Millennials have changed the game. The American dream for us isn’t all about getting a good job and house with the white picket fence ASAP. Oh no, not anymore. What do we want? A fulfilling career! When do we want it? NOW! We crave freedom and want to make our money on our own terms. Which is exactly why a lot of us are turning to entrepreneurship.
Building a business isn’t easy. Thankfully we have pioneers to look up to that can help deter some bad decision making. But beware! I’ve yet to come across a one size fits all guide to growing a successful business. Even for my own company, I read books and get advice – but will tweak some of the information to fit my goals. Here are 4 things that I chose not to worry about as I built my writing business.
Get an ad in the paper, get a banner on someone else’s website, get a radio commercial, print a bunch of brochures, get expensive business cards – is any of this sounding familiar? Yes marketing is an imperative element in growing your business but keep these things in mind:
1. This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
2. Your marketing strategy is going to vary depending on your type of business and your target market.
Personally I don’t even have a marketing budget for my business right now. Why? Because I’ve found ways to get free exposure for my business.
ALL MONEY AIN’T GOOD MONEY
You probably don’t want to hear this. When you’re trying to grow a business, you shouldn’t take every project that comes your way. Yes, sometimes you need to turn down money. As a new entrepreneur, what do you think is the most valuable thing to you? I used to think it was money but I was wrong. The most valuable asset is your time. Consider an intern who’s in college to help. This can free up some time for you to focus on other business tasks. If someone wants to hire you for a gig that you aren’t even a little confident in doing, you can pass it to a respected colleague. As your business grows you’ll consistently take on a project you’ve never done; but before you do, get educated on it. It’s better to turn down that money and skill yourself up than to take the job, produce sub par work and ruin your company’s integrity.
Yes you need a website. No you don’t have to spend a small fortune to set it up. In this internet age it’s all about image and a strong online presence. But can you think of one good reason to spend hundreds of dollars on a banging website when your business ins’t bringing in any real money? Don’t aim to look successful. Aim to be successful.
SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Speaking of image, it’s likely not necessary to have your business on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Periscope, Snapchat AND Pinterest. Be honest with yourself about how much you can really handle and which platforms wound benefit your business the most. Again, the goal is to grow your business not just to look good.
I say one more time – each business will have its own road map to success but these are some things to think about. I see an incredible amount of burnout in my fellow business owners because we try to do so much on our own. If you need advice or have questions about something in this post, please feel free to email me.
Do you want to start a business? If so, what questions do you have?
If you already have a business, what’s one lesson that you have learned along the way?
Until next time…