Chamber Chat – Things to Consider Before Opening a Business: Part II

August 22, 2021 | Written by: sanford-user

 

By Meg Moss, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director

 

Starting a business without a strong foundation can hinder your sales. In this week’s Chamber Chat article, we’ll focus on two additional questions you need to answer before starting your own business.

What problem(s) are you solving and are they worth it?

Most marketing gurus will tell you that you need to focus on a problem and present your business as the solution. But that advice is only the beginning.

It’s expensive to offer the solution to a problem that most people don’t realize they have or the problem doesn’t bother them enough to seek a solution for it.

Some entrepreneurs will argue that if you call attention to a problem someone didn’t realize they had (and you fix it) they will become loyal customers. But this is a magical equation.

There still must be a need that they feel bothered enough (once they know about it) to seek action on it.

I’m reminded of an episode of Shark Tank where a married couple lamented the problem of strands of her hair sticking to the shower walls (and eventually washing down the drain). To remedy this, they created a shower brush. They used it to brush the hair off the shower walls. The hair then became trapped in the brush’s bristles, and it could be disposed of easily after the shower without clogging the drain.

None of the Sharks invested. Why? The product solved a problem. Sadly, it was a problem no one was inconvenienced enough by to be spurred into action.

Who Is supporting you?

It’s important to answer this question from a financial perspective, but it’s more important to think about this from a mental health and business resources perspective. You will be more successful in business if you have support of friends or family or someone within the community who can mentor you and help you with resources. When Jeff Bezos wanted to build a larger bed, his mother didn’t stop him. In fact, she took him to the hardware store and helped him get the pieces he needed to create the sleeping area he had dreamed of. She supported his vision when she could have just gone out and bought him a new bed. You need someone like that in your corner when you decide to become a business owner.

In addition to someone who will support your vision, you need someone to help connect you with resources and introduce you to people who can make a difference in your business. Your chamber of commerce is the perfect solution. The chamber offers learning opportunities, networking events, and advocacy for businesses. In your quest to find support, it should be one of your first stops.

If you are considering opening a business in Lee County, I highly recommend you participate in the RISE Program to answer these questions. The “Real Investment in Sanford Entrepreneurs” Program takes potential business owners through the process of starting a business. It is an eight-class program, produced by a partnership between the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Sanford Incorporated, and the Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center.

Applications for this tuition-free program are being accepted through September 1st at leesbc.com/rise/. Business owners who plan to open in downtown Sanford, downtown Jonesboro or downtown Broadway may qualify for a grant to help offset rent and utilities.

These days a lot of people are considering business ownership. Whether you buy into a franchise, lease some space and start your own thing, or log onto the internet and begin building an e-commerce website, doing it on your own has never been more alluring. Just be sure you are ready to take the leap.

Good luck entrepreneurs – we’re on your side!