3 Helpful Tips for Starting a Business

Starting a business is challenging, and no successful entrepreneur starts a company overnight. While there is no perfect formula to follow to become a prosperous business owner, there are a few beginning steps that can set you up for long-term success. Here are my three helpful tips for starting a successful business.

 

1. Educate Yourself

Passion drives flourishing businesses, but no company can be successful without knowledge. This is why it’s vital to educate yourself on business practices and industry knowledge. Try to absorb everything that you can. Mike Kappel, the CEO of Patriot Software, LLC, recommends listening to what others have to say, including friends, family, and experts. By talking to others, conducting research and reaching out to experts in the field, you’ll gain helpful knowledge and advice. While you are learning, be sure to keep notes and start developing your business plans. Don’t forget to conduct research on target markets, estimate profits, and find out legal requirements. The more you learn initially will help develop your business success and hopefully prevent surprises down the road.

2. You’re Going to Need More Money

Cash flow is the lifeline of all businesses and an important measure of success, and you’re going need to a lot to start a company. Conducting research will help you determine how much it will cost for you to develop your product and service and what price you need to sell at to make money. Brad Sugars, the founder and chairman of ActionCOACH, suggests overestimating expenses and underestimate revenues. “I’ve never seen a startup business where expenses were at least 30 percent more than initially planned or anticipated, and revenues are at least that much less.” Sugars writes. It also may be necessary to contact investors for business funds.

 

3. Take Advantage of Free Resources

As a startup, you’re going to have limited funds, so take advantage of free resources. Whether you need help creating a website, developing a logo, or making business cards, there are so many free sources that you can use. There are free resources that can help build a business profile, create a website, develop social media practices, help track productivity, and even assist with accounting and payroll needs.  

 

Becoming a business owner, especially a successful one, takes much more than just following these three tips. However, educating yourself, managing cash flows, and using free tools are great beginning steps to take. Success does not come overnight, but these tips can help get you started.

 

David Jeansonne is the founder of Traffic Jam Events™, a nationally renowned automotive-marketing firm. He is also an award winning entrepreneur and business strategist. Read more of his entrepreneurship advice or check out his Twitter!

How To Maintain a Work-Life Balance While Becoming Successful

Maintaining a work-life balance as an entrepreneur or business owner can be very challenging, especially when it feels like you are “always on” the job. Advances in technology make it even harder to ignore emails, phone calls and leave work at the office.

Many people have a pre-established belief of what the “price of success” is, whether it’s earning a college degree or working more hours than the average employee. While these things certainly provide an advantage, the truth is that many successful entrepreneurs create a unique path to success, bypassing the social standards through discipline and extreme dedication to their business. Some have Master’s degrees, others have minimal schooling – but they all became extremely knowledgeable about their business through passion and experience.

“Don’t confuse schooling with education,” Elon Musk, founder, and CEO of SpaceX and co-founder and CEO of Tesla recently said. “I didn’t go to Harvard, but the people that work for me did.”

My path to success began when I dropped OUT of school in the 10th grade. I went on to build multiple successful businesses from scratch, including an industry-leading, 20-year automotive marketing firm in Traffic Jam Events. I did not develop these companies with a 9-5, 40-hour work week. Putting in extra hours to hone your craft is just one of the many sacrifices a successful entrepreneur often makes to get ahead of the thousands of competitors in their industry.

 

To be successful you will have to put in hard work and dedicate many hours, however if you follow these three tips, you will be able to somewhat maintain a work-life balance while also achieving your goals.

Unplug

If you feel like work always surrounds you, it’s because it is. Technology has made it so easy to be continually connected to work. However, it is critical to step away from emails and calls before they consume both your professional and personal life. Luckily, almost every piece of technology can either be turned off or set on do not disturb. When you are continually connected to work, you can’t devote yourself entirely to either your personal life or your work. If you do not set aside time for yourself, you will never be able to unplug.

Prioritize

It is essential to prioritize your tasks so you can get critical tasks done first. Making a list of everything that has to be completed today, this week and this month will help you prioritize. Lists help you understand what needs to get done during the day and getting it done first, thus preventing scrambling after hours to finish up. Don’t forget to prioritize yourself, your needs and your hobbies!

Set Boundaries

Be sure to set boundaries for yourself when it comes to personal and work time. There will always be more things to do. However, small things can be put off or even allocated to other people. If you do not set aside personal time, you will never be able to step away from the office.

A work-life balance can seem impossible to maintain because today’s technology makes business owners, entrepreneurs, and employees accessible around the clock. Unfortunately, we work extended hours, on the weekends, at home and on the move. Are there wealthy business owners who work 9-5 or less every day? Yes, and most of them enjoy those hours now because they powered through 80-100 hours a week when their business was merely an idea. Whether it takes one year or 20, the grind and discipline are significant factors in an entrepreneur’s success.


Ok, now that I wrote this and I truly mean it, if anyone knows how to help me actually do it please contact me ASAP. Until then I will thank and love my family for putting up with me…. and my phone!


David Jeansonne is the founder of Traffic Jam Events™, a nationally renowned automotive-marketing firm. He is also an award winning entrepreneur and business strategist. Read more of his entrepreneurship advice or check out his Twitter!