Take your time. Read through the list and see if you had or still have any of these beliefs. No shame in being honest, all of us have probably had at least one one of the listed items pass through our minds as we begun to conduct and operate our business. So much has changed over the course of a few years and over various industries that we cannot continue to hold onto outdated beliefs, especially as business owners. Everything goes through cycles, phases and re-boots. Holding onto what we think is right is because it’s what we’ve known all long is the equivalent to throwing money away. And no one I know is in the business of doing that.
Your customers can and will find you — The Great Recession (I love still calling it that) turned many people into obligated self-employed persons. People started their own businesses because they had to in order to continue to earn a living. Skipping over the personal metrics of what that all means — you are not the only person doing what you’re doing or offering what you’re offering. I don’t care how well your website was designed, how quick you launched the business or how much money you invested. You don’t exist until you let people know you’re in business. Which means, you have to find your customer, not the other way around. Ideas: marketing — traditional and online, networking, community partnerships and word of mouth.
There is no “free” money out there for small business owners – It seems like it’s no money out there, but there is. A lot of the times, it’ll be in the form of a contest, and other times it can be a private grant. Either way, if you want to raise money that you’ll never have to pay back again, just be willing to put in the time. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I suggest staying away from the SBA and Grants.gov. Most business owners aren’t professional grant writers, cannot afford a grant writer, don’t have the time and energy to read through the mess they call eligibility requirements and will not meet the guidelines imposed to receive the government funding available.
The customer is ALWAYS right — If the customer is always right, then why are they coming to you? No, seriously, think about it. If the customer had all the answers and knew where to find all the resources, why are they knocking on your door? This is not said to inflate our own egos, but just to help put things into perspective when we’re questioned by a customer or client about our capability and knowledge. We never want to approach them defensively, but with a bit of enlightenment. A reminder, so to speak, that we can do what we do because of how long we’ve been doing it, how trained we are at doing what we do and what we know about what we’re doing.
If it worked then, it will work now — Nope, nope, never. The problem with this belief should be obvious, but maybe it isn’t. If you haven’t heard it before, let me share it with you now: The only constant in business is change. Your customers will change, your prices will change, your hours of operation will change, your employees will change and yes, how you do and conduct business will change because the economy and market are always changing. Don’t believe me? Fine, don’t change. Come find me in six months to a year’s time.
Working smart outperforms working hard — Uh, no. You can work smart, but you still have to work hard. There’s no way around that. And we’ve all heard it before: Work smart, not hard! Let’s be honest, someone had to work hard to come up with that, so what does that tell you? There really is no substitute for working hard and working smart just means you’ve taken all that hard work and created a system for it. That’s truly what it is. Yes, many of us have been working hard only to spin our wheels and get nowhere. So how do we avoid that trap? Direction. Work hard towards something, not just for the sake of working hard.
It’s easy to hold onto what we know and what we believed was working for us when there’s so much new untested crap being thrown our way. However, we have to be wise and responsive enough to separate what sticks and what sticks to the fan. The times are always changing. We need to make we adjust, set sail and flow with it.
January 9th – The Renaissance of Downtown Los Angeles: Opportunity Knocks Conference http://www.downtownla.com/2013-investors-conference.asp – from 7am to 5:15pm @ JW Marriot Los Angeles LA Live – tickets are sold out, register to join the wait list should tickets become available
January 9th – FREE Business Plan Essential Class from 6:00pm to 8:00pm @ 5121 Van Nuys Blvd., 3rd Floor, Van Nuys, CA 91403 Contact # 818-907-9922
January 10th – Women 2.0 Founder Friday Los Angeles from 6 -9 pm @ the Regus3415 South Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 1100 Los Angeles, CA 90034
January 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th – Daymond John Academy FREE Workshop @ Hilton Pasadena South 168 Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101, Hyatt Century Plaza, 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067, Double Tree by Hilton 120 S. Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles CA 90012, and Renaissance Hotel LAX, 9620 Airport Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90045, respectively – all are scheduled at 10:30 am to 2:30pm except for the January 12th date, which will begin at 4:00pm. http://sharkinla.com/details
January 14th – FREE SBA Taking Your Business Global Webinar @10am -11am PST – Contact Charles Long # 813.228.2100
January 25th, 26th – LA Entrepreneur Revolution 2-Day Live Boot Camp Event; tickets range from $795 to $1,092. Event will take place @ Courtyard Marriott LAX/Century Blvd 6161 West Century Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90045 starting @ 9:00am that Saturday morning and concluding at 7:30pm Sunday evening
Okay, listen up small busineses in the Greater Los Angeles area — the VEDC is hosting another free event regarding the Affordable Care Act and small businesses. We all know that come January 1st, everyone needs to have ample health coverage. But this isn’t just for individuals who are uninsured, it affects small businesses too! The Valley Economic Development Center — the VEDC — is offering this event to small businesses presented by City Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr. to learn more about what steps small businesses need to take to cover their employees and how to avoid penalties or fines with the law. The event takes place this Thursday, November 21st — sorry for the short notice — at the California Science Center, not too far from USC (if you’re familiar with the area).
Fast forward about two minutes and 15 seconds into the clip and you’ll see the interaction where Roseanne and the other two characters have with the SBA representative. The fact of the matter is that the SBA is designed to help people who want to go into business for themselves — start a small business. But like any other resource you seek out, you must be — I hate saying the word “realistic” — you be AWARE. Aware of the criteria you must meet in order for the SBA to be of assistance to you. Aware of what you need in terms of a loan — or grants. The SBA’s website does state that the SBA does not provide grants, but there are federal grants that they point towards in case you’re interested and feel like jumping through hoops.
In all seriousness, no matter where you turn to for help, be prepared. Know what’s required of you, know what you have to do and what standards you’re have to meet.
Yes, it’s April 15th and if you haven’t filed your taxes just yet, you’re probably kicking yourself in the you-know-what for waiting till the last minute to file taxes for your sole proprietorship or small business. But have no fear, if you have a few minutes, below are some helpful links and tips to make the time before the long wait in line a bit more bearable! Happy filing!
Do you know where your city’s Small Business Development Center/ Corporations are? You can find a Los Angeles’ Regional SBDC Network on Wilshire Blvd in the heart of Koreatown. Located at 3255 on the corner of Wilshire and New Hampshire on the 15th floor, you’ll human resources and experience.