If you could go back and change anything about the way your business got its start, would you do it? It’s totally okay to admit you would – whether it was a logo design, hiring sooner rather than later (and vice versa), or focus on marketing strategy tactics, even the most successful brand has a few moments that might have been done differently if they knew then what they know now. Today, we have a panel of 48 small business experts on board to tell us what they wish they could go back and change about their business in the beginning.
1. “I think I’d have learned to be a manager before I made myself one. I only now am starting to realize how much better I could have been as a manager instead of thrusting myself into the position as a know-it-all. I’ve been running my firm for 23 years and I really only have one regret that is not getting trained in the sensitive art of managing human capital.”
- Richard Laermer, CEO, RLM PR
2. “The transition from a full-time employee to a full-time entrepreneur has been a combination of many accomplishments, but also challenges. The flexibility of working from my home has been phenomenal, but after working almost 20 years for someone else, I realize that an office environment works well for me, even if using co-working space. While I can work virtually anywhere, I am more productive outside of my home and it allows me to maintain a divider between home and work life. If I had to do it all over again, I would have invested in some sort of shared or office space after developing proof of concept in order to maintain the boundary and be able to turn completely off at times.”
- Kimberly O’Neil, Founder/CEO, The Giving Blueprint
3. “If I were to start MyFairyTaleBooks all over again I would have chosen a different brand name. When we started in 2009 we were exclusively selling books. Now we offer many personalized gift items including puzzles, placemats and bookmarks with plans to expand into even further categories. We have such strong brand recognition with our customers that we are hesitant to make too many bold changes to our identity, but we’ve taken subtle steps to share the news that we’re no longer just books!”
- Kelly Mistry, Owner, MyFairyTaleBooks
It’s always been true, that if you love what you are doing, then it will continue on and your love will just grow. A business is the same thing. When you can do something for hours on end and not even realize that time has passed, you have found that one special thing you should be doing. If you can make it pay an income, you’ve found your very own nirvana.
Why you should be happy in what you do
Life speeds by really slowly when we are growing up. Can you hear yourself say, “When I turn 14, I can get my learner’s permit to drive.” “When I turn 18 I can’t wait to find my own place.” And then just as suddenly, “I can’t wait until the grandkids come to visit. It’s been so long.”
Online businesses have a distinct cost advantage over brick and mortar businesses – they don’t need to rent out a storefront at a good location. Their owners can save on rent overheads by running their business out of their homes.
Businesses that have a physical presence, though, have a distinct advantage in another way – people trust them more because they can see them. People buying from physical stores know that they are there for them, should a problem turn up.
They can look at the store assistants and the manager to see if they trust them through the buying process. If there’s a quality issue, it’s always easy to go back to the store for a return or exchange. They know that storefront retailers are serious businesses. They’ve invested money in launching a store and hiring people.
It comes as no surprise that thousands of businesses, large and small, have gone bust during the current downtrend in the economy. Literally millions of workers have been made redundant, leaving them on their own to carry on. Some have tried their hand at contracting whilst others put their expertise to work at launching small business enterprises. Those enterprises that survived understood what it takes to start a small business in a bear market. Against all odds, many of these small businesses are flourishing concerns today because they took the time to get the facts straight before launching their company.
So You Have a Vision – Is That Enough?
Pull up a hammock and grab your laptop for this week’s Awesome Affiliates: Just Relax Services.
Just Relax Services is an online service that aids small businesses by providing fresh ideas, business resources, and advice given by some of the best business consultants in the field. Their services include: small business mentoring, social media management, marketing and SEO services, merchant services, business writing, and web/graphic design services. Continue reading