By Sam Tabachnik, NOEW Correspondent for The Idea Village.
Veteran entrepreneurs Colin Grussing and Jason Seidman know how hard it is to start a new business.
So they decided to help others launch new enterprises every week-for 52 straight weeks.
Grussing and Seidman are the co-founders of 52businesses, an organization aimed at helping would-be entrepreneurs start new businesses.
During New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, Grussing the Seidman led a session focused on five important areas of focus that most entrepreneurs miss, based on their experience from 52businesses. Here’s the five points they say entrepreneurs can’t miss.
1) Micro Testing
Grussing and Seidman used the tagline, “Don’t quit your day job.” The key, they said, is low risk product testing. Instead of trying to start a restaurant from scratch with major capital, try a pop-up stand or food truck and see what works and what needs to be honed. That way, if the business doesn’t succeed, your life-savings aren’t down the drain.
“If you don’t label yourself, someone else will,” Grussing said. Creating a brand is often something that businesses procrastinate with and put off for months, even years at a time. Devoting a block of time exclusively for branding brainstorming-something that can take as little as three hours, Seidman said-can make you into a branding expert.
3) Project Management
Grussing and Seidman stressed that it’s more important to find a system that works for you personally, rather than recommending one system to every entrepreneur. Making to-do lists that include real action items, instead of broader, more complex goals, is an effective way to manage time and workload.
4) Social Media
Many entrepreneurs, Grussing said, mistakenly believe that social media is free advertising. Instead, he said, social media is “earned advertising” and should be taken seriously. Sending out a litany of poor, uninformative tweets and Facebook posts can damage your brand. Seidman suggested encouraging fans of your product to “like” it on social media, which can draw more attention to your product or service.
5) Press Outreach
The press can be highly useful to enhancing your business, the experts said. Find a writer who covers similar stories and give them an angle to write about your business. The more work you do for them, the more likely they will write about you. If a journalist just wrote an article that made you say, “that should be me,” make yourself the next story.
What his job really comes down to, Grussing said, is convincing more would-be entrepreneurs to “take the plunge.”
“My favorite thing about all of this is getting people to take that step,” he said. “I want to convince more people not to quit their day job, but pursue their dream job.”