Have you ever had to walk away from your JOB? Did you walk away to eventually become your own boss?
Well, if you answered “yes” then you are amongst the 582 million entrepreneurs across the globe who’ve made the big step on the long walk toward entrepreneurship. How did they do it? Because there certainly isn’t a manual (if there is, please share with the rest of us). For most, entrepreneurship and being the CEO of your own business is truly a learn-as-you-go, learn-on-demand, type of scenario. I want to change that by encouraging every business owner, no matter how small. to create and develop an operation manual of their own. As The Experiential Coach, President and CEO of Olive Media Network, a company I started years after when leaving my 9 to 5 job and later was incorporated as Olive Media Network Ltd, there were many decisions to be made and I had to make all of them.
Incorporating my business, for example, was key and crucial for me to ensure that I and my business were protected from any liabilities on my personal assets as well as any legal ugliness that my company could encounter down the road. Lawsuits can be devastating especially to the smaller businesses. People think that owning your own business now means that you will have more time, but the reality is that you end up spending more time in your own business than you would in a 9 to 5 job. It can be overwhelming and chaotic at times.The key is to get and stay organized as much as you can right out of the gate. Creating your own manual will offer organization and clarity to both you and your employees/staff on how your company operates. Here are a few tips I will share to get you started:
1.Hire an accountant. Make it one of the first things you do. Look for someone who is affordable to your budget, trustworthy and reliable via referrals. Your accountant can assist you in registering your company and may be most equipped to ensure you don’t miss important elements with the process.
2. Consult a lawyer.It can be overwhelming and a time waster to review documents and contracts. Hire or consult a lawyer if you are not familiar with the outlines, forms and jargons. 3.Create a website that is “sexy”to visitors and one that will draw attention to your products and services. It must be clean, simple, user friendly, mobile user friendly. Consider aligning your brand colours to that commonly used in your industry (example, green for environmental companies)
4.Request all your passwordsfor your websites, hosting and all the rights to your website when outsourcing the building of your website. Purchase your domain yourself. Limit your plugins on your site.I learned this the hard way. Plugins will require replacements and updates over time and the costs can keep rising especially when you have to clean up from having too many.
5.Quote your sources.Ensure that all Images and stock footage used for your marketing and branding quote the source of the origin. If using a“free” image, then do your homework before using it. Copyright infringements are costly and put you at risk for lawsuits.
6.Hire a web designer.Hire one who has experience in coding and not just WordPress for example. Do not do it yourself unless you have an IT background and you understand the language and you have the time. The costs you think you are having upfront will have you exhausting your budget in the end.
7.Get insured.It is an essential piece to securing the investments you make into your business. Business insurance is not one size fits all. For example, media companies require different coverage than a traditional corner-store type business.
8.Role play. My belief is that you do not have to know all the positions/departments in your business inside out, however, have enough knowledge of each role and how they operate within your business flow and culture. If you have the budget, then hire a hiring manager who can effectively match candidates to the roles you are trying to fill. Be prepared for employee turnover. It can happen fast and consistently if your employees become overworked or not offered a competitive sustainable salary.
9.Host scheduled company-wide meetings(even if it’s only you in the company). Getting into the habit of reviewing and updating the movements and progress in your company is good for business.It’s a great way to also hold yourself accountable in meeting and achieving company goals.
10.Outsource.Hire and outsource whatever you do NOT know or can’t do. The tendency is to attempt to do everything yourself, especially as a solopreneur or if you have a small team. Do not exhaust your team, time or money. Outsource
11.Know your target market.That means, No skimping. Do your research. Collect as much data, stats, information and trends about your business, industry and marketplace.
12.Know your competition.Analyze how they operate their business. It’s good business to know what others are doing--pricing, marketing, trends, etc.
13.Create a business/financial plan.This plan will be your guide, your roadmap.It is mainly for internal use but becomes a key element if you are seeking investors or pitching collaboration. Consider hiring someone to create a more intensive detailed plan dependent on how or where you are using it.
14.Create a budget. Work out your monthly budget. Keep your personal finances separate from your business cash flow. Have the best banking account plan for your business. Service fees can be expensive.
15.Make it iron-clad.Have in place very solid agreements when you bring on partner/s in the business. Leave the emotions at home. Do not bring your emotions with you to meetings or to the business.
16. Tune out the noise. Do not listen to your friends and family when you need advice. Work with a mentor, an advisor or a coach to keep you on track and give you the guidance you need. Everyone can offer their two-cents, just remember that you get what you pay for.
These tips are based on my experience after more than a decade in banking, the owner of multiple businesses and the coach to various c-suite executives. Many wake up one morning and decide that freedom was what they needed most.Freedom to own their time, turn their dreams into reality, and enter a career that wasn’t a job or a chore, but was an absolute joy to get up to each morning.
I wanted financial freedom, to make millions and to be my own boss. I know I just wanted to make myself and others smile and laugh. It may seem lofty, but completely doable. I choose to see it as doable, achievable. How about you? Decide what side of the bed you wake up on every day because that will determine what and how much you achieve that day. After reading over the above tips, you might think: “I know better than to let that happen to me.”“That will never happen to me.”“I’m smarter than that.”“Who me, I am never going to let anyone mess with me.”The list can go on and on. Here is the reality though, it can happen to all of us. Yes, each and every one of us. And when it does, that is when clients outsource services and programs like mine to guide and walk you through the whole process. Together, we often are starting from scratch to build you a brand new business if the existing one is beyond repair.
My Experiential Coaching programs want to catch you before the fall; before you use up your savings; before your family is upset; before you are at the point that you are ready to walk away from the dream. Think of me as your 911-BusinessRescue. Pick yourself up and call me. Allow yourself to be coachable, knowing all things are possible and continue working on your dream. So much of life we do on our own, however when it comes to starting a business, becoming an entrepreneur, you don’t need to do it on your own. It is ok to say that you do not know how to do something and grab a life line. Release and breathe. Regardless of the path you take, you do not have to walk alone!
Dianne Ojar isThe Experiential Coach and 911-BusinessRescue Mentor who works with start-ups to C-Suite CEOs. Complimentary TEC Discovery Sessions are available one-one-on or groups with Dianne, simply by contacting her and quote “911BusinessRescue”
Dianne Ojar is a globally recognized Canadian CEO, philantropreneur and serial entrepreneur.An expert in women’s entrepreneurship, power coaching, networker, and soul-healing practitioner, Dianne continues to empower women and her community through her life-long acquisition of skills and experiences asThe Experiential Coach.The multiple award-winning public figure and author whose empathetic and caring personality does not accept “NO” as an answer. Dianne is a motivator, mentor and “Doer”. She makes things happen. She is always welcoming, willing and open to share her knowledge, skills and expertise with those in need.She is in the practice of helping, healing and leading those who seek transformation and elevation in their lives. Dianne Ojar, The Experiential Coach and CEO of Olive Media can be contacted….