How 'Starting A Business' With Passion Pays
Starting a small business isn't for the restless or the weary. It's also not for those looking to do something cool.
It takes a great deal of grit, and humility to successfully navigate the world of starting, and sustaining a small business (many people forget about the work that follows starting something). Without an inert passion for creating, you might not find much success in taking this route. You might even experience general entrepreneur fatigue, or burn-out from trying to breathe life into an idea that just won't work.
A common, and very dangerous misconception when starting a small business is thinking, if I make it, people will want it. Not only is this a dangerous foundation to build a small business upon, but it's also very untrue. Just because you have an idea, or a eureka moment, doesn't guarantee that people will be even remotely interested, and it also doesn't mean your great idea isn't already on the market (there's nothing new under the sun, bummer). Here's how to start your business with passion or include it in your current business model:
Use Your Passion To Guide Your Focus
When I first started Prae, I didn't have a clue what I was getting myself into. I spent quite a few months in what I call a mental tinkering mode. This involved me diving head-first into research, getting feedback from peers, and spending hours toying with the idea of Prae in my head. All the while, I kept thinking, I just want to help people. And then it hit me.
Why not take my passions for community outreach, and people, and use the skills I've acquired in school, marketing, design, etc, to meet a greater need. Doesn't it make sense to take the things your good at, and use them for the greater good? I think so.
Don't Let Money Talk Keep You From Your Passion
Then there was the ugly reality of funding, choosing the best demographic, and getting enough exposure, and experience, to really make a difference. I wasn't nor do I wish to dominate the market, because really the problem I'm trying to solve, while global, is something I'd rather focus on at a local scale. Taking over shouldn't be a part of your start a small business starter pack. Expansion, in my opinion, comes organically, and is a beautiful opportunity to help more people.
Don't let financials, stop you from doing what you feel you should. When you focus on the people that you are providing a service for, they will recognize that, and the revenue will follow. When you are focused solely on finding any angle into the wallet of your customer, that's when you lose them, and watch as they go somewhere else that will take the time to truly value them, and offer value. Money isn't everything, so it pays to have something else as the spine to your business. This spine my friends is your passion.
Let Your Passion Be Your Customers Value
My business actually isn't very unique. There are no shortage of agencies, and there are organizations that work hard to help small businesses, and those agencies, and other like-minded organizations have my full support. However my passion, and willingness to provide solutions to greater community problems is something that can't be replicated, and is something that I wanted/want to resonate with as many people that hear about it.
I didn't just want to start another agency. I didn't want to just dance around a larger problem, and cash in from it. Revenue was, and has never been my sole focus. Community, and my passion for helping others is.
I choose everyday to work with small businesses, support them, highlight their stories, and achievements online, and offer meaningful solutions that go beyond their bottom line. This is something truly irreplaceable. Whatever you decide to offer your customers, let your passion shine bright. Because while there are a number of other businesses, and alternatives available that might offer the same product or service as you, your customer will always choose you first.
Start A Business To Be A Trailblazer
If you are interested in starting a business, find a moment to really sit with yourself, and figure out what it is you'd like to do. It's okay if your business doesn't have a great deal of philanthropic roots, but remember there's still wiggle room for you to show others your passion through whatever it is you end up doing.
I founded Prae to be a small business's first choice in the event they needed help with marketing, social media, strategy, or something else. People always ask me what Prae means, and I tell them it's the step you take before. In order to start baking a cake, you must pre-heat the oven. In order to plan a campaign, there are steps you must take before to ensure the campaign is successful.
Instead of starting a business to make money, let your new venture or second or third business be a game-changer, and enter the small business arena to make a difference. Take what's done, and turn it on its head. Create a community, that people must be a part of, and one that gives back. Whatever you choose, strive to do good.
Another reason why small businesses rock
According to this article by Fundera, United States small businesses comprise:
- 99.9% of all United States firms.
- 99.7% of all firms with paid employees.
- 97.7% of all exporting firms.
- 48% of private sector employees.
- 41.2% of private sector payroll.
- 33.6% of known export value.
If you haven't seen it yet, check out this infographic on notable small business statistics.
If you need help getting your small business off the ground, feel free to get in touch with us here. We'd love to hear from you or feature you online!