My Small Business Tips
I’ve owned my own business since I was 18 years old. It has grown and evolved over time, and going to college to get a degree in Business slowed me down at first but has paid off tremendously. I don’t regret it for a second! If you’re interested in starting a small business, I’m going to give you a few things to think about. I’m sure you can find lots of materials about how to run a business successfully that gives you great pointers. This is not that. This post just contains thoughts I had that have helped me and could help you too.
First, if you are going to be a small business owner, do something that you love. You are going to be working long hours and handling a significant amount of challenges. If you don’t love and believe in what you are doing, you will not make it. It is so much easier to find that second (or third, or fourth) wind to get yourself back up and going when you actually care about what you do.
Second, you’re going to need help to get established, so choose somewhere that is pro-small business. I’ve been really lucky that I get to work and live in a place that is as business-friendly as Cobb County has been. If you aren’t sure about what your area has to offer, visit your local Chamber of Commerce to find out more. Another great way to learn about businesses are to talk to other storefront owners in the area and listen to what they have to say – ask about neighborhood safety, commercial or industrial space landlords, and about resources.
Third, location matters. Now, you may think that isn’t the most original tip, but you need to include all aspects of your business. I am not just talking foot traffic. I am also talking parking for customers and employees, visibility of signage and accessible routes to your location, outdoor lighting, your ability to customize your space, alarm systems, crime rates, as well as EMS response times. There are a ton of other things to consider as well. Depending on your business, being near certain types of transportation can also be beneficial. For example, if you import lots of goods, being near an airport like Hartsfield-Jackson will make life easier. If you do huge mailings or do a lot of your sales online, being near a post office or a shipping company will cut down on the time it takes to get orders out.
Being your own boss can be really rewarding but it is also extremely difficult. Learning all you can before you get started about the market, your target customer, and the area will definitely help you on your way. I wish you all the best, and please consider being a neighbor here in Cobb County.