It is a dream of many Americans to run their own business. Being able to build something from the ground up, create a product or a service, and achieve recognition for their accomplishments sounds a lot like success to entrepreneurs everywhere. Business owners face many challenges, from finding the right financial investments to business banking, yet even with the ups and downs nearly all of them would come back for more. It is the satisfaction earned from that first sale, and the accomplishment felt from reaching many personal goals that keeps small business owners moving forward.
The desire of entrepreneurs
Starting a small business is the goal for 48 percent of Americans. According to research by UPS, 71 percent of current small business owners would do it all over again if they could. Despite the hurdles that many have to overcome, few were deterred or regretted the steps they took in order to start their own company.
Maintaining that successful business is harder today than it was, according to 59 percent of owners surveyed in a research study performed by Constant Contact. They attributed the difficulties to the current economy, technologies and a greater number of competitive businesses. The current and ever-evolving technology for small business owners is both a help and a hindrance. Of the companies surveyed, 30 percent said the tech helped find new customers. An increased electronic presence can be great for marketing and sales, but it also is great for the consumer. More competition is readily available, and 35 percent of those asked attributed this to the increased difficulty in finding customers. The same marketing saturation that usually brings customers in has a negative side, as many consumers have started to tune out advertisements.
Despite the downside, small businesses are worth it. The same people who said increased competition has made operating more challenging also said that expected revenues will outperform the previous year.
"Supporting local [businesses] is a growing consumer trend," said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact. "The national discussion about the importance of small business to our economic recovery has raised awareness."
How to get off the ground
The first step to business success is confidence. A small business owner has to believe their product is worthwhile, and that their skills are what is needed to perform well. An unsure owner won't have the same levels of success as a supremely confident one. Stay positive throughout the hard times, and the better sales will come.
In an article in Entrepreneur magazine, Mike Jones, the former CEO of MySpace, said that a confident, driven entrepreneur can bring in investors, or overcome the financial limitations of a start-up. He added that many new business owners try to convince investors by telling them what they want to hear, instead of speaking from the heart about one's product. An honest sales pitch often works better than a forced one, and many people can spot the genuine entrepreneur. Getting the right financial investment starts with believing.
Jones emphasized that the goal needs to be the priority, not the business owner themselves. If a company is headed in the right direction, either through business decisions or personnel choices, the money will soon follow.
Maciej Ceglowski started his own technology company, Pinboard Investment Co-Prosperity Cloud, and he noted to the magazine that he focuses more on the publicity than the funds. A company needs enough money to operate, and a solid financial plan can do that, but Ceglowski believes that a great company is founded on publicity. His own firm recently held a competition geared towards other entrepreneurs, and the prize was $37 – and a lot of publicity. The more people are aware of a new business, the better it will do. The financial investment will soon follow.