Business Insurance is important and all, but you don't need to worry about that yet. Wait. This isn’t about business insurance? Nope. Not really. One of my favorite things about what I do is the chance to talk to many different business owners at different stages. I love learning from them. Hearing their stories. Celebrating wins. Talking about lessons learned. I love connecting others. (more on that in a future post)
“Failing to plan is planning to fail” - attributed to Benjamin Franklin
This is the first of a series of articles to help keep our business insurance clients from learning firsthand:
How to Fail at Starting a Business
If you’re thinking about starting your own business, know someone who is, have your own company, or are responsible for purchasing business insurance - I’m talking to you. Join the conversation on FaceBook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
And, you can help me win a blogging contest that our amazing Website company is sponsoring. The main prize is getting me and several peers to improving our communication skills online. However, the winner also gets $250 - and if we win, it’s all going to a great cause at Hope Rescue Mission just down the road in Reading, PA.
You can help us help Hope Rescue Mission by leaving us comments below and sharing our post if you like it.
Recipe for Disaster:
- Skip the step of "Know Your Why”
- Just Wing it. (If you don’t “Know your Stuff”, you’ll lose)
- Don’t read the Instructions (You need Proper Planning)
- Sleep in late and Skip the Marketing 101 Class (and Beyond)
- Hire the Wrong People (you don't want to work with them)
- Let the business run you, instead of you running it. (Go read this book. NOW)
What’s your Why?
(and what are you REALLY prepared to do)
Most of the time, the reason for starting a business is a combination of things and is different for everyone. For some, it’s a reaction to a layoff, a plant closing, or a relocation. For me, it’s been a dream for as long as I can remember (my dad was a small business owner too) to have a business to provide for my family and allow us to help other people. Your WHY is YOUR WHY.
Who and what are you doing this for?
- You? Your Family?
- To prove a point?
- To change the world?
- Discovered a new product idea?
- Found a product you love and want to share it?
- Or, something else?
It might be one of these, or a combination of several. And that’s ok.
If you stop reading here and take away nothing else, before joining us in the trenches: KNOW YOUR WHY. If you don’t, then the odds of success are against you.
Once you’ve figured out your “WHY”, make sure that you have the full support at home. If you’re single, then be sure your closest friend has your back. If married (or other long-term relationship), it’s near impossible to be successful growing and running a business without having a "team". Their unconditional support behind you and unwavering belief in your idea is critical to success. You don't want to lose your "team" nor your "dream"!
Start here before you think about business insurance:
- Communicate your dreams to your team
- Write down your WHY
- Talk about the impact your business will have (+ and -) with relationships
- Ask and LISTEN to their opinions
- List out the pros and cons of success
- Write down all the “worst case” scenarios (and what you’ll do when/if they occur)
- What kind of lifestyle do you want? (and can you live with something much less until you succeed?)
- What’s your exit strategy? Will you give up ownership to early investors, bring in partners, or hold on to it for your future generations?
- What are you prepared to do? What’s your “LIMIT”? Decide that now.
I’m sure there’s more things you can add to the list - what else do you think should be included? Please leave me some comments below. Next post is Part 2 - Know Your Stuff. Thanks for spending 5 minutes with me.
And, if you need any guidance on business insurance or risk management for your company - whether a start-up or big-time company. I know a guy.
Or, call us at (877) 627-7480 or you can track me down at either of our Blue Marsh Insurance offices in Honey Brook, PA or Fleetwood, PA.