Okay, let’s have a show of hands? Who here is tired of hearing about a recession? I thought so, almost everyone. If you think that our 24-hour exposure to news channels has helped to exacerbate the recent downturn and that those analysts just tend to over analyze, then you are not alone. Regardless of how we have endured this journey, it is time to focus on the new year and the new decade upon us. Now is as good a time as any in history to start a new business and it has been proven time and again that a new enterprise can really flourish as it emerges, like a phoenix from a recession.
Here are some top tips to consider when starting a business on the heels of a rough economy.
1. You gotta have a plan.
You might be tempted to look at business in general and marketing in particular through the eyes of the latest technology, but you still have to have a well thought out and documented plan. You have to be realistic as well and use all resources available to do your research. As we know, there are no excuses for poor research, as the Internet offers us such a wealth.
2. Think outside the box.
People may tell you that there are no new ideas, just revisions to existing concepts. Either way you look at it, the idea has to be innovative and it has to have a fresh angle — a USP. Ask some close confidants for their input from a neutral perspective?
3. Have you got the time?
Time management is such a crucial skill for entrepreneurs and you should really spend some of that precious commodity in understanding and implementing various techniques to get this right. If you are totally focused, then you can find the time necessary to understand how much it takes, especially when launching a brand-new concept.
Figure out how you are going to get that message across. You will hopefully have come up with your USP, but you must know how to drive those people out there to purchase your product or service. You must give them a compelling reason to spend the money with you and must be able to practice the very fine art of selling effectively.
5. Over deliver.
Going above and beyond may seem like a sensible approach to running a business, but if we are truthful few of us actually practice it consistently. Over delivery will almost certainly lead to a solid relationship with a client and you should treat every one of them in this way. Word-of-mouth, references and referrals will show if you do.
6. Get your mentors lined up.
If you are saying to yourself — wait a minute, I don’t have any mentors, then you are misinterpreting. Mentors can be good friends, family members, even existing clients. Capitalize on the counsel of people who are experienced in business, marketing, PR, sales, in one facet or another of what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur.
7. Leverage all your assets.
You never know how rich you are until you actually sit down and count it and we are not talking about money, necessarily, although you can certainly leverage your finances to help you move forward. Key contacts, references, business relationships and associations can all be leveraged in one way or the other through the creative mind of the ardent entrepreneur — you.
8. Ride the wave.
Technological developments are arriving before us at breakneck speed, as the world of communication as we know it is changing through the resurgence of social media platforms and personal communication devices. By using and keeping on top of all the tools available to you, you can really boost your efficiency.
9. Allocate time for research.
When we are really busy with client work and marketing efforts, we tend to think of any time "surfing" as wasted, but you should set up time every day to check in with known experts and resources available to you, helping you to lay on the cutting edge of your industry. You can quite easily set up e-mail alerts, RSS feeds and keyword driven assets to help you absorb this information very effectively.
There are many naysayers and you will definitely come across them. This is one of the biggest enemies that an entrepreneur faces — a lack of confidence, self belief or motivation. We can all suffer from it from time to time and you must identify it as a danger. Don’t give up and focus on that tangible goal, one that is in your not too distant future.
Break a leg!