Check out Suzanne’s webinar ‘The Corporate Path vs. Solopreneur‘ to learn the pros and cons of working a corporate job vs starting your own business.
It’s an exciting time to be starting your entrepreneurial journey right now. It can also be overwhelming to try to start a business. There are so many different tools and resources that are available from groups like HERdacity to mentorship program via your local SCORE. There are multiple resources provided by the Governor’s Office and local chambers to help small businesses. There are whole organizations dedicated to entrepreneurship and that’s only a handful of the resources out there.
So, where do you start? How do you make this less overwhelming? As a two-time entrepreneur, I’m sharing a few different things that can help.
Define the Problem You Solve
Start with this before you do anything else. It seems simple, but this is complex. To define the problem you solve, you must understand your audience and their challenges. You must also know enough about your competitors to understand what they provide and how your solution is different.
Create a plan
It’s helpful to start with a business plan. I’m a bit partial to the plan that is provided via SCORE. It’s extensive, so don’t stress out when you see it. Fill out what you can, even if you have a one to two-page document as you’re starting out. This plan can help keep you on track and act as your blueprint. You can refer back to it and make the appropriate changes over time, especially as you add additional elements.
Find your tribe
As I mentioned during the webinar, entrepreneurship can be incredibly lonely. Find your tribe to help support you, provide accountability, and even potentially bring in clients. Groups like HERdacity can really help you with this aspect. You’ll have a built-in network to tap into while you learn from experts.
I’ve found that sometimes when I’m overwhelmed, I simply want to shut down. If you’re starting a new business, that sense of overwhelm might keep you from taking next steps. Consider finding an accountability partner to help you keep moving forward. This is someone to keep cheering you on, sometimes pushing you a bit. He or she is in your corner, though, which can be really helpful mentally and from a productivity perspective. And you’ll do the same for him or her.
Is it appropriate to share your business with current coworkers?
This really depends on your employer. I always had a side business when I worked in a corporate world after graduate school. I was very open with my manager because I wanted a bit of flexibility to be able to have a long lunch or in case I needed to travel for a client and wanted to work from the road for my 9-5 job. I also always gave more than 110 percent at work and my managers along the way could see that. My side hustle never got in the way of my full-time job.
Some companies aren’t OK with a side job, though. Look around. Ask people you trust how things are at the employer when it comes to side gigs. You’ll often hear when someone has a side gig and see if that is treated more in a whisper or out in the open.
Whichever it is, don’t go against the grain. You’re likely not going to change people’s minds. Go with whatever the norm is, especially if you plan on sticking around your 9-5 or don’t want to burn any bridges. (Hint: it’s not wise to burn bridges, even if you never want to work in your industry again.)
Founder of Mompowerment.com
Suzanne Brown is a strategic marketing and business consultant and work-life balance speaker, strategist, and award-winning author. She empowers moms to think differently about balance, using her own experience and research as well as tips, insights, and advice from interviews with more than 110 working moms. Get ideas on work-life balance, read more about her award-winning books, or watch her TED talk at www.mompowerment.com. Suzanne, her husband, and their two active young boys live in Austin, TX. In their downtime, they can be found hiking local trails or finding some new nearby or far away adventures.