Coming up with the perfect biz tip to kick off the biztipster site for you, is, well, like asking for one precious raindrop from an ocean of water. I love business. It’s my life. Since I can remember, I love work.
But Operating a business is complicated. Interesting. Fun. Hard.
One minute everything is exhilarating like the pop of a champagne cork flying high, all bubbly and fizzy, and the next, you’re a mere puddle hopelessly drowning in a river of your own business-induced tears.
The old saying, “a business owner wears many hats” is true. But, it’s only a small part of the tapestry of a remarkable business.
Here’s a small bit of the tapestry of my business story. A good start, I hope, for a serious business tip for your business.
In this post, I’m going to share an excerpt from my nonfiction book, now in production. The book is filled with serious business tips and tools, told via a series of true tales of my experiences and lessons learned along the way, for running a successful small business.
The tip I’m sharing here is a lifesaver for any business, any size.Operating a business is complicated. Interesting. Fun. Hard. #biztipsvia @SueAnnBubacz Click To Tweet
After three decades of doing great business, I feel, maybe for the first time, a certain sense of pride and accomplishment. But, a heck of a lot of moving parts and colorful people fill the story well beyond me.
You see, owning and operating a business, even a small one, is demanding, sometimes excruciating. And so you need your one phone call.
My one phone call makes my heart sing. Of course, back then you didn’t know who was calling until you answered the phone. My one call made it to me every single day since day one of business and evolved from landline through caller I.d. to the cell phones era.
Not always at the same time of day, but for every single day in my business life, the phone rings. It reassures me. Constant. And asks me if everything is okay. Do I need anything? What’s going on? Most especially, again, is everything okay? That is so important for you as your kick off your new business and as you go through that first year in business.
My one phone call gave me my first best selling recipe, for Chili. Homemade soups and pies for years came from that same caller, just to help out, no problem, no charge. Questions posed, problems solved, parts delivered, and maintenance guys for every purpose found and sent immediately.
There are a lot of discussions, arguments, opinions, and advice. Sage advice. And, is everything okay with me? A lot of business questions posed and answered in my one phone call and many ideas pondered. Decisions made.
My one caller is a business friend and a propelling force. We spent a whole lot of time laughing together, on our phone call, and in person. My one phone call taught me to bring some humor to business. Humor helps.
Plus, my one phone call changed the trajectory of my business, scoring THE turning point client of all time by bugging an engineer at the Port Authority to use my services. This changed everything, introducing me to the corporate world for catering and from this one single order came years of clients and bigger and bigger events, one after another, directly relating back to this piece of work.
Work the poor engineer was forced into giving me by my biggest fan! My one phone call. Who also disagrees with me, and argues, and challenges, and makes me think.
And checks in, just to make sure everything is okay. We love to laugh. But life sometimes includes crying too, though it’s harder. As time marches on, I know how lucky I am to have one precious phone call and I hope in business you try to have a person you trust with all your heart in your corner too. Be sure to have someone with you to kick off your new business!
While you may think of my one phone call as a source of funny, again something every business needs, my caller represents so much more to my business.
A valuable tool for you in business, no matter how big or small, is a trusted board for a consistent and indispensable resource center always available to you.
Call it an Advisory Board, Sounding Board, Board of Directors, or anything else you like, but having an opportunity to ask questions or get advice from people who know more than you is priceless. Even an accountability buddy helps while you help each other.
Having the ability to discuss questions or ideas for business also helps you make decisions quicker and easier. It’s nice to know you have someplace to go for problems so you can handle them.
Not everyone has a dad who will be your one phone call a day for business checkups. But you can create a little help for yourself when it comes to business by collecting trusted people as resources for your business. And also by forming your own board. Furthermore, there are groups and communities online if you need to kick around ideas for your biz.
Look for trustworthy members with more experience than you. Like my dad says, “I may not be smarter, but I’ve been around a lot longer.” When I was younger, I think he just said that so I would listen to him. Now I know it means it’s smart to borrow experience.Even an accountability buddy helps while you help each other. #biztips Click To Tweet
I spent a lot of time asking other local business owners questions to learn from them as well. Becoming friends with purveyors and gaining their trust gave me the ability to ask more questions and gather extra information and advice from them. I became partners with some of my competitors or suppliers, sharing leads, customers, even equipment.
Resources spring from asking questions, I find. Who knows what will come of it? I have more business friends than otherwise but these relationships span many many years. They go more in-depth than business-only. And my one phone call is my best friend and the best business buddy of all!
You need someone too who is always on your side, even when they disagree with a decision you make or you flub up. Unconditionally available. Just one call away.
Finally, what struggles are you finding as you kick off your new biz?
If you are reading this, chances are you’re considering entrepreneurship.
The concept of becoming a businessperson is both exhilarating and daunting at the same time. Where to begin can be quite intimidating.
Because of these obstacles, this “Business of Business” segment of my blog will come to you in small doses, so as not to overwhelm and squash your enthusiasm. It will focus on the “business” side of developing your entrepreneurship along with the structural side of starting any general business.
It will be brought to you in a series of blogs that will feature “tidbits” of useful information and suggestions. Feedback is appreciated and encouraged.The concept of becoming a businessperson is both exhilarating and daunting at the same time. Where to begin can be quite intimidating. #biztips Click To Tweet
A Business is the activity of making money by producing or buying and selling a product or service. Simply put, it is “any activity or enterprise entered into for profit”. A business does not constitute the automatic assumption that it is a company or a corporation.
If the activity does not make a profit (and is not a not-for-profit or non-profit) then, for legal and tax purposes, it is considered a hobby.
The foremost thought in your mind is to determine whether you can make a profit from your venture or will it become your “hobby”?
Whether your business will be large or small, the “startup” process is still the same. Therefore, there is a host of questions that need answers before you can move forward.
What do you hope to gain from this endeavor? Are you willing to dedicate yourself and your time to making this idea worthwhile and profitable? Or are you looking at this venture as a sideline investment?
Once you formulate your plan, you need to evaluate it. Will it become financially successful? Or are you doing this for self gratification or simply, the “love of adventure”. That’s sort of like a hobby.
Next, let’s assume you’re like most people. You dream about having a little of both. You want to be profitable by doing what you love.
Regardless of whether your idea is related to a product or a service, the concept of any business is virtually the same. The benefits, problems, pitfalls and “headaches”apply equally to any size or type of business.
The only difference is that there may be more dollar signs at the end of the year. But Business is Business no matter what the size. It could be a small “mom and pop” operation or a multi-million-dollar corporation.
Finally, the bottom line is, “A profit is a profit, no matter how small. If you make a profit, then it’s a Business.”
So, you’ve decided, you want to start a profitable business, now what?Finally, the bottom line is, “A profit is a profit, no matter how small. If you make a profit, then it’s a Business.” #business Click To Tweet
You need to confirm, in your mind, if there is a need and a market for your endeavor.
The best way to do that is to evaluate your product, your market and your competition.
A visual analysis of your business plan will awaken you to the reality of your endeavor.
Consider reverting to those yesteryears when the writing implement of choice was a pen 🖊 and paper 📝. While this idea can be out of your comfort zone, writing your thoughts down on paper and seeing them in black and white can give your thoughts and ideas new dimension and a new perspective.
First, begin the process of defining your target audience and doing a market analysis of your product or service. Put, on paper, the answers to these key profitability questions.
Is there a need for your business? Who is your ideal customer? Who can benefit from your product or service? Are there other companies offering the same thing as you? Can you make money by providing this service or selling this product?
If you have difficulty answering these questions, look to your friends and family. Interview them as one of your potential clients. Get their feedback. Conduct a focus group. Look for the answers around you. Search the internet. Then, go with your gut.
What will make your company successful? Do you know what will set you apart from others in your line of business? Why should a customer choose you over another company in your field?
In trying to find answers to these and other questions, you may want to consider identifying your Unique Selling Position – USP.
A unique selling position is a statement that outlines how your business, product, or service is different from that of your competition. It identifies what makes your business the better choice, and why your target clients should choose you over the competition. It’s also an important part in creating “your unique brand” of business.
When creating your USP, be sure to include a vivid description of what your product is or what services you provide. List the things that your business does very well. And, most importantly, what are your customer-focused business goals?In trying to find answers to these and other questions, you may want to consider identifying your Unique Selling Position – USP. #biztips Click To Tweet
Knowledge is power. Know your Competition! Who else is out there competing for your dollars?
It’s imperative that you do your due diligence with competitive market analysis before venturing into any new business.
Today, this process is right at your fingertips. Gone are the days of tedious research and long hours at the library. Most of your research will be comprised of information found on the internet. Regardless of the source of your analytical information, try following the SWOT method.
A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that helps an owner identify his/her strengths and weaknesses. It’s a valuable tool to use as a starting point when dissecting a plethora of information. It will also help you in creating a strategic marketing plan.
Start by listing your…. SWOT.
Strengths: The attributes that will HELP your business. What are your unique skills? Do you have experience with your product or service? What do you do best?
Weaknesses: These are the attributes that could HURT your business. What areas do you need improvement? Do you lack resources? What part of your business is not profitable? Do you know what costs you time and money? Lastly, what resources do you lack?
Opportunities: External conditions that will HELP your venture. What are your business goals? How can you do more with your existing customers or clients? Can you use technology to enhance your business?
Threats: The external conditions that could HURT your company. What obstacles do you face? Do you know the strengths of your biggest competitors? What are your competitors doing that you’re not? What’s going on in the economy? Are there related products and services that provide an opportunity for your venture?
This Part 1 of the Business of Business segment only poses some of the many questions entrepreneurs face when forming a new venture.
There are always more questions to ponder as you focus on the road ahead.
Please drop a comment and let us know what you need to know about starting your business today!