When starting a business, I get asked all the time if you need a business plan. I can tell you the answer is definitely yes. However, there is an answer of ‘it depends’ depending on how big that business plan should be.
Here are some key metrics that you need to have down before you start any business.
It's important to understand that any plan you put together is a moving document. When you begin, you’re going to make some predictions and projections. No matter how much you think you know up front, there are going to be some things you miss. You will need to go back and change as you build. Always go back and see where you’re on track and where you might be missing the mark.
Now, for business plans, the depth of the business plan will depend on what you need. If you’re going in front of investors or banks, you need to be detailed. The more outside money that’s required, the more detail...
What typically happens is that people get really excited about a product or service they want to create. They prove the concept and people are telling them how amazing the product or service is.
Once they release the item, they feel like the product or service is going to carry them. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. The true measure of success in your business will be around who actually knows about your product or service (and who buys it). It doesn’t matter how awesome it is. If no one actually knows about it, it won’t succeed. "Starting" is the beginning, you need to market it.
Many get tripped up on the thought of marketing because they tell themselves they’re not great at sales or really don’t understand the marketing game.
It’s crucial that you create a plan of attack while you’re creating your business of how you’re going to market it. It’s just like content....
Many times when you’re starting a business, the business will consume you. And if you’re in the position where this is a side hustle, you’ll find yourself with very little time with your loved ones. It’s important that you create some sort of balance, so you don’t have a successful business with no one left supporting you. It’s also important that you spend too much time with your family, that you really don’t get the momentum you need to get your business rolling.
I’ve been on both sides of this as I lost a marriage to a business. I had a super successful business, but no marriage left once it hit the level I had been working towards.
I now have a business with a spouse, along with two kids. It’s been crucial that I’ve found balance where my two kids know I’m around, and that I have a healthy relationship with JJ.
Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure you...
If you’re entering entrepreneurship, you’ve probably heard 1,000 times that the customer is always right.
Here’s why I think this is wrong:
Although I know your customers are the ones who actually make your business money, it is your employees who will help drive the success of your company. They are usually the ones taking care of the customers, so you need to make sure you take care of them.
Granted, understand I’m not saying the employee is always right. Of course, you need to be careful of those toxic ones in your company.
When I started my first business, I made sure that money wasn’t everything for me. I had come from a position in Corporate America where they didn’t care about us or the situation they were putting us in. They just needed to make a dime. I vowed that I would never put my employees in a bad situation just so I could make a dime.
As the owner of a company, your employees should know that you...
Today is a great day to talk about an important concept of being thankful as an entrepreneur.
So many times we’re focused on the end goal, which is very important. However, along the way we forget to celebrate the little things. I’m probably one of the worst at actually looking back and celebrating the small victories. I suffer from the ‘now what’ mentality.
If we never take that time to celebrate how far we’ve come or acknowledge the small victories in our business, we will burn out. Sure you may not be as far as you hoped, however, you’ve probably learned a lot and have come a long way in that time.
One of the things I talk about is to write down the questions you don’t know the answers to when you first start out. If you’ve been putting time every day aside for your business, I would bet a ton of money, that if you went back to those questions, you would be amazed...
This is a concept I have learned to deal with in this business. I have found it to make a massive difference in my business.
As human beings, we love comfort. We love to put ourselves in positions where we know the answers. We know we’re not going to be challenged. Lastly, we know there will be no surprises.
However, I would look at it this way.
"Do you really want to be the high school quarterback who never wants to go beyond his glory days?"
Many entrepreneurs want to be at a certain level, but they put themselves in the uncomfortable positions to get there. Here’s a great way to measure this. When you’re at events or find yourself surrounded by certain people, ask yourself "Are you usually the smartest and the most well-connected person in the room, or is it the opposite?"
I’ve learned that instead of hanging out with people where I knew I was ahead of the game, for ego strokes, to make myself constantly uncomfortable. I...
Rock Thomas has a history of successful businesses, and after mastering real estate decided to help others master the skills required to get from six to seven-figures. He's a Best-Selling Author, Seminar Creator, CEO of Rock Thomas Intl, and M1- March to a Millionaire
Tell me your story, what was in your head in starting your first business from farm kid mentality to being your boss?
Being raised on a farm, having a Good Work Ethic, Skills, Talent, and Connections as a mind frame.
On the farm, I Noticed that the “City Slickers” that took riding lessons on their farm had nothing to do while waiting around, so I decided to put up a table, bring my mom's coffee machine and sold them coffee. Soon I was also selling them hot dogs because they were also hungry. From there I got excited to make money. From there I drove a taxi in Austrailia, then modeling in Asia, oh and a pilot's license at the age of 16.
Many people get stuck. You need to Say...
When starting or building a business, many people wonder if they should bring on a partner. I’ve been fortunate to have quite a bit of experience with partnerships along with building businesses by myself.
When you’re starting a business it can be very tempting because it can help in two ways. One, getting it off the ground and two, it's only half of the financial load to get started. However, you also have to be sure you understand that this is about as important to you as is a marriage. Nothing shows the evil side of a person more than money.
Before you step into anything, make sure you are okay with getting into uncomfortable conversations with this person. You must understand roles and make sure you’re both willing to carry the load equally. If not, then the distribution of the company should reflect the workload.
I stepped into a partnership where I was willing to do whatever it took. Unfortunately, I’m used to...
Jess Bahr is the Director of Page Strategy at Social Flow, in addition, she offers Pinterest courses on her website JessBahr.com. Jess has run Pinterest ads for some of today's top brands and is a huge advocate of using this social site to build your business. I couldn't wait to sit down with her and get some tips and tricks to get the most from it.
You run some of the largest Brand Social campaigns, Tell us about yourself and How you became interested in Pinterest?
Some of my original clients were launch partners when Pinterest opened up their ad platform, but when Pinterest opened their ads to API , Social Flow became a partner for that. My clients started incorporating Pinterest with Facebook and Twitter campaigns and comparing the performance of all three against one another. Pinterest outperformed and allowed a lot of brands that you wouldn't traditional think were native to Pinterest, which allowed for so much opportunity.
This is uncharted...
This is one of the few things where I'll recommend that you should be thinking more like an employee than an entrepreneur. When we're employees, we understand our value, and it’s very rare where we will settle for anything less. Usually, if we're job searching, it’s because we are
pushing for more. Yet for some reason when we switch to an entrepreneur, we're afraid to ask for what we know we are worth.
Here are some tips to help you set your value so you can stand strong in asking what you are
1. Your unique selling proposition (what makes you stand out) should never be the cheapest.You end up attracting people who don't value you. There's never been a time where someone has gone in cheap, and they suddenly have this epiphany 6 months later that you're worth more and they should pay you more. The cheap ones are usually the biggest
pain in the butt clients, they make you work the hardest, and the ones who never really...
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