How the work landscape has changed. Years ago, a great career started with landing a job in a big blue chip corporation, one with a management training program and a pension, with stock on the S&P 500 and lifetime loyalty. Today’s world is another paradigm entirely, with smaller business leading the way in job generation, free snacks trumping pensions and entrepreneurship a viable alternative for most anyone.
I’ve worked with a fair number of clients launching new businesses. Often it’s their second act, following a corporate career which provided financial rewards (possibly funding the new venture) but didn’t fuel their passion. Those with corporate experience generally come to the table with a foundation of strong business skills. Others, inspired to turn a longtime skill or interest into a business, may bring guerrilla marketing savvy and creative energy — along with an understanding that there may not be a big paycheck for a while.
New entrepreneurs are as varied as the businesses they imagine. There are the creative visionaries inspired with giant ideas, who can be challenged by the myriad tasks involved to develop a credible online presence. And there are the detail-focused founders, armed with finely-tuned business plans and comprehensive lists of target industries, in need of a different brain for developing the punch and sizzle to ignite a prospective visitor.
Today’s digital world demands a robust and credible online presence. Regardless of what you’re selling, your website must connect with your prospect, convince them of your value and compel them to act. To do so requires building trust, creating compelling content, guiding the visitor, and delivering on your promise.
And there are a plethora of other items to decipher, from business structure to marketing channels, social profiles to keyword phrases, pricing to testimonials.Creating a new venture can be energizing, motivating and exhilarating. But there are times when the sheer volume of tasks can make you want to hide under the bed — you know, that place where you lay awake at night, your mind positively spinning with to-do’s?
Don’t go it alone
Are you in over your head? Whatever were you thinking when you took this plunge?
When you start feeling wistful for the corporate office you left behind, it’s time to find some like-minded peers. In addition to providing encouragement, other entrepreneurs can serve as a source of proven solutions and advice. While you may have discovered the perfect startup CRM software, they can offer experience-based guidance for creating product images for your eCommerce platform.
It can be challenging to work on your business as well as in it. As your company matures, other business owners can act as sounding boards, providing accountability as well as inspiration. Cultivate these relationships to develop an inner circle of trusted allies. Then engage in intentional, focused and consistent interaction with these valued contacts as part of your business development strategy.
Managing your business online
If you haven’t found your entrepreneurial peeps yet, I’ll be teaming up with Christopher Angelini, co-founder of American Bench Craft, at an upcoming Entrepreneur Meetup group. We’ll share insights and strategies to drive traffic and increase visibility, and we’ll offer tips to ensure you’re providing the best possible impression once visitors land on your website. Hope to see you there.
Entrepreneurs Series, Reading Public Library, 64 Middlesex Ave, Reading MA
Monday September 11, 2017