Monday, November 5, 2012

The No. 1 ingredient to small-business success

Out of the many things aspiring entrepreneurs need to consider, one may be the most important:

Are you passionate about what you’re doing?

It’s something that Renee Hode, director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Center at Central Piedmont Community College, can see among the many hopefuls that walk through her door.

Some get quite the reality check in initial conversations with Hode, when they realize all that’s involved in launching a business.

“Some folks are overwhelmed by the process,” Hode says. But others are a different story.

“Some folks will come in, and it’s sheer excitement,” Hode says. “They have the passion for what they want to do, and the wherewithal to go through all the steps.”

This could mean going back to school to learn the many skills needed on the small-business front – from taking classes in accounting, to fulfilling the licensing and legal requirements needed for the business.

As we’ve prepared ShopTalk, our new weekly section of small business news that debuts in Wednesday’s Observer, my colleague Caroline McMillan and I have been struck by the passion of Charlotte-area entrepreneurs taking big chances to launch their ventures. On Wednesday, you’ll meet Olive Stewart, who risked money from her 401K to build a business around the family seasonings. Now, her Bushelle Seasonings is on the shelves at the new Whole Foods in south Charlotte.

In upcoming weeks, you’ll meet other entrepreneurs who took chances: From changing locations of their businesses in the hope of drawing more foot traffic, to investing their own money on new inventions with the hope that they’ll hit it big in the marketplace. Their stories of hard work, lessons learned and determination to be successful can serve not only as inspiration, but as a how-to road map of sorts for other small businesses.

In those beginning steps of planning your business, pay attention to your own passion for it, Hode says.

“If you’re having a hard time dedicating yourself to putting together the plan, you’re probably going to face a lot more challenges along the way in running and operating the business,” she says.

In a nation of innovators, a lot of people have a lot of good ideas, Hode says. “It’s those…able to execute them successfully” that make the difference.

Look in Wednesday’s Observer for “ShopTalk: Your Small Business Help Center,” a weekly two-page package of news, profiles and tips.


Anonymous said...

The number one ingredient. IS CASH...not PASSION...Dreams mean nothing without cash to pursue them. Ask any serious business person. CASH not Passion.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I imagine everyone will have a different thought, but I think you can build cash if you have the fortitude to start small, over come obstacles and continue. Going back to school is worthless. I have my MBA and still have someone else handle my QuickBooks.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the new column focused on the drivers of today's economy-small business! I'm in business and always seek to learn more and benefit from lessons learned. I have enjoyed CPCC's free small business workshops great tips and good networking. Excited the Observer is doing this.

Anonymous said...

It takes both ... Passion and Cash not loans. I opened four . I lost my passion after the second and lost my cash in the process..... It truly takes both. If you don't have them both don't start untilnyou do.

Anonymous said...

Having an MBA should make you WANT to have someone else do your Quickbooks...

So you can concentrate on something more important.

Gerald Harris said...

I remember living in the Southern CA area. There are many real estate agents and very few Real Estate Professionals. The professionals represent the 2 percent of top agents who are licensed who have actually turned their self employment opportunity into a business. They have hired away the work and over see the operations of the business. Passion is everything!

Skippy said...

And remember, if you build a successful small business, "you didn't build that"!

Passion yes, but there are tons of people that have passion. You need know how, drive as in 7 days a week drive, an idea, a product that consumers want, logistics, good employees. You MUST be willing to take a chance and be 100% committed. Start small and build from there unless you have boat loads of cash which most small business's didn't then they started.

And be prepared for the onslaught of Government intervention, regulations, new taxes and if you are skilled and lucky enough to make to the so called 1%, prepared to be villified.

kantstanzya said...

I think they are making this way too complicated. I too used to think it involved a lot more. But,President Obama says there is nothing to it. If you have a successful business you can thank government.

And so the best way to make more small businesses I guess is to grow government bigger and bigger so it can create more of those opportunities for the people.

Thank you government.

Anonymous said...

Hard work pays off. Yes, you do need cash but a DRIVE to make your business your #1 priority is all it takes. I am now the proud owner of my second successful business. I learned how to start my own website page and each day I work hard on putting my product in other stores. I love what I'm doing and I know it shows. The best part of owning my own business is getting to work full time with my best husband..

Adam Chaney said...

Indeed, Celeste! If you plan to build a business, you should make sure that you are passionate about it and it is really what you want to do for a long time. Actually, this saying does not only apply to those who plan to be an entrepreneur but also to everyone who would like to make a living. To be successful in what you do, you have to ask yourself a million times if it is really what you want to do.

Adam Chaney

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