Ready, set, go into business

“’Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” The same is true for business.

by KC Miller — 

Going into business isn’t to be taken lightly. However, if you wait for all the lights to turn green, you may never leave the driveway of your mind. There is an old saying, “’Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” The same is true for business. While it may be true that many small businesses fail, many do make it. So, take a chance on being one of the many and … GO for it!

GO get a business card. Decide what you are willing to offer as a service, claim it as yours and put it on a card. You can get inexpensive business cards by going to Web sites like www.VistaPrint.com or www.123print.com. Often your first set of up to 250 cards is free. Order them. Your card will likely change many times over the first couple of years; it is part of the process. Create … and adjust.

GO to the Secretary of State’s Web site. Check to see if the business name you are considering is available. It is a simple process of logging onto www.azsos.gov, and typing in the desired business name. If the name is taken, it wasn’t meant to be yours. Once you get the ball rolling, you won’t want to stop the momentum by having to go back and change your name because someone else has already legally claimed it. Choose again and get going.

GO to the bank. Start a separate business checking account by depositing $100 as a token of your 100 percent commitment to make your new business work. Pay for all business expenses out of your business account. Deposit all of your new business income into this account. Do not co-mingle personal and business expenditures. If it is a business expense, pay it from the business account; if it is a personal expense, pay it from your personal account.

While it is true that you may have to turn around and write a check back to yourself to deposit into your personal account, that’s the point. You want your business to generate enough income to pay you. The more careful you are with your accounting, the easier it will be when it comes to reporting taxes. All the expenses from your business account will become write-offs.

GO to places where like-minded people mingle. If you want to be in business, you have to get out and meet others face to face, eye to eye. Go to networking meetings, events and gatherings, even to church. The key is to go and to mingle. Talk to people. Ask them about themselves. Find out what makes them tick. Make it a personal challenge to determine how your product or service can best support their needs. Don’t sell them — serve them!

GO to classes and read lots of books. Starting a business is not a natural talent for most people; it is a learned skill. Take a class from the Small Business Administration and go online. Check out the entrepreneurship classes at local private and public colleges and institutes.

GO forward together. The greatest momentum can be achieved in a support group or mastermind setting where you work with others who are starting their own businesses or private practices. The ideal situation is to meet weekly and focus on a topic of business development. When possible, have a guest speaker who is a specialist in the given business area address the group, giving specific how-to guidelines. Each week make commitments to the group as to what you plan to accomplish that week.

The key to success for a support group and your business is to be publicly accountable and report your accomplishments. State publicly what you intend to accomplish and then do it. Think and Grow Rich, the classic book written decades ago, outlines mastermind groups, and documents their success. Together Everyone Achieves More is the definition of TEAM.

GO to a website that helps you create your own domain. GoDaddy.com and SimpleSitesForYou.com are two of the most popular, economical and easy-to-use sites. In a matter of a few hours you can have an entry-level Web site, known as a landing page, built. If you are even a little bit familiar with using a computer, you can build your own Web site. If this feels too overwhelming, for less than $500, you can hire someone to build you a small introductory site. A Web site is like handing someone a beautiful brochure laying out exactly how you can best serve them and their needs. As your business grows so will your Web site.

GO to social networking sites and get connected. This is the first time in history you can build your business and not leave your house. Set up a MySpace.com, facebook.com or LinkedIn.com site and begin searching for people you would like to get to know and eventually do business with. A new site you might consider is ConsciousLivingSpace.com, designed especially for holistic-minded people who want to grow their healing arts businesses. Set aside an hour a week to get connected worldwide.

GO to your knees often, whether literally or figuratively. Give thanks for your many blessings. Gratitude is one of the surest ways to increase your success.

 

KC Miller is founder of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, Ariz. The college was honored as a “2008 Arizona Company to Watch” by the Arizona Small Business Association, based, in part, on its commitment to helping holistic practitioners prepare for successful self-employment. www.Swiha.Edu, kc@swiha.net or 480-994-9244.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 1, Feb/Mar 2009.

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