Entrepreneur Advice For Planning Your Small Business

Listen to these entrepreneurs talk about the challenges, setbacks, and successes they experienced while planning their businesses. From not being fully prepared and what they would tell their younger selves today to the importance of talking to your target audience and branding yourself in the right way, they give their advice as they look back on when they were planning their small businesses.

I think one of the challenges that I had
in planning this new company
that ended up being Rightline Gear,
was how was the money going to work,
the cash flow?
And I don't know if I had enough knowledge
to be able to plan for that
completely ahead of time.
Turns out that I did not, but…
Any success that we would have
because we're producing products,
meant that we would
have to have more money
to produce more products,
and that that would never end.
It turned out to be the main challenge
for the whole first half
of our company's existence.
Success means I need more money,
not that I make more money, necessarily,
in our type of business.
So that was really hard
to plan for ahead of time.
And if I had the go back in time machine,
I would go back to that time
and tell myself some things
that better prepare for all of that.
I think when we were planning Plum Print
and there were some naysayers out there
I think one important thing to think about
when you're planning your
business is make sure you're
talking to your potential audience.
So I think when we were
talking to other moms
about overwhelming piles of
artwork, they totally got it.
When we talked to maybe
some older more established
businessmen about our idea,
they were like, man, we heard some like
nay-saying that kind of worried us some.
But then when we thought
about it afterwards
they weren't our potential audience.
So really key in to who
are you gonna be selling
your product to and talk to those people
and then make transitions
and changes in your plan.
But really think about who
is your audience gonna be.
And I knew this
when I started my business
as an entrepreneur,
that it would be up to me,
that your history and your
future is all up to you.
You can create your own environment
and if you don't like your environment,
you don't like the clients you have,
you don't like the people
that you work with,
you can change that
environment as an entrepreneur.
And so it's up to you,
it's not someone else's decision.
And that was always what frustrated me
working for different companies
was that decisions would be made
in spite of what the numbers say.
Decisions would be made
that I may not agree with.
And that's a tough thing to swallow,
especially when you know
it's really not right in terms
of what they should be doing
for their own wealth and so forth.
So as an entrepreneur, you
can always make the decisions
that will forward your career
and forward your wealth
and make your environment better.
When I look back on the
earlier planning phases
of my business and think
about the challenges
or memorable things that created
a gain or a benefit for the business,
one that was really great is
I unintentionally branded
myself by being witty.
And that's one of my strengths.
I've got a, I'm good with a play on words.
I also am really good at making things
with my hands that are beautiful,
and I'm good at talking about them.
So I had a skill set that lent itself
to something I was passionate about.
And in the planning phase of Simple Shot
having that passion,
made the drudgery of writing yet another
business plan and coming up with these
hypothetical scenarios a whole lot easier.
So maybe take a look at whatever you got
in the plans, how many
points does it touch
in your life to where you're, where you're
really fired up about it?
So yeah, So take a look
at your core skill sets
that you yourself bring to the table
as an entrepreneur,
because unless you've got
a group of folks, it's
you, it's your vision.
about planning and not planning
in enough detail is
before you start planning,
get advisors.
Get somebody who knows what you need
or at least you can tell what you need.
Go to the incubator,
talk with somebody who's
been there, done that
bought the t-shirt
and find out from them
what it is you're missing.
Give them your business plan
give them a one-sheet business plan
if you don't have a big one.
Come up with a mission statement
and then let them help you evolve it
but get an advisor that can work
with you from the beginning
and be with you as you grow.
And they can help you
through a lot of things
that I got an advisor a little
bit later in the process
and I wish I had gotten somebody sooner.

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