Part 4 of 4 in starting your own business venture.
In this post– 4 of 4 in starting your own business venture— we’ll take a look at accessing the right resources you’ll find beneficial to success.
If you would like to catch up on the 3 prior posts, check them out here:
In these prior posts, we examined several things:
- How your strengths, interests and skills may potentially earn you money– especially after assessing your clients’ willingness and ability to pay for what you’re offering.
- How things you love doing in your “day” job and personal life can be the impetus in getting you started on building something you love.
- How identifying and truly knowing your ideal client will help you develop, implement and improve upon every service or product you offer.
And this week, we’ll take a look at how to access several resources that could be helpful. So here are 4 of them (with examples) to keep you focused on your goal and get you off on the right foot.
#1 – READ MORE
If you’re starting a new venture, it’s imperative that you read up on the trends related to your business venture and know what’s already out there in terms of what you’re offering. You have to have a hunger for knowledge. You’ll need to stay abreast of the potential changes in your field and be aware of all of your potential competitors.
Every business has a competitor. And it’s limiting to believe that you’re the only one who has the correct solution to the problem you’re attempting to solve.
However, don’t let the competition scare you. Competition means that your service or product is needed and is potentially profitable. Someone has already verified a market. You’ll just need to make sure your venture has unique qualities to separate you from the competition.
So, in my quest to create an electronic health record (EHR) for forensic nurses. I started with research, and some of the questions I had included:
- Who would be my competition? Are forensic nurses already utilizing an EHR? Which ones?
- Is it necessary to create an additional EHR? Is my solution unique?
- Are the current EHRs easy to use and cost effective?
- Is there a standard on documenting care on patients following sexual and domestic violence? If so, who sets that standard? And, are forensic nurses engaged with who sets that standard?
- How will I reach out to my potential client base?
#2 – LISTEN MORE
Not only in the literal sense, but also taking cues from the work already done by others in your space.
There are many resources (most often found online) that can be of great benefit when you’re getting your venture off the ground.
There are many who have come before us, and those who have documented their own ventures in print or podcast. And, although many business owners who share the journeys of their successes may not relate to the type of business venture you intend to pursue, there are often many lessons to learn from their work.
Before I began building my EHR, I became interested in people who have become successful in their own ventures. And I found every avenue that I could to listen to how they came up with their ideas, the problems they wanted to solve, and the resources they used to become successful.
I also not only wanted to hear the success stories, I wanted to know the stories of those who had challenges in moving towards success and even those who weren’t successful at all.
Hearing their lessons helped me become more aware of what is needed in business– the time, money and energy needed to move ahead despite many setbacks.
Below are just a sampling of some of my favorite resources:
Podcasts: How I Built This, The Bootstrapped VC, StartUp
*I’ve had the privilege of meeting Guz Raz of ‘How I Built This’ and chatting with him at length about his podcast, business and where I was in my venture at the time. It was at a child’s birthday party with my best friend and her daughter, but hey… he obliged. He also shared with me the one story (at the time) that he would never air. Lips zipped…
One of my favorite episodes he’s done thus far: Take a listen here (Stoneyfield Yogurt– the challenges of almost failing in business).
Magazines: Fast Company (Great for highlighting women and minority stories in business on their covers), Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes.
Websites: Simply reading the websites of the podcasts and magazines above. There’s lots more content, and subscribing to their newsletters to get frequent tips is easy. Also another favorite: Forbes Women.
#3 – NETWORK
As a huge introvert, I must admit this is a challenge for me.
Networking is not only an opportunity to frequently let others know what you’re up to, but it’s also one of the best ways to learn how to be more succinct in your messaging when sharing with others what you’re up to.
Also, networking can reveal who can be a resource in your community and who are potential collaborators.
Opportunities for networking: Meetups, Events put on by your local Chamber of Commerce which are often free, and Economic Development departments in your city or state.
#4 – ACCELERATE AND/OR INCUBATE
If you’re looking for an immersive experience, participate in an accelerator or incubator program. These options are often provided after a thorough and competitive application process. They often range anywhere between a few weeks to a few months long.
Accelerators often help businesses do just that– accelerate the growth of businesses already up and running. Incubators are great for building on innovative ideas and gives new business ventures the life they need in order to succeed. Both usually have classes or routines weaved into their scheduled programming and can be vital in the success of a venture.
Since moving to Albuquerque in 2017, I’ve participated in 3 accelerator/incubator programs that have helped me move the needle on understanding my own business needs and other topics important to growth.
Some topics that often appear as part of the programming:
- Building a team
- Seeking out advisors
- Product/Service market fit
- Marketing your product or service
- Financing your business, angel investors, and venture capital
- And much more
And that’s it for my suggested resources. Are there any that you’d like to share? Feel free in the comments below.