Survival Tips for New Business Owners

Survival Tips for New Business OwnersThis August, I am starting my fifth year in business. Statistics show that 8 out of 10 new businesses fail within the first three years. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), only 51 percent of new businesses survive at least five years. Pretty daunting numbers, and add to that the worst recession since the Great Depression.

I can write a book on the lessons learned and the roller coaster ride it has been. I am amazed every day that I have accomplished so much and have survived when so many do not. I am especially proud of the work I have done for many clients who have hired me and trusted my expertise to help them. Not only is my business in the 51 percent, I am especially proud of two personal achievements in the last six months:

I often say that starting a business is like jumping off a cliff. For me, it was a well thought-out, strategic decision, yet nothing ever truly prepares you for what it will be like until you’ve made the jump. And trust me, the great recession did make it harder.

If you are thinking about starting a business because you have lost your job or are done with corporate bureaucracy, you can do it if you are prepared to make the jump. If you already know your expertise and the type of product/service you want to offer, I can share some key points that were critical to joining the 51 percent. (If you don’t know the type of business you want to start, you’ll need to figure that out first.) Continue reading »

Looking Beyond 2012 – Making Big Hairy Audacious Goals

Big  Hairy Audacious GoalsGoal setting is a way of life for me. I am a firm believer in not only planning ahead, but also in writing it down so it is real and actionable.  I recently had a conversation with a colleague about setting goals for the New Year, and he responded, “I don’t write down goals, they are in my head.” Does this sound like you? I can’t tell you how many people I talk to that have this approach – keep it in my head and it will happen. Setting and writing goals needs to become a habit; but most people never form this habit and limit their success.  Change takes a willingness to embrace the unknown in exchange for attaining a higher level of success. So change your habits and write down those goals.

For 2012, I am not only writing this year’s goals, I am also thinking about my BHAGs – Big Hairy Audacious Goals! These are the long term goals that I strive for – and usually write them down every few years.

I first starting writing BHAGs in the early 1990s. But what is more telling is how they’ve shaped my life and career and what’s happened because of them. My story of how I started my business is because of a BHAG. And there are other BHAGs in my past as well that have come to reality. Continue reading »

Podcast: A Stack of Business Cards is Not a Sales Strategy

Deborah Frey, co-host of our Blog Talk Radio Show – 30 Minute Business Dig, shares her knowledge and expertise during this interview about “Purposeful Networking.” In the era of relationship marketing, we cannot passively connect in face-to-face networking opportunities. Presence has power and engagement is the fuel. Individual approaches to networking vary, but the successful among us strategically plan to optimize the value for sales and customer loyalty.

Do you have anything to add to this? Please comment.

Podcast: 3 Critical Steps to Success in Social Networking

Elkay Corporate Advisors is pleased to announce the launch of our Blog Talk Radio Show, 30 Minute Business Dig. With my co-host Deb Frey, we will focus on trends, tips, tools and tales that will inform, educate and entertain you while providing nuggets of value to enhance your professional and personal life. Visit our show page here.

Our inaugural show has Deb interviewing me, Lisa Kanda, chief results officer, discussing the three critical steps to success in social networking and why it’s a mistake for businesses to take the “wait and see” approach to using social media. Do you have anything to add to this? Please comment.