How should a small business owner think?
Most of us find ourselves in this position because of various reasons:
The differences are vast.
Those who come from a corporate background will learn this.
We need to learn some lessons before even starting out on this adventure.
Yes, it is an adventure and should be enjoyed.
What's the point of doing something if you're not going to have a little fun along the way?
It's certainly not about rags to riches. Get rich quick. No free lunches. We have to earn our share.
Investment advisors always tell us not to use borrowed money to buy shares, for instance.
The same goes for when you start your first small business.
Never borrow money, take loans or get an overdraft before you have found a customer.
Definitely not a good idea.
If you haven't got startup money of your own, you have to "bootstrap" your business.
How does one do that? What is Bootstrapping?
Google is filled with people offering advice on this.
There are loads of books on Amazon.
Ask friends and other small business owners how they started. Subscribe to email newsletters. Those you like or those that can help you. Avoid the "spammy" ones. Don't send them either.
Invest in yourself before spending money on anything else.
We don't "need" expensive toys, especially not those bought on "tick".
It's not necessary to have a business plan. The banks won't loan you money on that. You have to have some security, like a house or insurance policy to cover them.
If you can't pay the loan within the stipulated time, they'll take the house. And everything you own to get their money. Never, ever sign a surety. Certain financial death.
The bank manager is not your friend. He may be nice enough to give you the money. It's the debt collector who comes after you. And he's a Rotweiller. No sentiment.
I know, I've been there. Not a nice place.
Instead of spending your time on all these things, find a customer. Just one to start.
Grow from there. Slowly.
When you have a few good, supportive customers, give great service. Stay in touch. Help where you can.
As time goes by, they will find new customers for you, by word of mouth.
Satisfied people tell their friends. Good news spreads. To the right people.
As Seth Godin says: "People like us do things like this"
Go for the smallest viable market. Also from Seth Godin's book "This is Marketing"
What's the point of advertising nationally, if you live in Pofadder? Find people in your own town, suburb or neighbourhood who may want what you offer.
Unhappy customers don't say anything, they just leave.
Especially if it's your fault. And it's always your fault.
Take responsibility for what you do. Or don't do it.
Accept the challenge to be successful by adapting your mindset.
Learn the things that will make your small business a success.
Talk and listen to the fundi's, gurus and teachers.
“Where you will be in 5 years’ time will depend on the books you read and the people you meet” – Jim Rohn
Read books, watch Youtube videos. Learn as much as you can.
Most of this is Free, by the way.
You don't have to spend a fortune before you start.
Of course, not all the free stuff is good stuff. Be picky.
Follow the leaders. They'll take you where you want to go.
Focus on your continuous growth, and you're sure to make it.
Believe in yourself and make your plans.
Be positive and the world will start to look like a different place.
A much nicer place.
in South Africa.
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