Two drivers behind “The Great Resignation” have been unhappiness and boldness – employees thinking they can find a more fulfilling job at a different company, or a new career altogether, and then going for it. One example is the surge in new entrepreneurs. The pandemic has brought out a record number of them, and a high percentage of those who recently quit their jobs say they are planning to start their own business.
If you are one of those entrepreneurs who is just starting out, or planning to get started selling products in the near future, flea markets and swap meets are great beginning grounds. It is a cheap way to build up a customer base and you are not tied down to just one location — you can hop from market to market in different states to see which ones are more popular or just to simply get your brand name out there.
Stuart Robles, co-author with Rod Robertson of The New World of Entrepreneurship: Insiders’ Guide to Buying and Selling Your Own Business in the Digital Age, offers five tips for first-time entrepreneurs to help you get started:
- Bring the bucks to match your boldness. Without sufficient growth capital, promising plans for start-ups or initiatives for existing companies die on the launching pad. “Many first-time buyers or start-up entrepreneurs do not consider the follow-on cash needed to propel the business,” Robles says. “A start-up needs a long runway to profitability because it has no existing sales. You must examine your reserves, understand your limitations, and avoid signing up for debt you cannot pay back.”
- Be sly like a fox. Robles says the best start-up operators are “the slyest foxes in the forest,” attracting executives of influence in the sector and trolling through their connections. “These are absolutely key undertakings in your quest. The experienced players involved in start-ups admire those founders who whittle and cajole others to do their bidding for no apparent up-front compensation.”
- Be ready for long hours. The pace, demands, and hours required of a business owner necessitate honest self-reflection before taking the leap, according to Robles. “You really have to critique yourself physically for the rigors ahead. We often recommend a physical exam before an acquisition to fully evaluate your health. Find time to get away and exercise, and having a smooth life on the home front, with no static for your long absences, is a must for longevity,” he said.
- Be a storyteller. The message you convey about your business should combine passion and uniqueness so it connects with people. “Learn to turn your dull widget into a fascinating oracle of the industry. Show the fire and enthusiasm that will be welcomed by the established players. They can cut years off your learning curve and provide contacts and vendors that you would stumble past in your ignorance,” Robles said.
- Do not give away too much too soon on social media. Announcing to the world your intentions right out of the gate is not a good idea, according to Robles, because rivals will intervene. “Better to let them eye you with wary but benign interest and not try to block you before you’ve hardly advanced the ball. Until your strategy starts impacting the marketplace, keep your plans to yourself and your key players. Social media posts and press releases pushed through paid wire services are most often read by your competitors rather than your customers.”
“Every seven to 10 years, America faces an economic crisis, but these jolts set the stage for innovation and profits for new entrepreneurs. Now is one of those times,” Robles said.