When young entrepreneurs approach me looking for advice on getting their businesses off the ground, I can’t help but feel energized. Their commitment to forging their own paths in life is awe-inspiring and I truly love hearing about their ideas. To ensure they’re on the right track for success, I provide them with these five pieces of advice.
Research, Research, and Research
The founder of every Fortune 500 company was in your shoes at some point and much can be learned from their journeys. Look into how they developed their products and/or services, established their company, recruited employees, and expanded their organization to the place it is today. In addition to looking at their wins, examine their mistakes and learn how to avoid making them yourself. If you’re local to Hattiesburg, you can stop by the Area Development Partnership (ADP) and request access to their enormous supply of data that can help guide your decision-making.
Get Your Business Plan Right
When first starting a business, many people want to jump in and start trying to find customers right away. While I applaud the initiative, I always advise entrepreneurs to create a well-thought-out business plan and consult with professionals to perfect the details. Time spent planning is time well spent. If you’re near the University of Southern Mississippi, go ahead and contact the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development & Entrepreneurship to meet with one of their knowledgeable representatives regarding your plan. You’ll thank yourself later.
No Person Is an Island
For many entrepreneurs, it’s tempting to tackle the monumental task of creating a successful business on their own. The best entrepreneurs are often people who grew up seeing the world in a different light than others and as a result, developed unique ways of approaching problems. When you spend your whole life forging your own path, it’s the natural next step to view the startup process as a solo venture. I urge you to resist the urge to go it alone and instead, gather a team of people you trust that can provide you with fresh viewpoints and insights.
It Takes a Team to Win
We live in a country that gives countless opportunities to innovators who are willing to put in the work to build something great. There are tons of Small Business Administration (SBA) programs out there to help entrepreneurs in getting their feet off the ground. In addition to pursuing opportunities available through the SBA, I encourage you to find an attorney, certified public accountant (CPA), and banker you can trust. Their expert advice will help you navigate the complicated world of business and find your way to the top.
If you’re looking for more guidance on how to build your dream business and conquer the world, contact us today. Our team is here to help your team succeed.
Written by: Greg Hodges, Chief Banking Officer