When we think of networking often times images of happy hour, spending an inordinate amount of time in the evenings at a restaurant or office building with a whole lot of chit chat that may yield little to no business at all. While this type of activity can seem tiresome and unnecessary, it can be a great way to get your business off the ground. This simple, cost-effective (sometimes FREE) way of advertising is a means of getting the word out about your business.
Everyone is experienced at networking. Remember what happened when you ate at that great seafood restaurant, found the best bargain at the local shoe store, located a fantastic dry cleaners? It’s probably safe to assume you told a few family members, friends or co-workers. This is networking; passing along information to those who most likely will use these products or services.
Have you ever seen a commercial on television that may appear interesting, but when it’s over, you can’t remember what was being advertised? That is what’s known as “brand failure.”
Corporate America spends billions of dollars each year in advertising and promotions for the products or services they provide. Their goal is obviously to reach as many potential customers as possible. Any time they create a perception that does not stick in your mind in a positive way every time you hear their company name, its brand has failed.
The same holds true for your company no matter how large or small. Building and maintaining a good public image means the difference between success and disaster. The way the public views your company profoundly impacts the amount of business you can expect to do in any market. The public image you create for your company should be one that captures attention and motivates customers to purchase your products or utilize your services.
Being your own boss can be rewarding, but it certainly isn’t for everyone. Sure, to some degree, you have more freedoms working for yourself than you do working for someone else. But often young entrepreneurs find that the workload and the stress of having to continually perform to keep their young business viable can be too much for them. It's true that, statistically in the U.S., more new businesses fail than succeed. You shouldn't let that discourage you but if you're thinking about starting your own business, there are some important things you should think about before making your decision.
People start businesses for a lot of reasons, not just because they have some great idea that can change the world. In fact, many small businesses do very well marketing others' products and services.
Have you ever felt trapped in a job working for a company? That happens to lots of people and many of them dream of one day starting their own business and working in a way that gives them more control over their worklife such as hours, pay and overall job security--hey you're not going to walk into your own office and fire yourself unexpectedly one day, right?
Starting a business is a lot of work. Anyone who tells you it's not is either lying or has never actually started one themselves. The hours are long, sacrifices are great and you are assulted with new problems and challenges every day with seemingly no end. If you don't have the constitution to weather these things, your business could implode on you faster than it started.
Clearly, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. But how do you know whether it’s for you? You should start by asking yourself what it takes to be a leader because, for the most part, you'll be doing a lot of the work up front by yourself. If you can't lead yourself through startup, chances are you won't likely be able to lead your business and future employees through growth and on to success.