By Kim Kirmmse Toth, “The Business Coach for Women After 50” and CWCC Member
You have probably heard the statistics and they aren’t pretty. If you read the numbers that the U.S. Government Small Business Administration’s website states it says that 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years.
You might have come out of another employment situation and are ready to venture out on your own, or you may have been out of the working arena and are thinking about getting back in. Whatever your situation, do your due diligence. Even if you have had your business for awhile, be sure to read this carefully and make changes if need be.
1. Jumping in without a plan.
I know how exciting it can be to start a business but please do your homework first. You need to take the time to write down a business plan. This doesn’t have to be a lengthy and detailed document but be clear about the following:
- What is your goal?
- What are your objectives?
- What is your mission?
- Do you need to rent an office or can you have a home office?
- How will you market?
I know this marketing piece can be a daunting one, but without marketing yourself and your business you will have no business. You might have the best products or services on the planet but if you don’t market, you will be the best kept secret, which means your business will fail.
There is a lot of free or low cost ways to market yourself, so take the time to discover what they are and then follow through and do them.
2. Not understanding the time and energy commitment it takes to start a business.
I don’t say this to scare you but please be realistic. Rome wasn’t built in a day! In the long term building your business can bring you the freedom you have been looking for but in the beginning it needs a lot of care and attention.
Do you have the support of your family and even friends?
Once you have the basics, squeeze page, opt-in box, free taste and ezine etc. you must begin marketing. Send your ezine out on a regular basis, set up your social media accounts (Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter) and update them regularly. You also must network as often as is reasonable. The goal here is to get you exposure, not just on line but in person.
The more you network, the faster your business will grow. The faster it grows, the closer you will get to that freedom you are looking for, but you must do the leg work first.
3. Not having the finances to start your business off properly.
Even a home-based, on line business has start up costs. You do need a computer; you do need even a one page website. A blog is important as well as a good phone system and headset.
I also don’t know what I would do without a printer and fax. These are essential pieces worth investing in. Keep your eyes peeled for sales. The prices of printers/scanners/fax machines have gotten much less over the years.
The other investment I would like you consider is a business coach. This is especially true if you have never had your own business, but even if you have. You don’t have to hire the most expensive coach in town and you don’t have to work privately with someone, unless you really want to get this business up and running quickly. There are many business coaches that run groups at a much lesser investment.
There is no reason to begin a business by totally on your own, especially if you are new to this. The risks of making serious mistakes are not worth taking and will cost you more in the long run.
Owning your own business can be one of the most fulfilling and exciting ways to do what you love and earn a good living. Simply be smart and savvy about this endeavor and you will reap the benefits over and over through the years.
Kim is a gifted and intuitive coach who empowers women to embrace all life has to offer in their 3rd stage of life. As a business coach and solo-entrepreneur she helps women build strong coaching businesses while maintaining a life of balance. For more information about Kim’s services visit Positive Aging Inc.
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