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Things I Learned, Launching a Business During the Pandemic

  • I had worked in a multinational which gave me all my "how-to" knowledge.

  • I had worked in a small team that worked night and day on unrealistic time frames, which gave me the endurance I needed.

  • I had worked at my family business, which gave me the creativity and problem-solving skills every entrepreneur needs.

I was great at what I did, and I even found pleasure in building and developing High-Performance Teams. But nothing prepared me for launching my own business, much less during a pandemic.


What were the biggest challenges?

Face to Face versus Online Sales:

I am an old-school kind of sales guy. You want me to sell you anything, the first thing I used to train my team to do, was "mirroring." Engage the consumer with their own body language, to let them know you are trustworthy and you won't rip them off.

Boy, Did I have a learning curve?!

I had approached hundreds of companies online and received even more rejections than I had anticipated.

I learned that for a successful hybrid business model, I needed to capitalize on my loyal clients and ask them to pledge that I have value to add and quality services. (That helped, but it wasn't enough).

Not everyone plays well with others:

There will always be competition in every business you launch, and they have spent years trying to build brand loyalty and the image that they are the market's greatest.

How do you compete?

  1. Never mention their name

  2. When asked about competition, as counterproductive as it may seem, always speak highly of them. (sportsmanship goes a long way, especially in ruthless industries).

  3. Truly Identify who your competition is. If you specialize in something specific, then you may find yourself with very little or no competition. (niche approach works best in saturated markets).

  4. Never compare yourself to anyone. Your business is a mirror image of your quality, your values, your strengths, and your results. (They do not and will never express who your competition is).

If you want to build on an existing franchise, then you're golden. But, if you are building your own brand, then you are in for a ride... (here are some tips):

  • Hire the right people

  • Brand your team, not the logo

  • Master your value proposition, and prove it day in and day out

  • Make sure your clients/ consumers know they have signed on with the right person

  • Give! give! give!

    • what you put out in this world, I guarantee, it will come back to you. So make sure you are adding positive vibes.

  • Be genuine, authentic, and never lie.

  • Give your employees as much as you can. Because they are the ones who take care of your clients.

Financials and investments (big one here):

  1. Keep track of your expenses; know where your money is going at all times!

  2. Invest in your team and software when you have a surplus of cash

  3. If you expect to start reaping the rewards in year 1-3 of your business, even if you have a lot of clients, your business will not last!

    1. Every extra penny goes to making your organization more efficient and adding more and more value to your clients/ consumers

Never burn bridges!

You never know who may offer you help, or need your help in the future.

Digital Presence:

Build a strong online presence, especially if you are trying to build an actual business. But...:

  1. Every post must add value to someone

  2. Do not put junk on the internet

  3. Give everyone the respect they deserve. We are all human.

  4. Be yourself online. Despite what some people may say, everyone is amazing in their own way!

Never forget...

  1. who stopped you from giving up when the future seemed like a dead-end.

  2. who motivated you to get started in the first place

  3. the competitor who willingly gave you advice and guidance

  4. where you started (I started in a basement).

And most importantly, NEVER forget WHY you started!

Good luck to all the brave COVID entrepreneurs.

CEO & Managing Consultant at SpartanSC

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