Straight Talk about Hanging Out Your Shingle – Small Business Saturday Perspective

10:20 am Business Success

Since I opened the doors to my small business in 2001, I have met hundreds of business owners and spoken to thousands. Everyone has a reason for hanging out that shingle and doing business. And on Small Business Saturday, I celebrate all who have found the courage to take the journey of starting, growing, and sustaining a small business.

For those who are just making that decision now, listen up.

You want to open this business.  You have a passion for this product/service/idea.  And, the one thing you need to believe and know in your gut before you start is whether or not there are people in the marketplace that both want, need, and are prepared to invest real dollars to get your solution. Otherwise, you are destined for a long and windy learning curve that will not deliver the freedom and profits you read about from friends on Facebook or blogs like this one.

How can you find that out if your idea has legs to run?

1) Do your homework to make sure there is a need for the solution you are offering.

2) Seek out your successful competitors to see how they are serving the marketplace so you can figure out a unique spin that sets your offering apart.

3) Test out your idea with prospective clients who can let you know if you have created something that they would gladly buy and recommend to others. Know enough about that group of clients to have confidence that there are enough of them in the marketplace to sustain a business like yours.

There are “gurus” in the world who say that everyone is an expert as something and can make a success of it with enough hard work, tenacity, focus, and clarity.

“Success” has many definitions, and if making money is at the top of the list, here is a simple truth.  If the consumers in the marketplace that you are targeting do not want, need, or invest into the solution being brought to market, that is a serious problem that no amount of expertise in a niche arena can possibly overcome to earn success as measured by dollars and sense.

Small business success is something to celebrate and champion. 

I wave the flag for it and am proud to be in business 13 years after I started

And not every product, service, or idea I have created has paid off.

I’ve followed my own advice to keep the doors open, reinvented my business and offerings when a changing marketplace demanded it, and stayed with it long enough to make it work.  And I try to have a little fun along the way. 

It’s been a wild ride full of twists and turns.  I have been tested by having to learn new skills, technologies, and methods to stay relevant in quickly changing times.  The time I spend outside of my comfort zone is considerable.  I don’t always have fun in my business.  Sometimes, I lose sleep over money matters and how much more there is to do and achieve.  There have been days I have wondered if it would be easier and less time-consuming to get a J-O-B.  

And I stay with it. 

It’s a hero’s journey.

So on this Small Business Saturday, I salute those with the courage, tenacity, and drive to stay the course.  I am right there with you.

If you have done business with me, I thank you. 

And if you are thinking about doing business with me, I thank you for that, too. 

Let’s get to work!

 

 

 

 

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