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.