Start-up done right

Road Ahead          More and more people are turning to self employment in the face of the economic downturn, layoffs,  and growing job insecurity.   If you are just starting out as an entrepreneur, there are many issues to consider and, probably, worry about.  Most business owners will tell you that it is a journey.  Taking time to do some research and reality check is always a great way to prepare for the road ahead.

The good news is that there is an abundance of resources out there for you to draw on.  I am partial to books as a resource, which is why I want to recommend Guy Kawasaki’s book titled The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything.  Yes, the title is a mouthful, but the book is one I hope you’d make time to read.  Published in 2004, it’s full of solid advice.

I have picked out 5 of my favorite take-aways to get you going.

1.  The Art of Starting:  Read the whole of chapter 1.  If pressed for time, read the portion on “get going” first.  The gist is that “the enemy of activation is cogitation”.  You should always be selling; not strategizing about selling.  Start by thinking big.

2.  The Art of Positioning:  Answer this simple question: What do you do?  Developing a good answer to this question involves seizing the high ground for your business and establishing how it differs from the competition.

3.  The Art of Bootstrapping: Learn if your business is bootstrappable by examining characteristics, such as capital requirements, sale cycles, and recurring revenue.  Keep in mind that if you plan carefully, bootstrapping will only be a stage in your business’s development — it doesn’t have to be your permanent operational style.

4.  The Art of Branding:  This requires creating something contagious that infects people with enthusiasm, making it easy for them to try it, asking them for help in spreading  the word, and building  a community around it.  I particularly like this advice.  Create something worthwhile.

5.  The Art of Rainmaking:  Rainmaking requires access to key influencers and decision-makers.  According to Guy, sucking up is vastly overrated — sucking up cannot work unless you first get through the phalanx of “umbrellas”. These are the administrators, assistants, etc — people who shield decision-makers from “unwanted intrusions” like you.  Learn how to suck down to the umbrellas by trying to understand their role and how to get on their good side.

There are many more of such useful suggestions in the book.  Do make time to pick out a few for the entrepreneurial journey ahead.

Here’s to your success!


© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009.

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