St. Patrick's Day is March 17th and is said to mark the death of St. Patrick in 461. You may plan to celebrate the day by wearing green, eating Irish potatoes, and/or going out to a pub. Regardless of your plans (or lack thereof), you need to check out some of our favorite Irish proverbs. It may sound a little corny--but bear with us. These tiny pearls of wisdom pack a punch when it comes to small business advice.
1) "It's Better to Bend than to Break"
Throughout your small business journey, you'll inevitably encounter some setbacks, obstacles, and/or unexpected changes in plans--we sure have! Being flexible is often the best way to take back control in these situations. If you remain stuck in your expectations and refuse to problem-solve and adapt, you will absolutely suffer the consequences.
So... what does "being flexible" mean, exactly? It's adjusting to changing circumstances with relative ease, and it takes patience and practice. This could look like compromising with clients or vendors, working through unexpected expenses or delays, or closely following trends on social media to use for branding. Honestly--if you never bend, you'll definitely break.
2) "There is No Strength Without Unity"
Though it may feel isolating to be an entrepreneur or a solopreneur, you are never alone. Consider applying for relevant certifications from The Small Business Administration, or to be in supportive organizations such as Small Business Majority, The National Federation of Independent Businesses, or Working for Women. Being active in a collective of peers goes a long way. Small business owners have a myriad of support, knowledge, and wisdom to share--it's critical that we all help each other! Sometimes, we are our own best resources.
Another way you can practice unity with fellow small business owners is via social networking. Social media apps make it easy for us to contact and support each other. First, there are a ton of small business groups to join on Facebook. You'll likely be able to find a group that fits your brand's niche, no matter how obscure. Joining a relevant Facebook group is an easy way to find advice and content that directly applies to your business. Second, thanks to the ability to "like" and "share" posts with the tap of a finger, showing support for business owners has never been easier. These connections can make a world of difference in the success of a brand.
Last, we'd be completely remiss if we didn't mention the role that support from friends and family plays in strengthening a business. Never underestimate the power of your personal social support networks on your brand's success!
3) "A Good Start is Half the Work"
This proverb suggests that getting off to a strong start with a project will allow you to complete it with relative ease. Sometimes, we're able to hit the ground running and dive right into our work. When we can, the hard work often pays off in some form--whether it be via monetary success, marketing success, and/or a lightened workload. But... what happens if we can't dive right in? If we--as much as we want to--feel like we just can't start? Never fear! We're not doomed to struggle every step of our journey. Sometimes, just starting is the really difficult part, honestly feeling like half the work. Beginning any project--especially something as large as starting a business--can be overwhelming. Practicing the first two proverbs above may encourage you as you take steps towards establishing your business. If you're feeling really stuck or completely out of your depth, you can check out step-by-step guidelines to help start your journey. The Small Business Administration lays out these 10 tips to start your business: 1. Conduct market research 2. Write your business plan 3. Fund your business 4. Pick your business location 5. Choose a business structure 6. Choose your business name 7. Register your business 8. Get federal and state tax IDs 9. Apply for licenses and permits 10. Open a business bank account.
No matter what, the first step is to start. Whether you're running or just learning to find your footing, moving forward--just in itself--is half the battle.
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