7 Signs it’s Time to Hire a Consultant

The year is almost over- are you on track to hit your annual goals?

I’m not just referring to your sales goals (although those are critical), I also mean goals of the mission and vision of your company, employee satisfaction and engagement, awareness, and everything else that indicates a strong and successful business. If you’re not quite on target, it’s time to make a change. Bringing in an outside consultant may be the breath of fresh air (and new set of eyes) your business needs to finish this year strong and start next year off with a bang. Even the largest, most successful companies turn to consultants; maybe it’s time you consider it too!

Here are seven signs it’s time to hire a consultant:

1. You feel stuck or stagnant.
Simply put: If you feel like your business is in a rut, it probably is. If you’re not growing, you’re dying, and now’s the time to take matters into your own hands. Hiring a consultant can help address these concerns and get you back on track for growth.

2. You need help identifying problems, issues, or areas for improvement.
It’s a hard truth that people “on the inside” often don’t see things as clearly as those “on the outside”. Sometimes executives and business leaders may be blind to areas within their organizations that aren’t functioning optimally, or opportunities to enhance their business both externally and internally. Consultants bring the fresh, objective perspective that can open up new ideas and avenues that weren’t identified previously, and enhance a business.

3. You’re unsure of which direction to go.
Even if you have identified areas for growth, it may be tricky to decide on how to move forward. Consultants can help strategize as well as implement new plans, programs, and procedures to move forward and help your business grow.

4. You want someone to supplement your staff, but don’t want to hire a full time employee.
Let’s face it- hiring a full time employee is expensive. Consultants are an efficient way to get temporary expertise and support when you need it most. By hiring a consultant, you will get a relatively low cost, low commitment solution to a project or problem you’re facing.

5. You want insight into your market.
Many business leaders think they know their customer, but their knowledge is often biased and subjective. It’s tough to remove your “business” cap when trying to understand your customers. Consultants don’t have the same biases, and are able to conduct the research necessary to provide honest insight and feedback that will help you relate to your customers and better serve them.

6. You want freshness and creativity.
Every company does things differently and has their own creative process for operations, marketing, production, etc. Because they have been around other businesses and been exposed to innovation among different industries, consultants will bring new ideas and creativity to your business that you may not have had access to previously. In an ever changing world, innovation is critical to stay afloat.

7. You want to bring new life to your organization.
Companies get stale, but consultants can bring a freshness and excitement that may have been lacking. Mixing it up and engaging new professionals with your team can liven up the work environment, spark new ideas, and create a critical collaborative environment.

If you find yourself identifying with any of these seven signs, do your business a favor and consider bringing on a consultant to help. Amazing results come from collaboration, and recognizing the need for improvement is the first step in achieving your goals.

Breanna Bremer is a professional business advisor at Innovantage Consulting who helps her clients attract, retain, and grow their customers by creating and implementing customized marketing and business development strategies. Read more posts from Breanna Bremer on her websites or her LinkedIn profile.

Increase Customer Retention By Setting Proper Expectations

The first (and debatably the most important) strategy in customer retention is properly setting expectations. This actually comes during the sales process, rather than afterward, and this element ends up being the downfall of many “talented” salespeople.

Set proper expectations.

Imagine buying a new SEO service for your website. The sales person, perhaps feeling pressure to hit quota, tells you you’re going to get at least 15 leads per week, and close deals with at least three of them. Sounds pretty great, right? You buy the service and wait eagerly. And wait. And wait. Maybe a few leads come in, but you don’t hit that promised number. You feel cheated and lied to, and you cancel.

This is called “selling hot”. The salesperson will promise the moon just to close the deal. Although this tactic can generate an impressive volume of closed business (after all, who wouldn’t want to buy a product or service that can deliver such amazing results?), the turnover and cancellation rates will be equally as high, and tarnish the brand reputation. It’s a classic case of over promising and under delivering. It’s critical to set the right expectations before the deal is closed so the client doesn’t feel disappointed when their imagined outcomes don’t happen.

Now imagine the same situation, but instead of making promises in hopes of exciting you into a deal, the salesperson sets appropriate expectations. He explains to you that every client experiences different results, and you can definitely expect some new traffic with the opportunity for incoming leads and closed business (after all, the company has a great portfolio of successful clients), but the results really depend on the client. You purchase the service, get a few leads, close some business, and feel completely satisfied.

Don’t avoid setting expectations.

Sometimes salespeople will avoid setting expectations at all, which can be a big problem too. If you don’t tell the client what they can expect as a result of doing business with you, you put the client in control of setting their own expectations. This can be a huge problem. Customers will, by nature, have a preconception of how their life or business will be affected once they purchase a product or service. Typically customers set high expectations because they are investing their money in what you’re selling, and need to justify the purchase. Depending on the product, they could have wildly unrealistic expectations that simply can’t be achieved from your service. As a salesperson or account rep, you must be in charge of setting the proper expectations so you can avoid backlash from clients who don’t hit their unrealistic goals.

By setting proper expectations, your clients will know exactly what they should be getting by purchasing your product or service. There will be no surprises or disappointments. In fact, if they have an unexpectedly positive experience, they will be thrilled that the service over delivered. This, obviously, is the ideal situation.

Take the opportunity to level with your clients.

Most customers will appreciate the breath of fresh air when a salesperson can set appropriate expectations without promising them the moon. People can often see past audacious promises, and don’t like dealing with the stereotypical “used car” type of sales associate anyway. If you can relate to and level with your client, and honestly explain to them what they can expect as a client of yours, they will appreciate your honesty and like the fact that you’re not using high pressure sales tactics to mislead them into buying your product.

Retention is built on a solid foundation of meeting expectations. It’s not about under promising and over delivering (although over delivering is always great), and it’s certainly not about over promising and under delivering. It’s about setting appropriate and realistic expectations, and meeting (and/or exceeding) them consistently. If a customer knows exactly what they will get from your product or service, and their goals are met, they will have no reason to be disappointed or cancel. Decrease turnover and increase retention during the sales process by setting the right expectations.

 

Why Integrated Marketing Communications is Like a Brick House

Have you ever seen a print advertisement in a newspaper or magazine for a beauty product, food product, automobile, etc., and seen an advertisement on TV for the same product? Maybe you also hear a commercial on the radio for the product, and it sounds very similar to the TV ad you saw. Perhaps you noticed that the company uses the same (or very similar) backgrounds or landscapes, models, and other visual indicators. Did you also notice the verbiage of what the company is advertising and how they are advertising it? Did you recognize that the same promotion or value proposition was clearly referenced and advertised in each marketing channel? This isn’t due to lack of creativity, it’s just the magic of marketing, plain and simple!

There’s an important concept in marketing called “integrated marketing communications”, which supports an idea of consistency in all marketing efforts. Why is consistency important? It’s the difference between building a house out of bricks and building a house of stones. Let’s consider a hypothetical situation to illustrate the point:

While reading your favorite magazine, you come across a beautiful, artistic, and elegant full page ad for a new model of a vehicle. The advertisement emphasizes luxury and comfort that this car encompasses. Later on, while driving to dinner, you hear a radio ad for this vehicle that is comical, features a noisy family, and emphasizes the safety of this car. While watching TV before bed, you see a commercial for this vehicle racing through town while dodging obstacles, explosions going off in the background, and a gruff man narrating about the performance element of this car. Maybe you also receive a piece of mail advertising the spectacular price the car is selling for at the dealership down the road.

This is like building a house out of stones. Stones are strong, they can support weight, and they are relatively functional. Similarly, each ad, on its own, may be very effective in accomplishing its purpose. For example, after reading the ad we know the car is luxurious, after hearing the radio spot we know it’s safe, after seeing the commercial, we know it’s a performance vehicle, and the mail clearly states the great price.

However, building a house out of stones is very challenging, as they are all different sizes, they don’t balance well, and the walls can easily topple over due to instability and the edges that just don’t line up. With each advertisement focusing on a different element, the audience is left conflicted about what the take away is. Do we want this car for its luxuriousness, safety, performance, or value? Each form of marketing ends up competing with the other, and the effectiveness of the advertisements are diluted.

Now let’s imagine that each form of marketing focused on the same message: “This car has a very sleek design and a luxurious interior”, for example. The message from the print advertisements would be supported and reiterated by the messages heard on the radio and the messages seen on TV. After being exposed to all the different forms of marketing, one would have no doubt about what the company was trying to convey, as well as the value of owning this new car. This is like building a house out of bricks. Each element is strong and they work together due to their matching clean edges. Like bricks, these elements are very easily stacked, built upon, and strengthened by the presence of other pieces.

Integrated marketing communications is all about clarity, repetition throughout media, and consistent branding and messaging. You want your customers to know exactly what you’re trying to convey, and you want to reinforce this message throughout all of your marketing efforts. Try to shape each form of marketing: traditional/print, radio, TV, social media, direct mail, etc, to communicate the same message so that your target audience doesn’t get confused. In fact, leave them no opportunity for confusion. Be clear and be consistent.

The point of integrated marketing communications is that each marketing effort is supporting and adding to the effectiveness of the others. Like a series of well positioned bricks, strategic integrated marketing communications initiatives stack on top of each other, creating a strong, cohesive, well rounded campaign. Each element adds more support and value to the integrity of the campaign, as they repeat the important and desired information, and communicate them in a consistent manner, across diverse and complimentary channels. This is a strategic marketing process aimed at developing the strongest and most productive outcome.

Integrate your desired message among all forms of marketing and communication, and have the elements working together to enhance your initiatives. Build your campaigns with strong and sturdy “bricks”, that compliment each other and work together to enhance your desired goals.

Increase Customer Retention Through Preventative Maintenance

The most effective way, by far, to expand the lifetime of anything is to consistently do preventative maintenance. You take your car to the shop for tune-ups and oil changes, you visit the doctor’s office for check-ups and immunizations, and you have necessary servicing of large household appliances and systems. Even if things aren’t broken, it’s critical to take good care of anything that you want to last. The alternative of neglecting these important elements would have detrimental implications, and any damage to these would be incredibly cost and time intensive, and may potentially pose much more dangerous fallout.

This habit of preventative maintenance is applicable in just about every aspect of your life, and is particularly relevant in business. One of the largest challenges many companies face is customer turnover. The struggle with retention is huge, and even the largest, most successful companies still need to be mindful of this difficulty. Preventative maintenance is critical for companies who strive to maintain customer loyalty and aim to limit the amount of returns, cancellations, and dissatisfied customer surveys they encounter. The amount of time and funds necessary to invest in the servicing of current customers is dramatically outweighed by the potential return your business will receive as a result of your efforts.

A quick, inexpensive, and incredibly effective way to do a client check-up is to pick up the phone. Check in on them! Make the goal of each call to find out how you client is doing, actually listen to their pain points or complaints, and communicate that you understand their challenges. From there, you can work on addressing their issues, but first and foremost you need to demonstrate that you know what the problem is. Doctors don’t write treatment plans before they diagnose the issue, and they don’t diagnose the issue before they listen to the symptoms that you tell them. You need to operate the same way. Be patient, listen, identify the real problems (if any), and then work on a plan to solve them if necessary.

Your customers will be pleasantly surprised to get a phone call from your company with the sole goal of checking in. It’s important to call without any intention of making a sale. If the customer happens to be thrilled with your business and requests to purchase more product, or increase their account coverage, great! But make sure your clients know that the purpose of this call is for customer service. Don’t push a sale either- you don’t want to condition your clients to feel like every phone call comes with an ulterior motive or sales intention.

Another benefit of calling to check on your clients is the personal element you develop by doing so. Putting a face and voice to your brand by personalizing their customer service experience will increase their attachment and commitment to your company via the relationship they will develop with your customer service team.Make the experience individualized versus corporatized. People like to feel special and important. Call them by name, familiarize yourself with their account and their needs. More than anything, your clients are people, not commission checks. Help them out, and your business will reap excellent benefits.

The biggest mistake a business can make is avoiding calling the dissatisfied clients. The mentality that some companies erroneously maintain is that if they call a client who is potentially dissatisfied with their experience, the client will use that opportunity cancel. After all, if you don’t call, they probably won’t remember that they are unhappy with your company. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong. If they are unhappy with the results they are getting as a customer of your business, they will get around to cancelling eventually. It’s much better to call now and have the opportunity to address their complaints and potentially save the account than to let it sit and leave the customer thinking you don’t care about their business.

Do not make the mistake of projecting your own experiences or expectations on your client. For example, while working at a popular real estate website company, I would check in monthly with my clients who were real estate agents that lived all across the country. Some lived in busy metropolitan areas, and would receive dozens of leads per day from their advertising campaigns, while others received one lead over the course of a few months. One day I had an encounter with an agent who was unhappy that she had “only” received ten leads in a week. I worked with her on the phone for about five minutes to help her more effectively manage those ten leads, helping her realize that ten closed leads is better than thousands of unclosed leads. She calmed down, got excited about following up with them, and gave me a referral of a friend of hers who wanted to sign up with me. Score! Five minutes was easy and effective preventative maintenance, showing my client that I care and I’m there to help. Additionally, I was able to take care of her displeasure before the issue and her frustration got out of hand, potentially saving the account from a cancellation and an angry review on our site.

After dealing with the woman who was unhappy about ten leads in a week, I reluctantly called to check in on another client who, after almost two months of running his campaign, had only just received his first lead. I started the phone call sympathetically, almost apologetically, and on the defense for an angry client who may complain about their issue. To my shock, there was no issue! This older gentleman was beyond thrilled to have received a lead, exclaiming in his adorable southern accent “Oh my! I’ve gotta go, I need to put gas in my car and prepare for some showings!” Obviously his perception of the results he was getting were dramatically different from mine, and I learned to stop projecting my expectations on my clients, and focus on addressing their individual concerns as needed.

There have been plenty of times that I forced myself to call customers that I was afraid might give me an earful about how disappointed they are in the results. To be honest, I did receive a few cancels as a result of those phone calls (which probably would have happened either way), but much more often I had the opportunity to address my customers needs that weren’t being met, and I was able to make some changes to the account, or help consult my client to use their account differently so that they were much more pleased with their results. Customer service and a regular client check-in is the best use of your time and resources to prevent turnover and increase client retention. Don’t ignore your clients; pick up the phone and ask how you can help them get the most out of their experience with you.

Get More From Your Closed Deals

You just closed a huge contract and you’re flying high on the post-deal buzz, complete with high fives from your colleagues, and a nod and thumbs up from your boss. Your commission check is going to have a little extra padding this month, and you’re feeling great. Suddenly you are hit with the heavy and disappointing realization that your pipeline is now much smaller than it was, and you no longer have this exciting contract to look forward to. It’s already closed, now what?

One of the biggest and most common mistakes companies and salespeople make is assuming that the sales avenue is over after the initial deal is closed. Worse yet is the assumption that a customer is no longer of value after they sign the contract and become a client. Ironically enough, the closed deal is just the beginning of a tremendously lucrative opportunity for the account representative who is able identify its massive potential and act on it strategically. Here’s why:

  1. Customers are often a source of repeat business. If your customer is hooked on your product or service, it’s likely they will renew their contract or use your business at another time. Customer loyalty is a huge advantage that will ensure more deals in the future as long as the service and performance is satisfactory. In fact, there are very few successful companies that have only one-time customers, so take advantage of the opportunity to retain customers through great service, a great product experience, and the presentation of new products or services that your customers would want to purchase. 
  2. The accounts of happy customers tend to grow over time. During the lifetime of a typical customer relationship, there are consistent opportunities for upselling. Whether you are adding new services to their accounts, offering additional features to compliment or facilitate their experience with your business, or selling new products they would benefit from using, your current customers are your easiest sell. This is because, as your customer, they have already established trust in you and see the value in being your customer. Upselling also increases their level of commitment to your business and makes it more difficult for them to switch to another company or provider. 
  3. Customer referrals are sales gold. Nothing is better than a hot lead, and current customers are the best source for those opportunities. If your customers are happy with their experience, they won’t hesitate to refer new business to you because most customers like to share their joy with friends/family/business partners. Creating a referral program or some kind of incentive can even be a catalyst to make your customers work for you as your own personal “sales team”. Moreover, the referrals you get will listen more carefully to your sales presentation knowing that their peer is already a happy client of yours.

The one caveat I will mention here is that growth doesn’t always happen on its own. Often you will need to seek out these opportunities by contacting your current clients and asking (again) for their business. Ask your customers to renew, to upgrade, and to refer. Don’t neglect your customers after you sell them; treat current clients just as well as, if not better than, your prospects and continue to check in and offer great customer service. Identifying and acting on these opportunities will ensure that the selling doesn’t end just because the deal is closed.

The Most Effective Sales Strategy: “What’s in it for me?”

When I consult with my clients who struggle with marketing or sales initiatives, I always start out the session asking: “what’s in it for me”? In other words, if I am a potential customer you are trying to attract with your marketing campaigns, or you are trying to sell your products or services to, what is the benefit I will get from buying from you? Always frame your value proposition as if the customers were asking you “what’s in it for me?”

Many people at this point will start rattling off all of their differentiating factors, nifty product points, or explain that they have the best customer service in the industry. This is all well and good, but it is far from relevant unless they can identify what that means to the customer. Don’t focus on the features you offer, or why you’re different from the rest; all of that information is important, and you can dive into that as needed, but what’s most important, and what you should focus your efforts on, is how you will directly affect the customers’ pain points and make their job, life, or business situation better.

Finding a pain point can be tough, and often you will need to dig deep. You could conduct market research in the form of surveys, interviews, and/or focus groups, you could ask current clients how your product or service best helps them individually, but the easiest way is to simply ask your prospect. After all, every customer faces different challenges, and what troubles some may not trouble others. Additionally, people genuinely appreciate when businesses care about their individual struggles. So get to know the prospect you’re selling to, and don’t feel uncomfortable asking them what they are looking for from your product or service. People love to talk about themselves and their business, and it makes them feel more connected to you as a salesperson or company.

Once you know what your prospective customer is really struggling with you can focus the sales efforts on their individual situation. Show the prospective customer that you relate to them and understand their unique problems (even if they aren’t so unique). Make them feel understood and special. Once you have gotten an understanding of the pain point and have communicated to the customer that you know how their struggles are affecting them, you can present your value proposition in a “what’s in it for me?” perspective. By explaining to your customer what they will gain by working with you or using your service, you will illicit a much more interested and positive response. Be sure to frame your sales pitch around how your offering can help their particular situation, make their life easier, save them time or money, etc.

Don’t make your sales presentation too feature rich; keep it simple and always address and stress how your prospect will benefit by being your customer. Don’t leave them wondering “what’s in it for me?”

It’s OK to Say NO

Time Face

Time is our most valuable resource, so it’s important that, just as we manage our finances, we know how to most effectively manage our time. We all have goals, and often we need to invest time (like we invest money) to achieve them. However, it’s important to recognize which activities are worthy of your time, and which are going to be drains on your day and/or your attitude. I understand that this may upset some people, but it’s ok to say “no” to people or activities that aren’t going to benefit your own interests.

Sometimes committing yourself to a conversation or activity that isn’t worthwhile to you can make you feel stuck since you’re not gaining anything from the interaction. Also- people can often tell when you’re not interested in being there. Even though you think you’re doing someone a service by taking the meeting, attending the event, or spending time doing something that you’re not interested in, your presence may come off rushed and ambivalent.

Additionally, that time could be better spent on things that will move you forward rather than being wasted on unproductive activities. Putting yourself in a position that isn’t worthwhile to you is only going to waste time, potentially cause resentment, and negatively affect the rest of your day. You have enough things in your life that cause anxiety, stress, discomfort, and displeasure, so why add more negativity by doing something you don’t want to do?

If it makes you feel good to say “yes”, then say “yes”, but it’s also okay to say “no”. Obviously it’s important to be a kind, helpful person, but you will become even more helpful and influential once you have focused on investing your time on growing toward your goals. Consider the old airplane safety adage: secure the oxygen mask on yourself first, then help others with their masks. Don’t feel selfish by turning down extra work that doesn’t directly help you along your path, because by designating that time to helping your own cause you can work toward being in a better position to make a larger impact down the road.

Understanding that your time is valuable, it’s okay to (nicely) say “no” to things that you don’t identify as a benefit to you or your ventures. This is something that can be difficult to do, and I certainly struggle with this on occasion because I want to be polite and helpful. The added stress, energy, sometimes gas expenses, and time lost is just not worth it. Learn to say no, and feel confident doing so.

 

 

To see more posts from Breanna Bremer, please view her article library here.

Why Your Goals Are Causing You to Fail

When I was working at a major online real estate network, my manager asked me what my sales goal was for the month. I told him my goal was $25,000, since that was my quota that month, and he shook his head. “No,” he said, “that’s way too low- I know you can do better than that.”

I was confused. I would be thrilled if I hit quota! It was challenging enough hitting my quota of $20,000 the month before, and that was my best month to date. I thought he was just putting pressure on me so our team might lead the sales floor in volume, and maybe that was what he was trying to do- but what he actually did was teach me an invaluable lesson in goal setting.

I responded that my goal would be $30,000 rather than $25,000, and he responded by challenging me and suggesting $40,000. Being competitive, I jokingly told him I would double my quota for the month and hit $50,000. He smiled, nodded, and told me to get back to work.

Goals On Dartboard Shows AspirationsThat month I doubled my previous (best) month in sales, and hit $39,000. Although I didn’t sell my arbitrary “quota” of $50,000, I breezed through my $25,000 quota and made a heck of a commission check.

So what does all this mean?

We place goals on ourselves that we view as a bit of a challenge, but still easy to achieve. We set goals that are comfortable because we don’t like to miss our targets and “fail”. In setting “comfortable” goals, we limit ourselves and condition mediocrity and a habit of settling. If I had stuck to my original “goal” of $25,000, I probably would have hit it, I certainly would not have pushed harder to get to $39,000. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible, and I would have been pleased enough to have skimmed by to quota.

However, when we push the boundaries of what we expect of ourselves, even if the goals seem out of reach, or even impossible, we can accomplish much more than we originally thought. Now, I must point out that the goals should be somewhat realistic and feasible (If I had set a goal of $200,000, I would have lost motivation and felt discouraged right from the start). But selecting a goal that seems just a bit out of reach can really create amazing results. Sometimes we don’t hit our goals right away, but with each attempt we inch closer and closer to success. More importantly, we train our minds not to sell ourselves short, and we switch our mindset from “here’s why this won’t work” to “here’s how this can work”. Now, as a small business consultant, I always tell my clients to be aggressive with their goals. It’s not failure if you are pushing hard and challenging yourself to achieve goals you think are just a bit out of reach. Perhaps they are (for now), but without trying to hit those goals, you risk the potential of never achieving them.

To quote Michelangelo, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

To see more posts from Breanna Bremer, please view her article library here.

6 Things to Consider Before Starting a Business

For many people, trying to decide if an entrepreneurial venture is worth pursuing is like standing at the edge of a high dive- they question if they should dive right in, or climb back down. The harsh reality is that many failed business ventures began and ended as an idea that needed a little more thought, and a little refining. Before plummeting off the high dive and falling in to the unknown, there are several questions you will need to ask yourself in order to prevent a painful belly flop, and dive into success.No diving sign

#1. Is there a need for this product or service? You want to create a business that makes life easier or more enjoyable for people, so make sure your business concept is serving the need of someone, or some group. There is no point creating something that people don’t need, because ultimately, if people don’t need (or want) it, they won’t spend money on it.

#2. Is there a customer segment for your product or service? People often think they know exactly what their customers want, but rarely take the time to talk to them and find out what they really care about. Your business doesn’t need to serve everyone, but make sure it will serve a segment of people who legitimately see the value in what you’re selling, and are able to purchase it. Once you establish there is a customer base for your business, you can start learning more about them and refining your business to appeal even closer to their needs.

#3. Are you operating in a “blue ocean”? Picture an ocean with sharks in a feeding frenzy over a small school of fish- that’s not where you want to start your business. If there are lots of other people or companies that are doing the same thing as you (or something similar) and selling to the same customers you are chasing, you are in a “red ocean”. Make sure your idea is different enough, or catering to a different customer segment, so that you can begin your company in a clear “blue ocean”, with little to no competition targeting the customers you want.

#4. Is this idea profitable? It’s critical to have a well thought out revenue stream for your business, and realistic goals and projections. Being profitable immediately isn’t necessary, as most businesses start out (and remain) in debt for a long time. However, if you can’t see the opportunity to shift out of the red and into the black in a reasonable timeframe, you may want to rethink that business opportunity.

Business Plan Showing Management Growth Strategy Solution       #5. Do you have the skills, resources, and ability to get started? Be very honest with yourself regarding your personal skills and strengths. Are they aligned with this business concept? Are you knowledgeable enough about the industry, clientele, and start-up process to feel confident getting off the ground? Often times, extensive research is required, even for experts, to position the business for a decent start. Also, be realistic about the financial requirements of the start-up and maintenance of your venture. Are you in a position to take the necessary financial risks? If not, are you able to acquire the funds through other avenues?

#6. Are you management material? Even if you don’t want to be the President or CEO of your company, it will take a great deal of leadership and management skills to get your idea off the ground. You will need to be able to delegate tasks to your team, network with the appropriate people, seek out and secure necessary resources, etc.  It takes tons of time, effort, teamwork, and devotion- make sure you can handle it.

In my other article, “Why you Should Start-Up, Starting Today!”, I encourage hopeful entrepreneurs to follow their dreams. I continue to support small businesses and start-ups, but I also encourage a well thought-out idea, and a meticulously crafted business plan prior to diving in. If you find yourself saying “yes” to the questions mentioned above, it may be time to step onto the diving board and take the plunge!

 

To see more posts from Breanna Bremer, please view her article library here.

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