker, financial, taxes, computer guru, marketing), your best champion, your best friend, a support group of peers, a trainer, a coach, or if you are very self-disciplined, use courses, books, and audio tape programs. I find a combination is best.
5. Don't ignore planning.
You need a business plan, a marketing plan, a budget, a timeline and goals. No one ever wins the Tour de France without knowing where he is going on each leg of the journey.
6. Don't minimize or apologize for starting your business to anybody. Don't let anyone rain on your parade. They may mean well. They may think they are protecting you, your family or your finances from ruin. Follow your intuition.
7. Don't spend a lot of time or money on your business cards/stationary/logo/etc.
The look and content will likely change as you refine your business and your target market semi-annually at least for the next couple years.
8. Don't postpone opening the doors of your business until everything is ready.
Face it, it's a work in progress and will never be done and that's OK.
9. Don't start with your web page.
It's a costly use of time up front. It does not have to be on the critical path. Yes, you need one. But it will not bring sales. It is simply a tool of credibility, like the Yellow Pages used to be.
10. Don't abandon your family and become a workaholic to get your baby off the ground.
Plan time with them; make it as important as that next sale or contract. After all, they have invested sweat equity most likely. So you want them around you when you savor success too.
About the Author: Kerri Salls offers the Breakthrough Business Results Program to train, consult and coach small business CEO's and entrepreneurs in 10 key strategies to make more profit in less time. Learn more at http://www.breakthrough-business-school.com/products.html or sign up for a free weekly newsletter at http://www.breakthrough-business-school.com.