Were you out of work for a while and instead of looking for a job you decided to start a business and to become a successful entrepreneur?
The allure of creating your own future, deciding how you want to do things and working towards fulfilling your personal dreams was just too appealing to you.
Like many before you who started a business, you felt anxious, nervous, worried and concerned.
If you’re like most that have started a business, you’re probably wondering how you can make your startup a smashing success as fast as possible.
Today I want to share the essential things you should do in order to gain a strong presence in the marketplace and go from unknown and struggling to highly sought after and successful entrepreneur.
Meet Joe, a Former Unemployed and Struggling Ex-Employee Turned Successful Entrepreneur
I recently met a young man who worked for a large local company and was let go two years ago. He had a great job and leaving it wasn’t option at the time.
Joe had a great income, company provided healthcare and three weeks’ vacation every year.
He felt it would have been crazy to leave his job and he would have never thought about starting a business.
Until he lost his job and was unable to get another one.
Joe sent in numerous resumes and even worked with a job recruiter.
He went on a number of interviews and he was either told he was over qualified or that they were not hiring at this time.
When it looked certain that Joe was not going to find a job that met his needs he knew had that he to do something.
Things could not keep going on as they were.
He didn’t particularly like the idea of being one of the 94 million people who are no longer looking for work or is no longer qualified for unemployment. Living at home with his parents didn’t seem very appealing and the dent to his ego was shattered.
So last year Joe decided to start his own business and by the end of the year he was achieving a level of success he didn’t know was even possible when he started his business.
What were the things that Joe did and you can do to change your life and business forever?
How can you transition from unemployed to successful startup business owner?
In this article I am going to offer you six tips that will help you become a highly successful startup business owner.
Tip #1 – Develop Your Message
Many startup businesses are struggling because they are focusing on the wrong things. Combine that with evidence that the economy is starting to see a regression and you have a recipe for trouble ahead.
There is one thing that can make you stand out from the crowd and earn you business.
That thing is to develop a highly specific, relevant and compelling message for those who are able, willing and ready to buy from you.
At the same time you don’t want to forget about those who serve the same audience you do in a different way. You want to find who the real networkers are and plug in with them and start networking.
You can learn a lot more about the importance of messaging and how to create one on the Begin Here page of my website.
Tip #2 – Make a Strong First Impression
I learned a long time ago in a college psychology class that people make a first impression of how they feel about you within seven seconds of meeting you.
Not only is this true offline, but it is also true online.
What you say and how you present yourself is vital to the impression you leave.
If you are not writing content where at least 20% of your audience is telling you “OMG, how did you know?” then you may not be leaving the first impression you want.
[Tweet "If 20% aren't saying “OMG, how did you know?” then you may not be leaving a good impression"]
The reason this is so important is because according to Google’s Zero Moment of Truth research in 2012, on average it takes 10.4 pieces of content online before someone is ready to engage with you.
If you lose the majority of your prospects or potential referral partners because of either a flat or a negative first impression it will have strong, unintended and negative consequences on your business.
Tip #3 – Don’t Allow What You Hear to Taint Your Business
The news is full of bad news… that’s how they get us to watch.
You only need to know what you need to know and nothing more and nothing less.
However, you do want to pay attention to what is going on around you so that you can figure out how to leverage it to your advantage.
But don’t allow what you hear to negatively impact your business and then you go out and sabotage your opportunities because “they said on the news…”
Just because the economy may not be doing well doesn’t mean your business can’t. In fact, more millionaires are made during down economies than in good economies.
What you need to know are the problems, needs and desires of those who are able, willing and ready to buy from you because you are relevant, compelling and inspiring to them.
There are a lot of people and businesses who have money; but it’s up to you to give them the reason to spend it with you.
Tip #4 – Stop Trying to Make Friends with Everyone
For years I tried to be friends with everyone. Facebook wants us to be friends… right?
You don’t need more friends.
What you really need are more business partners who serve the same audience you do but in a different way. That doesn’t mean they can’t become friends in the future.
But what it does mean is that the relationship starts off based on business. Are you a “giver” or a “taker”?
Find those who are willing to balance both and build a partnership with them and your business will see success.
Tip #5 – Focus on Marketing and Sales
How many business owners have failed because they focused on the wrong things?
Way too many unfortunately.
The number one reason that 70% of businesses will fail in five years (and of them 70% will fail in 24 months) is because they didn’t make enough money to survive.
You may have an incredible skill or ability and a lot of people may need you… but if they don’t know you exist, if they don’t know they need you, or if you don’t give them a reason to give you their money then it won’t matter.
Your number one job as a business owner is to ensure the survival of your business.
You must be involved in marketing and sales to ensure the growth of your business, especially as a startup.
Many business owners are more comfortable doing what they have always been trained to do. Because you’re not a marketer or salesperson you likely don’t feel comfortable doing either of them.
As a result, you do stay in your comfort zone and end up killing your business.
If you’re not comfortable with marketing and sales, I want to challenge you with this:
If you’re really passionate about the difference your product or service is making in the lives of your customers why wouldn’t you want to be the one championing it?
No one will share your passion like you do. Make marketing and sales a priority for your business and your business will reap the rewards.
Tip #6 – Don’t Avoid Details
Believe it or not, details are your friend if you’re going to be successful; especially in marketing and sales.
What kind of details do you need to know?
- What are the specific problems and needs of your customers?
- What is happening in their lives if you’re in a Business to Consumer model?
- What are the business trends, issues and challenges if you’re in a Business to Business model?
Let me give you an example.
If you are starting an IT company that is designed to work with government agencies it would be good to know:
- That it’s a $450 billion government IT market.
- There are over 2,000 companies competing for government IT contracts at all levels of government (local, county, state and federal) thanks to shrinking profits in corporate America and cheaper IT services overseas according to the Reference USA database of business trends.
- Government IT infrastructure that exists today goes as far back as the 1980’s and in some cases even the 1960’s are woefully inadequate to serve the needs of the public.
- For the next ten years the forecast calls for a 4% annual growth in IT services which means there is plenty of room for a company with a dynamic message and the skill set required to meet the needs of the particular agency.
- Governments are experiencing high costs to taxpayers and bloated government budgets due to wasted time and ineffiencies of older IT networks and systems.
- Old equipment, wiring and software that is easily hacked into thus creating a major liability.
- Lack of resources by government staff to handle the upgrade of the system themselves.
- Lack of understanding of how specific networks and systems work and their advantages and disadvantages specific to their needs.
That list could be built upon even more and could be highly specific to any given governmental agency. But I think you get the point.
There are an incredible amount of tools, databases and specific research options to help you leverage your business growth through the details.
Bringing It All Together
Building a successful startup and becoming a successful entrepreneur is about knowing what you need to know so that you can scale your business as it grows.
If you follow the tips I outlined then you can go from being unemployed to successful startup business owner.
Do you want to go from formerly unemployed to highly successful?
If so, I want to offer you a free copy of my highly popular eBook titled “The Shift – Making the Fast Paced Transition from Mass Marketing to Context Marketing” which has been read by thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs just like you.
In it you will learn how to identify the “business you are ‘really’ in” from your prospects point of view and how to be so relevant to them in their context that they say to themselves in some way; “OMG, how did he know?” and then buy from you.
Do you have a thought, idea, question or comment you would like to leave? If so, please share with me below in the comments and let’s chat.