You are sitting there with a pile of reports in front of you and you are trying to prioritize which will get your attention first. You take a deep breath and close your eyes. There comes a moment when you think to yourself “I had enough. It is time to go.” You get up and head down the hall. Then, you wipe the sweat off your brow produced from the quick walk you forced yourself to take to clear your mind. Your rational mind speaks up and shouts “You need this job. Sit down and get to work.” Many of you can relate to that moment on the ledge when you realize that you lacking the passion and motivation to continue. But you do, because there are a thousand reasons why you cannot leave – yet. Deep from your emotion storage locker, the dream of you running your own successful business venture pops back into view. Two things are apparent here; you have to stop talking to yourself and stop rejecting the possibility of pursuing your dream or purpose.
Success can happen by taking some very important steps towards achieving your greatest potential – your own business. It will require that you take steps to help you in learning new skills and to gain confidence. It is about establishing the right mindset for growth. We can choose to stay or you can choose to create a plan for yourself that reinforce and motivate you to build your DREAM. It takes time and effort.
Here are a few things that you can do to get closer in making your dream a reality.
Tell someone about your DREAM
Words have power and intention. It is time to have some serious conversations surrounding what your dream is with others. It starts with opening you mouth to share your concept with a “trusted few”. The more you hear yourself say it out loud, the more it starts to sound real. And believe me when I say a trusted few. Trusting others with your DREAM is hard, you can ask them to sign a “non-disclosure agreement” to keep what is being share confidential, which provides you legal recourse if they do breach your confidence.
Stretch yourself every day outside of your comfort zone
Warning – Stretch means change. There are countless learning opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to attend outstanding business workshops and seminars. There is such a thriving environment everywhere that cultivates new businesses. Learning is taking place every day in person and online. There are no excuses in locating the right informational workshop to help you improve your skills and gain industry insight that will benefit you. Start your search now.
My 25 years corporate career served me well. I was able to use these experiences as part of the foundation for my business startup, but there were things I did not know about running my business full time. I had to be willing to identify my weaknesses and admit “ I don’t know what I don’t know.” I had to place myself in a position to search for information, financial resources and tools. I turned to organizations like the University of Houston Small Business Development Center, the local Small Business Administration and other local business organizations and chambers. There is something always going on that can help small business owners succeed. If you are willing to learn, there is an expert ready to help in your local city.
Locate a business coach or business development consultant
This is a big one – getting help! If you remember you have been talking to YOURSELF for a long time. By allowing experts to analyze your DREAM through their filters can be daunting at first, yet valuable. A coach or consultant is an important part of a small business owner’s game plan. Whether it’s to help you to manage SEO efforts, accounting, or content production, these people help ease much of the stress associated with managing these tasks. They become your cheerleader, your task master, your sounding board and your guide. In short, they are there for you — to support and push you to achieve you’re your success. And they truly have your best interest in mind.
A quick note, if you choose to work with a coach or consultant, make certain they can provide you with authentic certifications, a verifiable business track record, niche, costs and referrals before you write a check. There are too many people calling themselves “coach” or “expert”. Yet, they have never run a business nor taken their products to market. This extra step will save you countless headaches later.
Obtain information in the industry you desire to enter
As an entrepreneur two of your biggest resources are time and money. You cannot afford to waste either. Increasing your industry knowledge gives you a competitive advantage and assists you in the growth of your business. In addition to learning as much as possible about the history of your line of business, ensure that you update yourself on the current trends and the latest news in your industry. It will truly serve you to schedule time for industry education and research. Make this an important component of your professional growth.
I know when I started my second business venture – a unique line of stationary called Yo Soy Expressions. I didn’t know anything about the stationery business outside visiting the local drug store and looking for the right card category to make my purchase. I was tasked with learning how products are manufactured and who produces them? What are the advantages of buying materials wholesale? Where are the buyers for my potential products? Who will my products best serve? How will I monetize this idea? I had to be willing to venture outside of my comfort zone to gain industry knowledge to launch my products and be competitive.
Create a PLAN of Action – Short and Long Term
“What gets written, gets done.” – It is important to remember these words. The components of a strong action plan or better yet a business plan is your roadmap to success. Remember, your idea has to move from an idea/dream to a productive revenues generating entity. It is going to take lots of action to develop each possibility. It starts with writing down ideas; create structures and outlining tactical strategies on how your business will operate to ensure your vision. Short and long action goals will serve as a benchmark of your progress. Each completed task becomes an indication that you are getting closer to your grand opening. Remember the plan will help provide a clear vision, structure and increase the probability for success.
Your dream is possible. It will take sharing first. Then trusting, learning and when you are really ready, taking action. Don’t waste any more time!
Ivette Mayo is an award winning entrepreneur, business strategist, leadership expert and author. Visit website www.ivettemayo.com Ivette is always ready to encourage, empower and support women to be POWERFUL. Follow Ivette Mayo on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Evaluate the Money – Entrepreneurs Building Success into Your Business
In the past, women may have once been characterized and encouraged into certain professions, but no longer are they simply expected to do gender-specific jobs. The sky is the limit to what women can do today. I love seeing professional women taking control of their careers and future in a way that works best for them. This includes when and how they pursue their dreams and start their own businesses.
Every woman has the ability to start a business that’s significant to them. We are no longer regulated to old mindsets and traditional roles. What women are passionate about has become more important. Women need to be encouraged and supported to tap into what they’re good at and what makes them feel strong and POWERFUL! And, making money at it and little fulfillment doesn’t hurt! It is important to find resources that will help you get started.
As to what kind of business should you start, it’s up to you. Once you decide to head out on your entrepreneurial journey, you will have many other decisions to make that will require some research.
What are you going to call your business? How do you find out of if there is another other business with your name? What does it take to operate a business like yours? Does your city, county, or state have licensing, certificate requirements or other regulation’s needed to operate your business? Is there a need for your business or are you creating a need? Who are your ideal customers and how are they going to find your business? Will they pay for your products/services? Questions like these are will have to be answered. You don’t want to be in business for a while and find out you didn’t do everything necessary such as these business startup basics. You will find you created some hurdles for yourself and now may face additional costs.
Real Money Talk
If you have no savings, no money and bad credit, you should not start a business. I suggest saving up 20 to 30 percent per paycheck for a year before begin your business. These funds will be needed for startup costs, such as licenses, certificates, registrations and many other items you have not planned for yet. There are several other options to consider too, like using someone else’s money to get started – a small business loan or angel investor. Make note, all of these options require a strong business plan, not just a passionate idea.
Where to start
Building a business from the ground up is challenging no matter how you look at it. Ultimately, you should love what you do. Start with something you to do well and are passionate about. Then identify details about running your business and general costs. These factors will serve as a driving force in your success. You have to maximize your knowledge and skills about the product or service you can provide. Most important, not letting passion be your only fuel. Knowledge will provide sustainability.
If starting a business from the ground up is not an option. You may want to consider purchasing an existing business, franchise, multi- level marketing or direct sales business. Those business types already have products and systems in place. You just need to learn those systems to be successful. When considering investing into a MLM or direct sales business, make certain it fits your lifestyle and does not have recurring cost(s) that you cannot manage long term.
One factor to consider is how technology has transformed our ability to start a business. No longer is a storefront needed. Depending on your business, your marketplace is online and can be local, national and global. Research costs and functionality of website development your business will need. Yes, there are free options out that you can use to “BUILD YOUR OWN”. They are tempting! Check out all your options first. The costs due vary. I would always encourage you to use other women-owned business or small business owners that can build your website and brand. check out www.localmarketingsuite.com and www.fenixcreatives.com You can even go to sites and request bids from various vendors too www.freelancers.com
Another cost effective way can be to explore your options via social media platforms. Many small business owners promote their business to their networks via on Facebook and Instagram. These options are FREE, but require lots of attention and effort on your part.
This is one of the hardest things you will have to do. The secret to business success is pricing your products right. Price your products and services correctly and it will enhance how much you sell. Most importantly, it is the foundation for a prosperous business. Get your pricing strategy wrong and you may create problems that your business may never be able to overcome Today, far too many times I come across business owners that struggle with pricing their products/services correctly. Being in business to lose money is not your goal.
Consider two quick exercises to help you get started.
- Competitive Analysis – Seek out businesses in your area (competitors) and review what they are charging for your similar products and services. Plus, what makes them unique.
- Costs Analysis – Determined your breakeven costs. Review those costs to produce the product or service for increases. Estimate your earnings.
Meet Sara – She loves to bake. She has decided to start a specialty cake business from home. She is not certain what she should charge. She purchases all her supplies from the local stores
Sara’s Specialty Cake Expenses
- Cost of supplies per cake $6
- Electric/Gas $3
- Time to produce 90 minutes x Hourly rate $10 (Your time has value.)
- $23 is your break even costs for one specialty cake
Based on her breakeven cost, Sara will have to charge more than $23 per cake to recover her expenses. Please note, she has not made a profit yet. Retail pricing principles recommend that you double or triple your cost. This means Sara should charge $46 or $69 per cake or reduce her cost to get started. Sara’s cake better be more than delicious at that price.
Manage Costs Upfront
Minimize spending on your supplies. Figure out where and how to buy direct from suppliers, purchase items wholesale or in bulk. Your job will be to SAVE money not just make money.
Customer Payment Behaviors
You have to have a clear understanding on how your customer pays. Most people today do not carry cash on hand. Learning about POS for small businesses or online payment solutions is important. PayPal or Square are just a few options. Remember these services providers have fees attached to them. Factor those costs as part of the costs of doing business.
Find a TRUSTED Adviser
These are people who will help you succeed, that you trust to support or lend a hand to get the business started. You will not have all the answers, the more receptive you are to learning from others, the more you and your business will grow! Especially when it comes to following the money. I know for me this was hard. I have always been challenged with trusting others and managing money. Allowing others to step into my business really at times was very emotional for me. My reality check came when I had to tell myself I am not good at everything and I had to get help. I had to let a trusted advisor in to help me be successful. Getting a trusted advisor such as an accountant helped me monitor expenses, pay taxes and stay on top of all those accounting functions that are critical to your business. You have to follow the money!
If you are currently in business, I am hopeful the information provided can serve as a quick reminder of what you should be doing. Especially when it comes to pricing and check in on the competition. For the aspiring entrepreneur, it is time to JUMP and take that leap of faith – Believe in yourself and your purpose. Most importantly, learn to be financial competent when it comes to your money. You future business depends on it.
Ivette Mayo, is an award winning entrepreneur, business strategist, leadership expert and author. Visit website www.ivettemayo.com
Ivette is always ready to encourage, empower and support women to be POWERFUL. Follow Ivette Mayo on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
A progressive, innovative, honest, and unapologetic leader that desires to teacher; and whose purpose is to serve others to walk in their POWER daily!
To assist in turning challenges into possibilities for learning and positive change in life and business. To stir up the desire for greater collaboration and increase sharing among women. Most importantly, stir up productive and profitable change in you – Personally and Professionally!
Who Am I?
I truly love this stage in my life. Each day is filled with new and rewarding experiences. I love my work and the ability to help people connect to skills, information and tactical strategies they need to GROW their business and interests. I enjoy sharing tips and lessons learned along the way. By keeping your success in the forefront, opens me up to share valuable business and leadership skills and mynetwork of POWERFUL Innovators!
I am an Award winning Entrepreneur. Business Strategist, Leadership Expert, and Author
Founder of Power On Heels Network and the POWER of I on Facebook
And I cannot forget, I LOVE POLKA DOTs!
What You Can Expect
I want to commit my energy to provide content that will help you to – Be Better and Do Better!
Remember everyone needs these topics like these to last in today’s changing marketplace. I am prepared to bring these valuable topics and many others to you through my blog. But you have to make one commitment right now. You have to be ready to plug into your POWER!
- Developing your Powerful Language
- Asking for WHAT you WANT and NEED
- Toot Your Own Horn
- Increase your Tolerance for RISK
- And so much more
This space will allow me the opportunity to share what will your move the needle – upward. I cannot wait to share my suggestions and guidance with you!
Ready – Set – GROW!