I have written about not despising small beginnings on more than one occasion. If I had to pinpoint when I’ve written about it the most, I would settle on these pieces being written during periods of transition. Transition can be exhausting. It can even be demeaning because some transitions require a person to revert back to square one and rebuild.
As someone rebuilds, people may question his or her qualifications or experience. Entrepreneurs face this dilemma constantly. If they open a new business, they have to start somewhere. There has to be a first sale, a first testimonial, and a first repeat client. While it is reasonable for people to request more information about their experience before services are purchased, it should not cause the entrepreneur to question his or her legitimacy if he or she is putting in the actual work to build the business.
For any entrepreneurs facing the challenge of a small beginning and questioning their legitimacy, I offer this advice… continue to network, continue to educate yourselves, and continue to forge the foundation of your businesses.
There are mentorship and educational opportunities, which can help you gain business training using cost effective methods.
Here are several I’ve come across:
The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), a nonprofit organization, can assist you with fulfilling your business ownership goals and achieve greater success through mentorship. Find a SCORE business mentor here.
Online courses through Alison are useful for people who prefer virtual learning.
There are also grants made available through nonprofit organizations, specifically targeting small business ownership. The SBA offers grants for entrepreneurs, but they are limited. You’ll find a listing of other small business grants, here.
As you comb through resources, reflect on your ultimate goals. Are they short-term, long-term or both? What does strategic planning look like for your business?
Remember, every great company began somewhere. Your efforts and vision are no less admirable or worthy. So, keep your eyes and ears open. Help is out there.
Stay the course!