You can find all kinds of advice through research, mentors, and colleagues about what you should do and how you should be when starting a new business. The wealth of information can be dizzying; so here are a few points that boil it down to manageable tips—a cheat sheet for new business owners.
Know What to Worry About
Blake Irving brings up an interesting point about worry and stress. Primarily, what he is suggesting is that, when you’re building your business, it’s important to know when you can ignore certain things that happen and some things the people around you are saying to you. Here is the gist of it, in Blake’s own words:
“Your parents, siblings, close friends and trusted coworkers will all chime in on your plans. If they’re only radiating fear or negativity, you have no option but to ignore them and move ahead.”
Starting a business is a huge commitment and usually involves a significant amount of risk. It’s important to be sure that you have what it takes to handle the stress and overcome obstacles that you’ll have to meet as a business owner. Blake offers a few questions that you should ask yourself honestly before going into business:
“Are you a self-motivated individual? Are you resilient to long stretches of taxing and seemingly unrewarding work? Are you buoyant against angst and despair? Do you have the time to invest in yourself and your dream? Can you afford to work for no pay for the foreseeable future?”
Practice Empathy to Reach Your Customers
Empathy is a subtle element that is behind any good marketing or branding campaign. Before you can know what is inspiring to your customers, or what they are looking for, you have to put yourself in their shoes. “A small business based only on the kind of services you want to provide—as opposed to what your potential customers actually want and need—is a recipe for disaster,” says Heather Hudson, writing for FreshBooks.
Advertisers have been trying to get inside the minds of consumers for decades; using empathy is just a more responsible way of doing it.
Digital marketing makes it possible to reach far more potential customers with a promotional message that is tailored just for them, but there is still no substitute for word-of-mouth advertising and customer referrals. If you’re not having much success with digital advertising campaigns, then try putting your energy into getting referrals and word-of-mouth—it’s the gift that keeps on giving.