The Great Recession is what they are calling these times. It may not be as bad as the Great Depression and the masses of Americans who waited in soup lines to get food but the awful truth is that it is nearly as bad. Unemployment rates are sky high and instead of getting better, sometimes it seems to be getting worse. But this has created a new market for enterprising Americans to go out and start their own business. For every success story there are hundred of failed businesses out there, but coming from an Attorney and a business owner in my own right, I can tell you that there is a successful way to start a business.
Here are a few rules I advise my clients to follow:
(1) Keep costs low in the beginning. (or always) In this day and age trying to get a small business loan to start your company is near impossible. So you are going to have to do this the old fashioned way... by using low cost options and getting your own hands dirty. Commercial leases are running cheaper in different parts of town, if you play it smart you can negotiate a decent lease at a decent location.
(2) Market yourself for Free (or atleast cheap). Use your own resources to develop and market the business. The internet is free and there is no lack of places to market yourself or your business. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Craigslist, Myspace, the list goes on and on. There are also old fashion ways of Marketing, like meeting people in person and promoting yourself and your business.
*True Story* When I first began my law firm with a partner, we would take Friday afternoons and go to every business near our office asking to talk to the business owners and/or managers. We would say we just moved into the neighborhood and were the new lawyers in town. Believe it or not, we actually managed to score quite a bit of business by going door to door and introducing ourselves to people.
(3) Go above and beyond. Every successful business has one thing in common with each other. There is something that they do that is better than all their competitors in the area. For example, there is a small sushi restaurant in my neighborhood that has the BEST spicy tuna hand rolls around. Word of mouth will spread quickly and with the addition of the internet your business is going to begin to show a spike in customer base if there is something you can do that is better than the competition.
*Truely True Story* There are a lot of ticket attorneys in Las Vegas, but we began a system where we charged only $20 to take care of tickets. But we didn't stop there. We developed a follow up system via mail and e-mail whereby the client was given very good communication on exactly what they needed to do once we negotiated the ticket. We also have a ticket legal assistant dedicated to answering any questions clients might have about their ticket.
(4) Find a good team and stick with them! Whoever said good help was hard to find wasn't kidding. When you do find people that you trust and that deliver quality customer service for your business you need to make sure that you nurture those special employees. A good, well-trained employee could make a huge difference in sales for you.
(5) Positive Mental Attitude. Always have a good positive attitude. There are going to be times in your life and your business where you feel down and want to give up. You have to believe that everything will work out and that you will be successful. The power of belief is an amazing thing and can help you through these tough times. Keep a positive mental attitude every day of your life and you will see a huge turn around in your life and your business!
Keep these five caveats in mind and you will have the tools to make yourself and your business a success!