After reading the previous Business Beats, a friend of mine from high school said he identified with what I wrote and was motivated by the column. He finds himself in a transitional employment situation, facing change, and feels entrepreneurship is a real possibility for him to explore.
He wanted to know what he should work on to make that entrepreneurial possibility a reality.
A few years ago, I was experiencing some back pain. Nobody probably noticed except for an occasional wince as I run through the daily work of counseling, training, meetings, public speaking engagements and visiting businesses throughout the region. I believe that week even included a filming of a television news segment.
Eventually, I could not take the pain and visited my doctor. I strongly recommend you seek professional and experienced assistance for whatever ails you (or your business).
My doctor gave me some tips and ways to feel better, but most importantly, he made a suggestion that resonated with me and still echoes in my mind today. Just before I left his office, he said. “Joe, you have to work your core.”
The “core” of the human body is a muscular system that helps give you the power to stabilize and move. It also can be considered the connection or link between the upper and lower portions of your body — a very important component to making you work properly.
My doctor’s last-minute suggestion got me thinking. What is at the core of the work that may help all the existing and aspiring entrepreneurs move forward?
Experts will tell you that when starting a business, you need a solid idea, location search, market analysis, feasibility study, a business plan and financial projections when seeking potential funding.
Beyond all that, there are other specific items to work on to increase your ability to start and run a successful enterprise. Here is a quick “Work Your C.O.R.E.” breakdown of four additional areas you should be considering as you move forward:
“C” Conditions: The marketplace is always changing, and those changes are unique within industries, target-market segments and geographical regions. Currently, conditions seem positive for entrepreneurship. For example, appropriate technology exists and keeps getting better, and assistance using it and even developing your own is available. Niches exist in serving the ever-growing needs of an aging population, waiting to be found and analyzed. Translate conditions into real opportunities. Understanding and acting on current conditions is a key part to what makes a good idea a potentially great idea.
“O” Obstacles: You will face real barriers and obstacles in developing your idea and growing your business. You will need to work through them. The key to overcoming these potential problems is to understand they may occur and plan around them. If you can come up with 50 things that could go wrong and then develop five to 10 potential strategies to deal with them if they do, you will have 250 to 500 possible solutions to problems you may or may not ever experience. Plan for what can go wrong, and you have a better chance of succeeding.
“R” Resources: If there is one thing that seems abundant today and I mention frequently, it is technical assistance and informational resources to help the entrepreneur succeed. Many state and federally funded programs are in place. Micro loans (something that is designed to work well for a new business owner) are available from more lenders than in the past. Be sure the resources you choose to utilize are credible.
“E” Expectations: Three basic types of entrepreneurial expectations commonly are seen when working with entrepreneurs on a regular basis. They are optimistic, pessimistic and realistic. The totally optimistic entrepreneur is expecting success from day one, and I hope they do find it. The more pessimistic entrepreneur is one that not only realizes there are challenges and barriers but allows those setbacks to affect the business negatively. The more realistic entrepreneur is somewhere between the two. This person has a plan and takes action to create a more optimistic future, but also examines, plans for and deals appropriately with the concerns of challenges and potential barriers. Your expectations are something over which you have complete control. Have realistic expectations.
So perhaps you should take the doctor’s suggestion and “Work Your Entrepreneurial C.O.R.E.” It may be a perfect prescription for getting you powered up to stabilize and move your business or business idea forward.
Joe Molineaux, director of the Small Business Development Center at Richard Stockton College, can be reached at MxBusinessBeats@gmail.com.