There are some very talented individuals out there I swear! Often times when one has a great talent, they are told, “You should start your own business!”. Well…while it sounds nice, every talented person does not hold the key to running a successful business. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Let me repeat that…ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS NOT FOR EVERYONE! I always say “just because one knows how to cook really good doesn’t mean they should go and open a restaurant!” Think about it…attitude is everything and if you’re looking to not only make money but a profit and grow, you have to know what you’re doing AND how to conduct yourself accordingly. You have to know that there is much more to running a business than your talent alone. There is always room for growth and improvement in any and everything that we do. While I don’t have all of the answers, I do want to take a moment to point out some important things to consider when looking to taking a talent to the next level:
1. Ensure your talent is truly business worthy: We have to think about the place that we live. Is there a market for the talent that you have? Are you going to get the support that you need for your business to be successful? Do you develop quality work? Let’s say you’re a party planner…are you in a city/state where people have the financial means to support your business and refer you to others where you can grow and be one of the most respected party planners in that city? Do people even use party planners in your city/state or would they rather take matters into their own hands and save money? Is this an opportunity to take your talents elsewhere?
2. Make your business credible: It is always the smart road to have a legitimate business. A business that a person can do their research on and learn more about you. One where you are held legally liable for the product or service(s) that you provide. Developing a business name. Be creative but not outrageous…remember you want consumers to take you serious! I am a huge advocate of email addresses matching the business name versus @gmail.com or @yahoo.com. Yes, Gmail and Yahoo are free but ultimately it looks better to have your business name at the end of your email address (mine is firstname.lastname@example.org, which also matches my website). I feel much more legitimate, but that’s me. Whatever works for you is what works for you…it’s just a suggestion.
3. Learn how to properly market yourself: Marketing is one of the most challenging components of owning and operating a business. Who is your targeted audience? What’s “in” at the time? Facebook is a great outlet to promote your business but there are other ways/social media sites to market your business! What radio stations do listeners tune into more? What TV stations will show an ad for your business and catch the right audience’s attention? You don’t have to have a degree in marketing to figure things out for yourself. There are tons of resources available to assist you in properly marketing your business. You just have to do the work or hire a company that will do the marketing for you! It will cost, but they’re the experts and can take your business to the next level. Create a website or have a professional create one for you and don’t forget your business cards!
4. Network: Networking with others is a great outlet to get your business out there. The more people who know about your business, the better (and that’s if you’re a good person to conduct business with)! You can learn from others and guess what…they can learn from you too!! Don’t be shy…I promise it’s okay to be proud of your talent/service(s). Always have your business cards on hand to give out and be ready to collect others’ card for any future needs that you may have!
5. Open up a separate bank account: This is where a lot of people mess themselves up! Keep your money separate, especially if you have a “side hustle” in addition to a regular 9-5. You’ll be able to track your spending and earnings much better by separating business from personal. Within your business account, only spend on business matters! It is very easy to dip into that money and spend it on something that has nothing to do with your business so you’ll have to develop some discipline.
6. Have exceptional Customer Service skills: I cannot stress enough how I cannot stand business owners who feel that they can treat those who solicit their services just any kind of way. This is not to confuse that consumers should show respect as well, but let’s be clear…you can’t expect people to refer your business if you treat them like crap. Referrals are the best compliment that a consumer can give you! Just because you are the bomb.com at whatever it is, doesn’t mean it is okay to not return phone calls, emails or texts. Be sure to always follow up and stand on your word as a business owner. Just like they found you, they can find someone else who does the same thing and perhaps better! People are more loyal to great service versus products! Don’t have your customers wondering when they are going to get their product(s)/service(s) from you. You should stay one step ahead and be consistent! Be apologetic when you’re in the wrong…you’re likely to have a delay and you must hold yourself accountable and make things right so that you don’t lose a good customer.
There are of course many other factors that contribute to owning a business while displaying your great talent. I was highly inspired to put this together because I have dealt with a lot of individuals who have great talents, but they lacked one or more of the items listed above and then some. What are some things that you look for when dealing with a small business owner who has great talent, but you rather not deal with them on a business level? Leave a comment below!!