TechnTux is planning to start a small multimedia company in the near future, and asked the community for some tips. He wondered what pitfalls he should avoid, and what types of problems he can cut off at the pass before they can happen. I started my small business in 1996 and I’ve been at it for over ten years. I have a small amount of experience, and have picked up a few tips and tricks. The bottom line, though, is that no one will know your business better than you. The onus is on you to make others understand it properly.
If people don’t understand what it is you’re trying to do, your business isn’t likely to succeed. If you cannot communicate your ideals, you’re not going to have customers who will understand what it is you’re going to provide them with.
You can take shortcuts, but you also have to know that you need to spend money. You can’t just float around for free. You may be able to get a few grants or small business loans. You have to face reality and make hard decisions about how much money you’re going to need. You’ll have to understand your own business model, and know what you’ll have to do to make it into a reality. Make the investment on yourself.
It’s not about the idea – it’s about the implementation. People may love what you say you’ll do, but you have to be able to DO it.
You need to be able to yield control. I struggled with this myself. I’ve gotten better in recent years, and am more easily able to task certain things to others to accomplish. Know when it’s time to hand over some of the reigns. Nobody will protect the business like you will, but you’ll still need help.
To those of you who started a small business, feel free to post your stories and tips for TechnTux and others who may be getting ready to take that plunge.
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