Category Archives: Your Business
In our April 2013 issue, we introduced Teana McDonald. Her first piece, “I’ve Started a New Business – Now What?” continues below.
Who’s in your circle?
Who do you look to for guidance? Who do you bounce ideas off of? Who do you collaborate with? How do you hold yourself accountable? These are very valid and intimidating questions. I remember not knowing or understanding the magnitude of having a ‘circle’. It’s imperative to the life of your business. Yes, right now you are the CEO of Everything but in order to change that you need to create your circle. Whether you create a small group of professionals that meet once a month for lunch or you join a networking group in the community, in the words of Robert DeNiro,
“create your circle of trust.” It gets lonely in your office; the 9-5 conference calls and board meetings are a thing of the past. It’s time for you to create your own circle, which will hold you accountable for growing your business and stepping outside of the box. Your circle should be a group of professionals that you can use as resources and mentors. Start making a few visits and see which group of people are good fits for you both personally and professionally.
PR, Marketing & Social Media are not the same!
You can’t have one without the other, it’s a formula for success but it can be costly (trust me, I know). Think of it like an Oreo cookie, can you imagine a cookie without the white filling? It just doesn’t make sense, right? When I first started my business I had zero dollars to invest in any of it – so I decided to do it all on my own. Was it hard? Yes! Was it a great use of my time? Absolutely not! You have to determine if this is a strong or weak point for you when growing your business. Determine if you are a good writer. Can you pitch the media while selling your products or services successfully at the same time? You’ll learn very quickly that you get what you pay for and every business has its hand out. If you don’t invest in PR, Marketing & Social Media (the triple threat), your business will not have a shot. Try to find a company that a colleague is using, and obtain at least 3-4 quotes to review. Finally, sit down with an industry expert (in your circle) that can assist you in making the right choice. Then hire them! It will be the best thing for you and your future!
Remember, it’s your time to shine!
It doesn’t matter how you ended up here; the bottom line is that you’re here and you should make the best of this remarkable opportunity. There’s no time like the present to make a significant shift in your business. Build an empire and design the life you deserve. Once you decide that you’re in this for the long haul, the rest is up to you. You can have your piece of the pie if you stay ambitious, innovative and well informed. Good luck!
In our April 2013 print edition, Kimberly West discussed “having what it takes” to be a successful business owner. This article continues below:
15. What are the next phases of implementation? What tangible milestones will you aim for in each phase? How long will each phase take?
16. How much traction do you have? What have you accomplished to date that helps prove you are capable of executing against your plan?
17. What do the big picture numbers look like? How much will it cost you to reach your milestones? How big could the business grow, and when?
18. If you are raising capital, how much do you need? Where will you get it? Where will the money get you? How will you spend it? Will you need additional funding? When? How much? Are there ways to bootstrap?
19. What’s your exit strategy? Who might conceivably buy your company? Why? What do you think they might pay? What transactions can you point to that lend credence to your exit strategy?
20. If you are raising capital or granting equity to partners or advisors, do you know the valuation of your company today, and the basis for that number?