It’s easy to compare starting a business like moving into a new home. You truly don’t realize how much goes into it until you’re there. Suddenly it’s overwhelming, and you’re walking on eggshells hoping you’re not making any mistakes. But the truth is, mistakes are how we learn, and accepting them is your first step to embracing the new business adventure you’re on. It’s intimidating and scary, but when has trying new things ever been easy? Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of common thoughts you’ll have when starting a business, and steps you can take to overcome them.
- “This is unpredictable, and I don’t know if I can handle the instability and insecurity.” Well, you’re not wrong. Of course working a normal 8:00am-5:00pm is going to have financial and mental stability and security. But this is a risk you have to be willing to take short term, for a better result in the long term. This is your chance to get out of your comfort zone, and be the leader you want to be. So roll with the punches; it’s only temporary.
- “I have a fear of the unknown.” This is genuinely the root of why all decision making is incredibly hard, whether it’s choosing between two cars or two different sandwiches at the deli. It’s fear of missing out. We always want what we can’t have, and the grass will always be greener on the other side. So ask yourself this; is the potential outcome you’re hoping for worth the risk? Or would you rather be complacent, and regret the decision later? If things don’t work out, remember; it’s not the end of the world. You will find your way.
- “Maybe right now isn’t the right time.” Let’s put this into a scenario. Say you’re dating someone, but things aren’t going well, and you don’t know how to break it to them. So you tell yourself “I’ll wait until after that concert we go to next week. Or “his birthday is in a month; I’ll wait until after that.” Truth is, there’s rarely a perfect time for everything. You just have to go for it.
- “I don’t even know where to start.” While everyone hopes there’s an answer to this, sad news is there isn’t. The best tip out there is to find someone that’s achieved the goal you’re working towards, and ask for their advice. If you’re just starting photography and have no idea where to begin, network! Try to get as much information as you can. It will provide a clearer outline and give you some piece of mind.
- “What if I run out of money?” Wouldn’t it be nice if money grew on trees? Only in a perfect world. In most cases our finances are tight, and the biggest risk starting a new business if the financial repercussions. If you’re worried about your personal investment loss, consider crowd funding or seeking business grants from the government. It’s a process, but if you have enough faith in yourself and your ideas; it will all work out the way it should.
What fears did you have while starting your small business, and how did you overcome them? Share your thoughts!
It’s all too easy to get intimidated, especially when your industry seems over saturated. It’s even discouraging at times, as we’re constantly trying to find new ways to stand out and creating something bigger and better than everyone else. But don’t let it get you down! Learning more about your competition and embracing the competitive nature can get you a few steps ahead if you do it right. Here are a few key insights to help turn your competition into your inspiration.
- Everyone is different. Think about it; Facebook wouldn’t be Facebook without Mark Zuckerberg would it? And Vogue wouldn’t be Vogue without Anna Wintour. While brands can take each others concepts and even their products, they’ll never have you, and your specific insight and talent. You will have a unique vision and mission that no one else will. And if you make that clear, your customers will come naturally.
- Make your vision clear. While people can steal your products and concepts, their reason behind it isn’t always the same. So show your authenticity; focus heavily on your branding, and the consumers you’re trying to connect with. To put it simply, copying someone else and not having a genuine reason behind it looks sketchy, and might have your audience questioning your motives. How can you take the same concept, but put your own unique twist on it in a way that your audience understands?
- Focus on yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in the competition. But constantly worrying about what someone else is up to will get you nowhere. It’s distracting, overwhelming and quite frankly; disheartening at times. So ask yourself some questions. What if your only competition was your own company? And how about instead of putting your competitor down, you were their cheerleader? Success is measured by trying to outperform yourself from yesterday. Trying to find ways to constantly improve and think outside the box will only bring you success.
- Uncover their flaws. Like all humans, not every company is perfect. So while you shouldn’t spend too much time focusing on it, do some analyzing on various aspects of their business; whether it’s a blog post or a television commercial. If that had been you, what would you have done differently? When looking at our competition, it’s a lot easier to acknowledge what they’re doing right, and not what they’re doing wrong. It’s all about perspective.
- Befriend them. In almost every industry, there’s a stigma that competition = enemies. Yes you’re trying to compete, but why can’t it be in good faith? Businesses do well by connecting with other businesses, and there’s so much you can learn from each other. You’d be surprised at how many companies are actually willing to help out one another. So be friendly! Put yourself out there and take some risks. What do you have to lose?
How have you turned your competition into inspiration? Share your tips and tricks with us!
Did you know that 88% of people trust reviews as much as personal recommendations, AND 88% of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchase decision? Talk about a staggering number! To put it simply, reviews are everything. It not only determines behavior on the consumer side, but allows businesses to connect, reflect and make actionable business decisions. But if those numbers aren’t enough, we’ll break it down below!
- You’ll earn some street cred. People trust what their friends and family think, and word of mouth is still the most popular method of recommendation for consumers. If your friend has been complaining about that new Apple watch they bought on Amazon, are you gonna go buy it? Most likely not. On the business side, reviews allow you to be authentic, credible and trustworthy. It’s vulnerability, it’s real, and it works.
- Feedback is valuable. To be blunt, a business simply can’t improve and solve it’s problems if they don’t know what they are. Think about it like a relationship. How can you make things better if you don’t know what you did wrong? While some of the negativity might sting at first, it often takes that brutal honesty to make that lightbulb go off. And to make the feedback even more valuable, we love the idea of repurposing! Create a review roundup blog, or use it as leverage to promote your business. The options are endless!
- It entices a call to action. Let’s give this one a scenario. Say you’re on Google, and you’re searching for reviews on a hair product you’re interested in. To your disappointment, all 50 reviews are 3 stars or lower. Are you going to continue to the website? Probably not! In fact, you’ll probably never think twice about that product again. However if the review page is already embedded on your website, people are already there. So even if they’re a little wishy washy, at least they’ll have more inclination to do some research, without having to go the extra mile to get there.
- It’s great for your SEO. Every business is always looking for ways to improve their website rankings. However most business owners don’t know that Google reviews actually help their website rankings in search engines. When you have positive reviews (and lots of them), Google actually rewards you for that behavior. The more reviews you get, the more you’ll show up in Google, and the more credible your website becomes. Sounds like a win-win to us!
- Opens the door for communication. Over the past century, marketing has taken a complete 180 flip. As a consumer, traditional marketing (mail pieces, billboards, tv ads) talk at you, whereas digital marketing talks with you. Social media is a two-way street of communication, and allows for a much faster response time to your customers; hence, better relationship building. The sooner you can nip something in the bud the better; so take advantage of it!
How have reviews helped your business achieve it’s goals? Do you have recommendations for gaining more positive reviews? Let us know!