Tips for Future Entrepreneurs
Is your dream to be your own boss?
Since you’ll be in charge, there are a few things to establish in order to keep your business running smoothly:
- Find Help-You may want to do it all, but stick with your expertise. Money tight? Find a willing (and smart) classmate to do what you cant, or wont.
- Unproductive-Pick a task that can be done in 15 minutes, or less. Deadline approaching? Manage your time by estimating how long each job might take to finishthen record how long it actually did take to complete. Use this information to gauge other project deadlines. Dont procrastinate until you are down to the wirebegin a project as soon as you get it. Sometimes outlining it from the beginning can assist in establishing a daily to-do list.
- Get Organized-Dont plan to get organizeddo it! Have a cleared desk, neat file folders, file cabinets, in and out boxes managed daily. Not sure how to organize? Enlist an expert, or find a good book on organizing at the local library. Need help? Again, your best bet is check out student help at a business school, or hire on a laid-off senior who was a secretary or receptionist for many years.
- Goals-If your goal is to increase your client base, set aside a specific chunk of time daily to accomplish that task. At the end of a week, evaluate your efforts. Do you need to spend more time on this goal?
- Distractions-Sometimes the littlest things eat up a great deal of time. Here are just a few people have reported as problem distractions (or time-wasters): the internet, personal calls, socializing (instead of networking), errands that sidetrack. Be mindful where you spend your minutesyes minutesbecause 10 minutes here or there easily turns into an hour of distractions. Having office hours established in your mind gives you a block of time to manage efficiently.
- Rewarding Yourself-After a big project is completed, be sure to reward yourself in a healthy way, delaying gratification until the project is finished is a sure way of getting it done on time. Simple rewards, such as: lunch at a favorite restaurant, or sleeping in an hour, gives incentive for the next project. Negative rewards do just the opposite, so be sure to choose your rewards carefully.
- Work-Life Balance-Workaholics need to know when to step away. Overwork can drain creativity and take away the joy of having your own business. Just as you manage your work time, manage your down time, especially if you tend to have workaholic tendencies. Take a lunch break daily, exercise after work hours or before you begin your day, and always put those special people in your life first. No job is worth sacrificing key relationships. Setting priorities is essential in creating a balanced life, which brings true fulfillment.
Sarah Shaw, founder of entreprenette.com, gives the following tips:
#1 Champion your idea-If you believe theres a niche for your product or service, you must be the one who gets the word out. [Your enthusiasm for your product or service will get others on your bandwagon, learn how to sell what you have to customers].
#2 Test the waters-Present your concept to people, get honest opinions from those willing listen. [You may want to create your own list to assist you: what do they like the most? what do they like the least? where will they buy your product or service?].
#3 Do some research-Meet with people in the industry, see about the services they offer. [How much do they charge for services similar to yours? What does it cost to produce your product or provide your service?].
#4 Marketing-Design business cards, brochures, create a website (butdogs.com has templates) and start a Facebook fan page. [If you don't have any idea what it takes to market--educate yourself--see publications at your local library and online].
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