Are you like me? Do you dream of starting a successful business? A business that will bring you wealth, allow you to leave the rat race and work for yourself, and bring out your creativity and entrepreneurial talents? Of course you do, that’s part of the American dream.
Well, it was just over a year now that I had started my first business, trade-pals.com, a sales leads generation website for business professionals. So, now I am a sophomore entrepreneur. Looking back, I realize that I have made mistakes but I also have learned a lot. So, I want to take the time to share some of the things that I have learned over the course of the last year. This is random business advice from a sophomore entrepreneur, me!
1. Don’t start a business with friends. For people that seek business partners, for whatever reason, it is not a good idea to start a business with friends. This must be one of the most widely given advice, but does anybody ever follow it? I sure didn’t. It is not until you actually start a business with friends that you realize that your friends are not the ideal partners. When things go wrong, you cannot fire your friends. Actually, you can; but they won’t be your friends anymore.
2. Business networking groups are useless. Think about the concept of business networking; it is set up as a system to allow salespeople the opportunity to network with business professionals to gain contacts and get business referrals. So, naturally, salespeople flock to these types of events. So, if business networking groups consist of all salespeople, it is just a bunch of salespeople trying to sell to other salespeople. Salespeople don’t buy, they sell. Buyers don’t need to network because all they have to do is flip through the yellow pages to find someone to buy from. Salespeople would probably have better success at cold calling and I, by no means, advocate cold calling.
3. An entrepreneur is not a manager. A manager manages something that an entrepreneur creates. So there would be no managers without successful entrepreneurs. Yet, it seems that managers have big egos and entrepreneurs are humble. Managers crave status and tend to live above their means to try to portray their superiority.
4. Consumers no longer pay attention to traditional advertising. They see so much advertising every day that they, now, just tune it out. Small business owners need to find other creative ways to reach their target market. Guerrilla Marketing is the solution. Guerrilla Marketing is a series of books by Jay Conrad Levinson that teaches people low cost ways to create buzz and get exposure for their business. The books are a must read for current business owners and anybody thinking of starting a business.
So there you have it, my advice for my fellow entrepreneurs and wannabe entrepreneurs. Maybe next year I can speak as a veteran entrepreneur and offer a lot more useful business advice.
Tino Buntic is a sophomore entrepreneur. He created trade-pals.com, a sales leads generation website just over a year ago.