(Closed) Bees Who Are Small Business Owners: Advice Needed! :)

posted 6 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’ll move this to the career board for you!

Post # 5
Member
5670 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Good luck with your new business. I would say be prepared to not be very profitable in the beginning. I would recommend if one of you could keep some income and insurance. I have seen a lot of companies fold after not making enough money in the beginning. In my experience and from every mentor I have spoken too it takes about 3yrs to be truly profitable. Depending on your product marketing is very important and the place to spend some money, and then most business will follw from referrals or word of mouth. Check out what programs the government may have for small businesses in your state, sometimes that have mentors and free programs available for small businesses.

Post # 7
Member
4887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Be prepared to fail but stay optimistic.  I call that being pessimistically optimistic.

Keep your ear to the ground.  The small business community around you is a gossip mill but sometimes there is valuable information to be had.  Whatever you do, stay neutral with everyone – it’s fine to build strong relationships with others owners but be very careful about becoming cliquey or gossippy, and don’t believe everything you hear.

Treat every person you meet, see, and interact with as a potential customer.  I don’t mean approach them and sell, but you never know if that woman you scowled at for having 17 items in the 12 item lane will be your next person in the door.  Unlike corporate, when you’re in small business you’re ALWAYS working even if you’re not at the job itself.  Be presentable, friendly, helpful… always.

Spend some, but not an insane amount of money on advertising.  Do your homework and ask around to find out what others have found to be valuable.

Indentify your target market ASAP.  Then do a layered target market (like an onion)… who’s next, then who’s after that, then after that.

Then identify exactly what your product/service addresses, and know what your solution to someone’s problem is forward and back.

Do not coupon/go on sale on a regular basis.  I dont know what your product is but I’d be happy to help with this if you want to PM me.

 

I am typing this while sitting on a stool in my own small business and could go on and on.. but I won’t bore you here.  Sometimes you really just have to find out for yourself what works and what doesn’t.  Good luck 🙂

Post # 8
Member
1408 posts
Bumble bee

Don’t put signs on your car if you drive like an idiot.  Also – if you do put signs on your car and get into an accident, your insurance may not pay.  

Post # 11
Member
1408 posts
Bumble bee

@Mrs_Amanda:  I chose not to advertise via my car.  My small business is in fitness and I don’t want to have to sneak my beer purchase in my car at the grocery store parking lot.  LOL.

Post # 12
Member
3886 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Put a maximum investment threshold— the MOST you are willing to keep pouring into the business, which will probably be way more than the initial investment— and stick to it. Many new business owners get too emotionally attached to the business, and given the high rate of failure in many industries, it’s good to know walking in at what point you will throw in the towel instead of pouring good money after bad.

For example, something like 50% of all new indepenant restaurants fail in the first year, and amongs the ones that remain, it takes 3-4 years to begin turning a decent profit. In that time you should be prepared to pay payroll, supplies, rent, everything from your own pocket. But after a point, you could bleed yourself dry and still not be a success.  Know going into it at what point you simply cannot afford to keep funding it.

Post # 13
Member
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

This is a great thread. Please keep the suggestions coming.

Post # 14
Member
5 posts
Newbee

I am one, for 3 years, even though I have been a worker bee all my life.  It is scary to begin as it is just not like getting paid regularly.  I needed very little start up but must not misunderstand that business can run without safe amount of capital and reserve, cash flow is very important.

What else? 

Stay with everyone positive. 

Don’t think about quitting once started, not before you give yourself chances to learn from quite a few mistakes anyways. 

Think about what Bill Gates will do, what successful people will do.  Don’t take advice from anyone not living a life you respect. 

Don’t quit after the first couple of hard times, as someone already posted, it takes a few years to establish a good ground. 

Value your customer service and not about rely on price cut alone.  People willing to try my products and eventually buy from me because they had to like and trust me to begin with.

Best of luck!!  A business is a hard job but most rewarding in personal growth and possible financial growth!!!

 

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