As I was walking down the aisle of a local bridal store one Saturday morning, it struck me how few start-up small business ideas were actually feasible. The people running the store had clearly never started a business before, or at least never held a job in their life prior to their walk through the front door of your local bridal shop. They were clearly out of touch with the rest of us, and clearly needed some help. I suggested they speak with a seasoned executive who had once owned their own company. They gladly agreed and never looked back.
Start-up small businesses are the most difficult type of business to successfully navigate. If you don’t know what you’re doing or have no clear direction in your business idea, it’s hard to get off the ground. This is the one area where I wish every start-up business owner on the planet could turn to for some advice. There are many books, articles, and websites on the internet that will provide the insight needed to navigate the terrain that must be traversed to become successful. But, if you don’t know where you are heading, how will you know if you are getting off the ground?
Many start-up organizations offer seminars and workshops that claim they can assist you in becoming aware of your market and gaining a sound understanding of small business concerns. My question to these speakers is; “Where’s your seminar?” If the organization is so confident that you need their expertise, why haven’t they put together a committee of like-minded individuals to take you on a mini-exploration? It’s unfortunate, but this is standard business practice. Usually, these advisory committees never get very far, because the members are not an effective group. This article will assist you with picking the Big Wok.
Some start-up organizations may offer scholarships to those who demonstrate an interest in small business concerns. However, anyone who has taken even a single college course on small business knows that such courses are taught by people who have probably never worked in business, much less run a small business. These speakers are not objective, they are sales oriented. Unless you are looking for a gold mine, I would stay away from these types of seminars.
When a new small business starts out, it may seem like a good idea to go out and spend lots of money hiring big name advertising agencies. The problem is, if these agencies are paid on a commission basis, they are going to try to make their maximum profit. They will make sure no competitor can come up with a better advertising solution, and they are going to tell all the customers in town about the great service offered. Then when a customer has a complaint, the agency has to come out and defend their actions. This will only hurt the company, and could cost them their license.
It is unfortunate that there are a lot of people out there who want to provide advice and tell small business owners what they should not do. If someone has the desire to be a speaker, perhaps they could give two minutes of their time to an actual small business owner and discuss how to grow their company. It’s up to the small business owner to choose which advice they take, but the small business advisory should be limited to 5% of the time.