10 Tips for Small businesses

Back in 2007, I walked out of my corporate job abruptly. I reacted impulsively after getting some disappointing news. Although I was scared, I didn’t want to turn back. I had spent a couple of years at my job feeling unfulfilled and unappreciated. I decided to go for another position that opened and they ended up hiring someone else with less experience than me. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I felt discouraged and betrayed after spending many years working hard for them. Quitting was not my plan but what seemed like a big mistake ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me. I found myself through the process and I grew stronger in my faith.

My entrepreneurial journey started out pretty rocky and there were many times that I felt like I was in over my head and wanted to give up. I had no idea what I was going to do next or where my next paycheck was going to come from but I decided to do my research. I wasn’t sure if I was going to look for another job or if I was going to start a business, but I spent countless hours researching how to start a business. It was during some of those tough moments when I learned that I had to stick it out, not give up, and rely on my faith.

Finally, I began to figure out what I wanted to do and what I needed to do to get my business started. I wanted to take the existing skills that I already possessed and find out who needed them and how I can start creating income from home right away.

Unlike some new entrepreneurs, I was operating on a limited budget. Quitting my job was not planned; I didn’t realize all the costs that would be involved to start a business from home. Getting most of the business basics in place seemed fairly simple but the costs started adding up. From the DBA (Doing Business As), to new supplies, a new logo, a new website and essential business trainings, my progress began to slow down because my capital was running low.

I took advantage of free training resources and attempted to do as much of the building process on my own but it was a lot of work. I felt like I was getting overwhelmed with the details even before I started my business. I knew there was a better way and there was, but I just didn’t have the financial means to obtain it at the time.

Through it all, I ended up doing most of the heavy lifting in my business on my own. I learned so much and gained a lot of great new skills and then in 2008, I launched my virtual assisting business from home. I provided administrative and marketing services to busy professionals and entrepreneurs who needed the extra help to grow their business.

Looking back, I now realize that starting my business didn’t have to be so hard or take so long. I took the long route but I learned a lot more about the ins and outs of entrepreneurship because of all of my mistakes and failures.

I learned some key takeaways since starting my business that I think every one wanting to start a business from home should know.

1. Have a BIG WHY: Your why is what keeps you going during the times that you want to quit. It is the reason why you do what you do and why it is important to you.

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2. Be Strong In Your Faith: My faith saved me during my darkest times. When no one was there to help me emotionally; God was always there to lean on and carry me through my trials.

3. Have a Solid Plan and Know the Numbers: Starting a business requires a road map and without it, you will waste a lot of time and money. Knowing the costs can help you prepare better.

4. Know Exactly What You Are Going to Offer and Keep It Simple: Confused clients don’t buy and it is best to cater to the biggest needs or wants of your market.

5. Identify Your Market and Solve Their Problems: Knowing exactly who you are meant to serve helps refine your services and marketing message based on how you can help them. It also helps you communicate faster with the people you are meant to help.

6. Fish In the Right Ponds and Be Easy To Find: This only makes sense. Why waste time fishing in the wrong ponds? Know where the people who need what you offer gravitate and hang out there. Establish a strong online presence so that people don’t have to hunt you down. Be easy to access.

7. Customer Service is Everything: Serve your clients/customers right and it pays you back in more ways than you expect. Make people feel like VIPs always.

8. Have a Support System & Strong Resources: Don’t try to do it all alone. Get help if you need and/or when you can. Create a network of people you can reach out to.

9. Work Harder On Your Personal Growth: Your business grows based on your growth. When you work on becoming a better person, your business improves overall. You begin to attract better clients and opportunities.

10. Put God First & Don’t Neglect Yourself and Your Family: I came close to burning out a few times and that was because I was using my own resources and strengths. When I surrendered and allowed God to take over, everything began to change. You and your family’s well-being shouldn’t have to suffer because of your business. You cannot serve from an empty cup.

Entrepreneurship is not easy and since starting my business, I have made it my mission to help others streamline their process so that they can save time, energy and money. I learned that there are a lot of resources out there but they are not always affordable to all.

I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to start their own business if they want to. So, I decided to start a new business solutions group called B.O.L.D. and the mission is to help hundreds of women in business get the support, resources and solutions that they need to start, run and grow their business.

My goal is to offer free to affordable access to business training, business services, and networking opportunities so that they can continue to grow their business regardless of their financial situation. This is where I believe I can best use the gifts that God has given me. He has aligned my gifts with my passion to help others.

B.O.L.D. stands for Brave, Outstanding, Leaders with Dreams. I believe it is time to answer our true calling in life and when we make the decision to go for it, everything begins to fall into its proper place.

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