Before you start a business you have to understand what it means to start a business. What it means to start a business is that you will have to really work hard, sacrifice time and put in hours to get that business to where you really want it. Do you have it in you is the first thing before first things you have to ask yourself.
Back when I used to teach much more than I do now I would ask the students in my business plan class why they were starting a business. These were the main reasons they listed:
1. To get wealthy and be able to take vacations on tropical islands (well something like that usually)
2. To not have to report to a boss
3. To do what I love and have it support me
All of those things can absolutely happen if you become an entrepreneur. But there is a reality that you have to face. To get to those things above, you will have to work really hard, sometimes very long hours at the start. Many full-time entrepreneurs are working 60 to 80 hours per week when they start.
Even when we talk about a side business, where you are running a business while working a full-time job, you are going to have to make a very real time commitment. If you are going to start a side business are you ready to commit to putting an additional 10 to 20 hours per week into your business while you are building it up?
One of the hardest sacrifices for me in my side business has been coaching. I love to coach and coached my sons YMCA basketball team on Saturdays. However, because I got a contract to do teaching and training, I am obligated to do that on Saturdays. Yep, no coaching.
There is a reason half of all businesses fail within the first five years of starting. There is a reason most small businesses make less than $50,000 a year, which isn't enough if that is all you are making to have those fancy vacations. It is because it is hard.
The reason I am stressing this is because I care about you and your success and what you to go into launching a business with eyes wide open. REAL business isn't an infomercial that you see on TV or a multi-level marketing sales pitch that says something like, "IF YOU JUST DO THESE THREE SIMPLE STEPS YOU WILL BE RICH". No it is a grind. It can be a wonderful, fulfilling and exciting grind, but it is a grind. You have to be ready for that. That is the first thing.
So if you are ready, let's go. That is all.
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Finding your authentic business voice will improve your social media marketing, your article writing and the text on your website. This will give you a better connection with your potential customers, build trust and credibility with them and make it easier for your to provide them with valuable services your business offers. By voice I mean the way that you come across through your marketing and communication to your potential clients and customers. This includes primarily your website and your social media.
Most new business owners, especially professionals who come from corporations, feel they have to take the "corporate style of conversation" into their business. Bad idea. As a small business the stronger the personal connection you can make with your audience the better. You don't have the luxury of being able to spend the millions of dollars on marketing to get people to like your brand. Also, and write this one down, as a small business people are buying you and then the product, especially if it is a professional service like consulting, teaching, etc. If people don't like you, can't connect with you or you don't resonate with them then the likelihood of them buying your service or a product is very small. This is why finding your authentic business voice is so important.
If you're naturally humorous don't try to be the stuffy professional type. If you're the high energy type then don't try to be low energy. It's going to come across as fake and this will turn many people off. Allow your natural way of communication to come through. Doing this creates an authentic voice and people trust authenticity. Always remember that people buy things from people they know, like and trust!
Here are three ways to start finding your authentic business voice.
1. Use I and we instead of "the business does". For example, instead of saying Black Side Business can help you do x, y, z say, I or we can help you do x, y, z. The use of first person makes it more conversational and authentic.
2. Use voice to text to write on your website, blog or social media. One problem that I had in writing on the web and social media was that I sounded like a nerdy boring college professor when I wrote. I had to make my writing authentic and sound like the me people get when they heard me public speak. I did that by using speech to text. In fact that is what I am using to write this right now! The tool I use is a free tool called dictation.io and I did a video on how it works.
3. The last tip is after you've written something read it again and ask yourself does this sound like something I would normally say to a friend or acquaintance? Also let your friends read it and ask them the same thing. If they say no, then go back through and revise it until it does sound like you.
In summary, finding your authentic business voice will create trust with potential clients and customers. Once you have created trust, it is much easier to provide them with a great product or service they are willing to pay you well for.
To check out the free online speech to text tool I use visit https://dictation.io/
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Today I'm going to talk about how to identify and overcome the three major fears of starting a business. The reality is as I've said before, many of us can start and run great business. If you really think about it, if somebody else is paying you to work for them then that means what you're doing is of value. So the question that I have to ask black professionals who haven't started a business is why? There are a variety of reasons, many legitimate, and that's ok. But one of the main reasons that I found people don't when they want to is because of fear. I understand why some of us black professionals are afraid and that is why I am going to identify the three main sources of fear and a simple way we can overcome them.
There are three primary reasons why folks are afraid of starting a business. Of course there are more, but in my experience these there are three big ones. The first one is because you have no frame of reference you have no frame of reference. To put it in a simpler way we're afraid of the dark. Think about why we are afraid of the dark. We can go in the same house that we've always been in for the majority of our life, have the lights turned off and have to walk to the dark and be afraid. Why? It is because we have no frame of reference. We don't remember where things are. We don't know if somebody's in the house. We don't know if we're going to stumble or trip or fall. Because we can't see we have no frame of reference.
The BSB Blog
Provides articles and videos to reduce fear of starting, understand simple tools for starting and growing and building a community of support.