Creating a recognizable brand should be a top priority of any business, no matter your size or budget. The branding of your business will either attract customers or it will drive them away. It's that simple. Branding should be one of the very first considerations of a new (or existing) enterprise - yet it is shocking how little many entrepreneurs focus on the branding of their company and their products or services.
Nothing screams "small time"to me more than a business owner who hands me their business card which has neither a website to reference nor, more frequently, an email address tied to their domain name.
A serious entrepreneur should never have an email address that is tied to Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail or any one of the litany of free email accounts. I personally do not like to send or answer emails to these free email sites due to the obvious ease into which they can get hacked! (See the John Podesta hacked emails...)
Remember this always - "Entrepreneurs bring value to an idea."
One of the most common types of startup businesses is when someone decides they want to make their hobby into a business.
But let's be clear here. Not all hobbies translate well into a business that creates an income. I always advise fledgling entrepreneurs to follow their "interests", which may not exactly be a hobby.
For instance, if my hobby was collecting sewing thimbles or drink shot glasses from all over the world - that may make for an interesting hobby but it's doubtful I could get anyone to invest in it.
The great thing about business principals is that you can apply the same questions to a bootstrapped startup as you can a major startup funded by $10 million from a venture capitalist.
Ultimately, who is your customer? How do you acquire/market to those identified customers? What is your profit on each unit or service sold? Do you have enough capital to sustain the business? What makes your busines...
For most entrepreneurs, their startup venture is not a likely candidate for a bank loan. Many entrepreneurs turn to family members to fund or to supplement funds for a startup.
Accepting money from relatives has its own unique perils for the entrepreneur. Involving family in your venture may or may not be a smart move.
Here's a few general guidelines to contemplate when considering approaching a family member about funding your business:
1. This option should be a last resort. Borrowing from family can reduce the relationship to a financial transaction and has ruined many family relationships. Make sure you have exhausted all other options from crowdfunding, to micro lending to an equity investment from a partner before turning to this source of funds.
2. Pick your relative carefully. Don't ever pick your source of capital simply because they have the funds. Do you genuinely like this family member? One thing I've learned from watching others do this is that involv...
It's so easy for people to be negative about someone else's dreams - especially those that don't have any.
Ask any entrepreneur and they will tell you that had they listened to all of those who gave them unsolicited advice about their business idea, startup or invention - they would have never taken the first step to get it off the ground.
The very minute you choose to be different, you will be treated differently. For the ambitious person who has the energy, drive, persistence and desire - anything is possible.
Unfortunately for many, those closest to them subscribe to the "Crab Theory" I detail in a chapter of my book, "Unemployable!".
You can safely put dozens of live crabs in a bucket with little worry any will escape as the very minute one pulls itself up by their claws to edge of the bucket, those beneath them will latch on to the crab reaching for freedom and bring them down off edge of escape.