As an entrepreneur, you need to be a quick learner. And what better, safer way to learn than from other people's mistakes? That's why we're launching this new series — “What I Wish I Had Known" — to share lessons that successful business owners have learned through experience. We hope their advice prepares and informs you for your own entrepreneurial journey.
Small business owners are the ultimate one-person show. You run it all: bookkeeping, advertising and marketing, delivering services and/or products, payroll, customer service and more.
In the Internet age, your website is your shop window. It's where people go not only to see what you're selling, but also to learn about who you are, what you stand for, and what makes you different from the competition. Unfortunately, too few business owners take the time to really consider their online presence and craft an identity that helps them stand out.
Before we begin, let's make one thing clear: starting your own business is scary. If anyone tells you otherwise, they're lying or at the very least misguided. Choosing to go your own way takes guts. If it didn't, everyone would be an entrepreneur.
Life doesn't end at 60. Or 70. Or 80. Or any set time. There's certainly no requirement that you sit by and wait for the end just because you've passed a certain age.
Business plans get a bad rap for being stodgy, outdated, lengthy documents that no one reads. Business plans don't have to be jargon-filled, endless tomes, though. They're meant to be useful guides toward success. And that's why every business owner, even the smallest of eCommerce solopreneurs, should consider writing one.
What makes people happy? It turns out that genetics and life circumstances, such as family backgrounds, careers, and finances, only account for about half of a person's happiness, according to University of California researchers. Although it's a common assumption that money can buy happiness, 100 years of data now prove that's not true. While money can improve happiness when it lifts people out of poverty, after that it doesn't make much of difference on their emotional well-being, research shows.
For most people, riding in an elevator is an awkward experience marked by crowding and an overwhelming desire to avoid eye contact. For entrepreneurs, it's an opportunity to practice that vital business skill: the elevator pitch.
You can't be everything to everyone. This is something most of us understand very well in our own personal lives, but it can be easy to lose sight of this maxim when building a business. You want to make as much money as possible, which means appealing to as many people as possible. The problem is that not everyone likes, wants or needs the same things, so if you attempt to broadly appeal to everyone, there's a chance you won't appeal to anyone.
Roughly a third of the U.S. workforce is freelance, and of those, a large and growing number are full-timers who have professional portfolio websites and spend for all sorts of necessary infrastructure required to run a real business.
Start Your Something
At Weebly, we believe that everyone deserves a chance to build something new and do what they love. The Inspiration Center features experts sharing what they've learned about starting and growing these types of big ideas.