In today’s economy many of us are seeking ways to become more financially independent. For some of us, this means being involved in the gig economy but for others of us, this means starting our own small business. It is always nice when we have extra money coming into our pockets while being able to maintain a work life balance. As a small business owner, we choose when and where we work, and how quickly we want to grow. While there are a whole host of benefits to becoming a small business owner, if we jump in without planning our path, we are likely to find that our business will not survive. There are many skills we need to develop or be able to access if we are to be successful.
Understanding a variety of data is vital for our business because we need to understand who our market is. While it can be tempting to go with a “if we build it, they will come” model, in truth, unless we understand the needs of our market, we are likely to fail. This is where data analytics and having someone on your staff with an MS in Data Analytics comes in handy as they can help improve our businesses’s chances of success. Data analytics is key because it provides a clear picture of all the market data we have available to us. For example, if someone finds there are many small restaurants in their community, they will have to find a way to stand out if they hope to succeed with a new restaurant.
To be successful as business owners we need to have a good understanding of the communication tools that we have available. These tools can include a social media strategy, a website, or a customer management system. No matter what type of business we have, if customers don’t know about the products or services that we are offering, they will not support our business.
There are so many businesses out there we need to have a compelling story around what makes us different from all the rest. This can look like specializing in one thing or being a one stop shop for our customers. Many times, what customers are really buying from us is not a product or service but a story about a product or service. The customer is buying the story that our business is always fast and professional, is supporting local individuals, or is reinvesting in the community. Being able to tell these stories well will increase our likelihood of success.
Time and Energy Resources
Starting a business takes a large amount of time, energy, and commitment. There are a wide range of moving parts that must be always considered. If we are thinking about starting a business it can be useful to talk to those who have set up a business before in order to avoid common missteps. It is important to tap into the wisdom of those who have gone before on the journey of starting a new business. Collaboration helps all businesses.
In addition, it is important to understand the skill set we already have, the skills we can develop, and the skills we need to seek outside help with. In truth, rarely can one person do everything involved with running a business, so it is important to be able to reach out to freelancers and others. Understanding our skills will make it much more likely that our business will succeed because few of us are great at creating a product, marketing a product, managing financials, and providing customer service all at the same time, or if we are, we find we don’t have the time to do it all.
When we are starting a new business, we are going to have to understand data, be great communicators, and know the time and energy costs that will be involved. While starting a side business is a great way to bring in extra income, to be a successful business comes down to planning. All too often we jump in with a good idea, but find day-to-day management doesn’t bring us joy unless we connect to the individuals who have the skills we need to be successful.