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pull up a seat and grab a cup of tea as our bloghers dish on the latest in marketing, business, and social media.
Great, you're back! Let's dive right into today's topic of location, location, location. The location of your business is the key to the success of your business. With the Internet, some businesses can run virtually from anywhere. Whether a restaurant, insurance agency, marketing firm, apparel or shoe store, school, fitness center or museum, entrepreneurs must decide where their business will benefit from the most traffic. As we all know traffic and visibility is vital to the success of one's business and bottom line. While some businesses can be operated from multiple locations, keep budget, efficiency, and the impact on your customers in mind when determining your location.
Brick and Mortar
Brick and mortar businesses are those run from a physical location and interacts with their customer base face to face. This option is best chosen by restauranteurs, boutique owners, spas or salons, and the like. Operating costs include insurance, staff, advertising, equipment, inventory, utilities, maintenance, and rent.
Cloud based businesses are those that can be run as long as there is a computer and a data connection are the most popular amongst today's entrepreneur. Whether retail or service based, having an online business is associated with the lowest overhead and biggest customer base. Operating costs include insurance, data plans, equipment, advertising, and inventory.
Mobile businesses or pop-ups have emerged and are faster becoming the choice for trendy entrepreneurs who wish to still have that face to face interaction with their customers, but don't want to limit themselves because of rent or smaller demographic in their home areas. Food trucks or carts, mobile boutiques and salons, photography booths, juice bars, cobblers, massage therapists, hair salons, and fashion designers are just a few entrepreneurs that benefit most from mobile businesses.
Hey y'all! Yesterday, I spoke with a young entrepreneur who admitted to struggling with stress and thinking about giving up on her dreams because of lack of support from her family. This conversation, caused me to change today's topic to the importance of taking care of YOU. I cannot stress this enough: take care of you and do so FIRST. Understand when I say this; you cannot be your best self for your business or family if you don't first pour into and nurture yourself. There are some things that you have to learn to be selfish about and I can't think of a better reason other than YOU.
The key is to incorporate things that calm and relax you. Meditation, shopping, reading, listening and/or dancing to music, walking or driving, exercising, cooking, spending time with your family or significant other, binge watching tv, bird watching-do something! With the day to day advancement of technology there are apps, ebooks, playlists and podcasts, etc that are available to assist with your de-stress sessions. Also, understand that seeking professional help does not make you weak or less than. It's a resource available to you, sometimes for free and should be used because we all need some help sometimes. Remember to NEVER put more on yourself that you can handle. Take baby steps, pace yourself with work, and take mental breaks as often as necessary-but don't neglect your responsibilities. Both chronic depression and stress lead to other health issues that can turn fatal and the world need you!
Transparency Moment: Two .years into business, I worked every waking moment. Whether it was meeting a client at the local television station, helping them in their establishment, even running their business behind the scenes, on top of managing my own, I was BEAT. It took for me to watch my significant other be admitted to the hospital for a week for bought on by stress for me to understand the importance of work-life balance. In that week, because I was not available in my usual pressed-to-thin capacity, I lost two clients. Don't get me wrong, initially I was upset, but eventually got over it and felt better about that decision. No client will ever be worth your mental health and stability. That situation forced me to take a hard look at my schedule and how I operate my business and frankly, my life. Now, I work five days a week from 11pm-8am, occasionally meeting clients and prospects during the day. However, I am FREE and experience very little stress and I love it.
In terms of support and expecting it from others, STOP IT! You cannot and should not expect for everyone to support you, be in your corner, or be your own personal cheerleader. This includes your spouse, children, parents, business partners, friends, etc. Some people don't, won't, and can't understand your journey. Everyone will not celebrate your successes and can't take this ride with you. Once you grasp this concept, you'll never stress about the levels or lack of support. There's really nothing else to expound on. Don't do it! Join social media groups of like-minded business owners and professionals, read motivational quotes and books, listen to podcasts and Ted Talks, Adopt an "I can, I will, why not me attitude" and you'll be on your way! Don't give up. Nurture yourself. Love yourself. Celebrate yourself and successes no matter her small. Whatever you do, don't stop living your dream(s).
Hey y'all, c'mon in! Today we'll discuss the elephant in the room and bane of just about every entrepreneur's existence: FUNDING. How do you plan to fund or finance your dreams of entrepreneurship? There's crowdfunding, microloans, government loans and grants, bootstrapping, bank financing, credit cards, line of credit, personal loans, retirement accounts, investments, stocks and bonds, angel investors, venture capitalists, and that piggy bank you've had since kindergarten. Yes, the possibilities are endless, but not always easily attainable. One important thing you must consider when choosing funding is your personal credit. Yes, initially your personal credit will be the determining factor when trying to obtain bank financing, new credit cards, lines of credit, and sometimes government loans. If you find that you do not qualify for bank financing, we suggest getting creative and practice the art of bootstrapping. With bootstrapping, you can utilize crowdfunding and peer to peer lending sites, loans and donations from friends and family, investors, your savings or retirement accounts, personal credit cards, and so forth. I personally have used both options and will say, ensuring that your personal credit is intact and you have at least a FICO score of 680 and you have a solid business plan with your projected profit and loss statement that is attainable and realistic before attempting to obtain any financing backed by the bank. Other options include government grant and loan options. These are very attractive options as they have grants and loan programs for specialty products, minorities, veterans, Click the links below to see which programs would benefit your business.
If we could give one bit of advice about funding, it would be to not let this deter you from becoming an entrepreneur. You may have to launch in smaller stages, a smaller catalog, less products, etc. Just launch! You don't want to be one of those people who regrets not chasing after their dream. It's best to be one that can say they attempted than one who didn't.
Resources: (you will be linked to their respective websites)
*PLEASE NOTE: the aforementioned are examples of available resources. Linking to their websites and products, does not constitute an endorsement from Reese Salley & Associates, Ltd. Co. or their partners. The ideas expressed in this article are of the writer and are not paid endorsements. Thoroughly research your options and make the best decision for you and your business.
Oh, so I didn't scare you off last week-good! Let's get to laying the foundation for your business. You hear that? (In slow motion) Your business! Feels good doesn't it? Okay, no more messing around because it moves pretty quickly from here. Let's start with what you want to do. A good rule of thumb is to provide a product or service that will resolve a problem, this thing should also be something that you are passionate about. This is important as there are stages, that we'll explore later of entrepreneurship, that you may not see a dime for your hard earned work and question if it's all worth it. Listen, as long as you are passionate about your craft and not focus on the check, you'll be successful. After you've decided on what your business will focus on, move on to your name. Make sure you choose one that is catchy, unique even, but not too busy. Before finalizing your name it's best to do an online search to ensure no one has already used or trademarked it as well as see if the domain is available. I don't know how many times we've had to tell clients that they couldn't get their desired url because it was already taken. BRANDING IS IMPORTANT
After that's settled, move on to licensing and structure. Told you we were going to move fast...Here is where you definitely want to focus to ensure you've chosen the correct legal structure to avoid a headache later. Will you be going at it alone or with a partner? Terms you'll see are partnerships, LLPs and LLC's, Corporations, different tax classes codes, NAICS codes, insurance, business licenses (city, county, and state). Start by registering your business with the Internal Revenue Service by obtaining an EIN (Employee Identification Number or Federal Tax ID). Visit your local business office (in person or online) to inquire what licenses and permits are required for your business type and location. I should also warn you that you would save major bucks if you were to do this yourself instead of going through one of the popular online websites to have your business formed.
Okay, so you've decided on what type and where you'll conduct business, your name has been determined, you've acquired the applicable licensing and permits...NOW WHAT?! Now's the time to get your notebook and pen together because you will be in deep thought for the next few weeks trying to narrow down what products and services you'd like to offer. Research what your competitors and business inspirations are offering and decide how you can make a name for yourself doing it differently, all the while implementing what's been successful. Learn from their successes and failures and really study your industry. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask questions. You never know, you may end up finding a mentor or valuable information that can further set you up for success.
Well, why are you still sitting here? Get busy with researching and making decisions. (LOL) Meet us back here next week for the next installment of Open for Business by Reese Salley.
When meeting with potential clients we always start by asking why they've decided to go into business for themselves. We've heard everything from having more month than money (which always cracks me up), because they want to create generational wealth, tired of working for someone else, want to get rich quick-trust me, we've heard it all. You have to decide why you're going into business and what your level of commitment will be. With this blog, we aim to help walk you through the process of opening your business. I mean from conception to fruition, we’ll be there every step of the way. We’ll discuss everything from choosing the correct legal entity, logos, your business name, acquiring and keeping clients, marketing, funding, customer service, and so much more. First up we’ll discuss the difference between entrepreneurship and small business ownership from where we stand.
There’s small business ownership, where one would enter into a true business model dealing with established products and services. Don't get me wrong, there are risks associated with being a small business owner, but they're more on the calculated side. Think, franchise owner or entering into the family business. Many love entering into business ownership where the road has already been traveled and there’s someone there to tell you what to do next. Funding a small business, especially one where the brand is already established can bring about easier financing options than starting from scratch. Let’s just say, the playbook has already been written and just requires an amazing coach and quarterback (yea, I hope that’s right as I know nothing about football, LOL) to make it happen.
Then you’ve got the entrepreneurs. You know, those who start and operate the business while throwing caution to the wind to make it happen! They ride the high of uncertainty day to day to fulfill that dream of being one's own boss, solving the world's problems one product or service at a time. Taking on many unknown and uncalculated risks and living life like no other, oftentimes not knowing when or if their clients will pay, if their product or service will catch on, when they'll be in the black and no longer the red-is how it goes down. Honey, there's a lot that comes with entrepreneurship. However, the rewards outweigh trials and tribulations if you get into it for all the right reasons.
WELL, WHICH ONE ARE YOU? Entrepreneur or Small Business Owner
Either way, congratulations on making one of the best decisions of your life. Meet us back here next Friday for the next installment of Open for Business by Reese Salley.
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