RICH SLOAN: START UP, KEEP GOING
WHEN YOU START UP a business built on a
genuine passion, magical things can happen.
Not only do you gain immense satisfaction
from spending time doing what you love, but
that same excitement helps you excite and
compel everyone you come across in business, including your employees, financiers
Want to embark on a life filled with
activities that genuinely call to you? If so,
here’s some advice.
Be true to you. Establish a clear
definition of just what it is you love doing.
Write down your description. Write down
why that passion calls to you. Knowing the
why helps you understand more of the life-style aspects and will enable you to craft
two critical things: ( 1) the business model
that’s most appealing, such as online, brick-and-mortar, home-based, part-time, etc.; and
Rich Sloan is co-founder of Startup
a leading business
advice and networking site for entrepreneurs.
( 2) the role and responsibilities you would
like to assume in the business.
Use a role model. Don’t be fooled
into thinking that starting a business means
you have to be completely original. Consider
copycatting a successful business owner
who shares your passion. Using that role
model, you’ll likely be able to leapfrog past
numerous, expensive experiments and
Create a basic plan. Some people as-
sume that they have to map out every detail
about the business in advance. The fact is,
analysis in the earliest stages can only do so
much. Sidestep the overly elaborate business
plan. Know your basic financial performance
expectations so there are no surprises. Make
sure you have ideas in place about how
you’re going to gain customers. Know the key
people and resources you’ll require. But don’t
overthink it. Get into the market with your
offering as quickly as possible.
More in archives
The connection key: Simple tips and tricks to help you network
On Costco.com, enter
“connection.”At Online Edition,
search “Rich Sloan.”
ONE FACTOR IN business success is networking—meeting people and building relationships. For some, it is a skill that may take
effort. Costco member Maribeth Kuzmeski, a
author (The Connectors: How the World’s Most
Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships
and Win Clients for Life; Wiley, 2009), offers
these tips to help you connect.
• Set a goal to increase your list of important business connections. Once you’ve compiled your list, reach out to each of them.
•Share something personal and seek a
common interest. When it’s not just about
numbers and the bottom line, clients will be
able to personally identify with you. Rooting
for the same sports team or volunteering at
the same charity makes you relevant.
•Scrap the memorized pitch in favor of
more natural conversation.
•Resist the urge to be a one-upper. It
• An open-ended question is better than
one requiring only a yes or no answer.
•Know your audience. Once you know
what a person wants, is interested in and
responds to, you’ll be better equipped to
• Be energetic and passionate about what
you do. People will notice.
• It’s not about you. Learn to ask, “What’s
in it for them?” C
WITH THE PROLIFERATION of smart- phones comes a explosion of applications, aka apps, many meant for the business- person on the go. Here are some free, or low-cost, apps to help in your travels. WorldMate (BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia Symbian, Windows Mobile). Free version includes an itinerary manager, flight schedules search, flight status, limo reservations, currency converter and more. (
www.worldmate.com) Taxi Magic (BlackBerry, iPhone). Free taxi booking service covering 28 major cities in the U.S., integrated with taxi dispatch systems and with shuttle, sedan and limo providers. Also available online. (
www.taximagic.com) GateGuru (iPhone; other platforms oon). If you’re unfamiliar with an air- port, this app helps you find restau- rants, gift shops and services, and lets you know if they’re before the security checkpoint or after. (
gateguruapp.com) Airport Maps (iPhone; coming soon for Android). Visual representations of 61 North American airports (more are being added regularly) help you find your gate, as well as restaurants, shops and lounges. Note: There is currently an “Airport Maps” app in the Android store created by a different developer. (
www.airportmapsmobile.com) C Appy trails to you
If you have a business-related mobile
application you’d like to share with
Connection readers in future Fresh
Views columns, please send them to
email@example.com with “Fresh
Views apps” in the subject line.