So you’re waiting on something to get your business off the ground. Maybe you’re waiting until you’ve got a bigger savings account just in case the whole thing blows up in your face. Maybe you’ve got a kid you’d like to get to the age that she can be left alone without something exploding. Maybe you have some nebulous idea of the perfect time to strike out on your own.
Okay. That’s fine. If you’re not ready to get out there and do your own thing, that’s not a problem — provided you’re at least doing something in the direction of getting that business eventually up and running.
The Dream Killer Also Kills Businesses
It seems like everyone has a dream or two that they just never get around to. And if you just keep not getting around to, time will eventually kill that dream — making it entirely impossible to actually complete a dream. Time can kill plans for businesses just as easily.
But if you keep doing little things that help move your business to be along, time doesn’t wear so heavily. Not only do those little steps mean that whenever you’re actually ready to go whole-hearted into running your business, but it also means you’re more likely to get to that point. Tell me which person you think will really be likely to start up her business: the guy that just talks about how he wants to write a book, self-publish it and sell it, whenever he has time, or the gal that wants to sell prints of her work to create a living and makes a point of finishing a new painting once a month.
Training Wheels Aren’t Just For Bikes
Those little move forwards are like training wheels for a business. They keep you motivated to keep working towards your ultimate goal of actually starting your business, whether that means you save more for your start up fund or you think about how to make the break from an employer that much faster. And there are so many different little steps that you can start from.
- Build a creative habit. If you’re going to have a business based on one of your creative skills, that means you actually need to be able to regularly create new things — pieces of writing, website designs, giant sculptures, whatever. So get in the habit of creating for a set period of time every day.
- Blog with an eye towards the audience you eventually want to sell to. If you’ve got a clear idea of who will eventually be buying what you create, start blogging regularly about something that audience will find interesting.
- Take a business class or two. I don’t know how many business owners I’ve talked to that tell me that they just wish that they knew a little more about bookkeeping and other business topics before getting started. If you’ve got the time to learn more about running a business before you jump into it, why not take it?
- Network! There’s no rule that you already need an open business in order to go to events and meet new people. So go see who you can get to know and how they might be relevant to your soon-to-be business.
- Make the systems and habits you need to handle the business end of your creative efforts. If you know that you’re going to need to keep track of receipts for tax purposes, get in the habit of sorting out your personal receipts now. The more habits you can build around doing the work your business will require now, the less likely you are to get into trouble with paperwork when you open your doors to customers.
Image by Flickr user Dottie Mae