As an emerging artist, it's vital to always keep your networking growing. Use these tips from Blake Harvey, Founder of The Lawrence Blake Group, to aid you in making wise decisions involving your brands marketing & Public Relations strategies.
Face it, Our US Economy is facing tribulations that most in this generation could never have imagined. Foreclosure has become a part of our daily vocabulary, paycheck to paycheck living is now the norm and families have to choose between child daycare and flu shots! We have come to the point where things have got to change. But who is the one to make the change? Who does the blame fall on? We all know someone’s got to take the fall for the almost 1 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits today. With that said, what if I told you there is a way out? That, through hard work and dedication you could prosper both financially and emotionally! Let’s hold that thought for a moment.
I recently got to sit down with a single mother, whose name I’ll leave out, and she shared her story with me. She wasn’t exactly low income by definition, but she was surely struggling to make ends meet. This woman, employed as a sales executive for a leisure travel company, is bringing in about $45,000.00 a year and rents her Upper West Side apartment where she has lived with her son for over 10 years. As a recent divorcee, she has been fighting to find that balance between the spending she once did and what she can afford now.
While married, she never had to go without. Her ex-husband, an early retired NYC business owner, was able to comfortably support her through their 12 year marriage, but even with a strong relationship today, she can no longer rely on him providing financial assistance when needed. After all her expenses are divvied, there is barely enough for her to enjoy a game of bowling, which she has always loved to do. When asked what she believed the reason was for her financial troubles, she cried “recession”!
The US recession that we have been riding out for the past three years has been, in my opinion, one of pure speculation. Yes we have had two quarters of no change in our Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, but we seemed to have made it out with just a few bruises. However, with the fear of a double dip, or another recession, Economists are theorizing the effects to come. Our governments, as well as key players in financial fields are speculating that the fear of a double dip is affecting consumer and business spending habits drastically. A recession is a vital warning sign of what could happen if we continue down our paths, but usually, the invisible hand of our free market economy evens everything out. Though we expect to rise from our current situation, when people limit spending, fewer jobs are offered, some jobs are even lost and general investment declines. The speculation that arises from a recession causes fear and that is what could drive us deeper into our financial graves.
Now that we understand a little about what a recession is and the associated fears, how can we realistically get back on a healthy financial track? There isn’t one generic answer to this question, as it is truly an individual battle. If consumer spending is on the decline because of speculation, we can’t just spend more and ignore our fears. For some people, simply restructuring their household budget may be all that’s needed, for others; they may need to find an additional job.
However, there are a select few, an elite club if you may, that have a true plan to getting out of the recession. These individuals will create a plan to start their own businesses. Some will stay with their current employers until they feel secure enough to leave, while some will leave everything they have built to focus all of their attention on their project. But the fact remains that these people, whether their ideas launch into million dollar corporations or flop with-in days, they have obtained something grand. These people have unlocked their creativity. Those who embrace their creative powers have success waiting for them, calling out their name!
This brings me back to my original promise to you, that I have a solid way to ride this recession out and help you see financial success! By starting your own business, you will regain your potential and harness your creativity, making it work for you. This positivity will shine through all aspects of your life, I guarantee this! But where do you start? There is a way to think outside the normal nine to five office position and you don’t necessarily have to quit your job and run down Broadway ranting your ideas. I have put together some simple steps that you may take today to start your own business and take back your financial power!
1) Understand your strengths and isolate your weaknesses. It doesn’t take much for you to realize what you are good at, like to do, and if it will make you happy. The important part is to not let what you believe are your weaknesses negatively affecting your strengths. This is the first step to brainstorming business ideas.
2) Expand your networks. As a business owner, you are who you know. No matter how large a firm is, there will be times where they are going to need something from someone else. Start planning early for what you may need down the line. Stay in contact with as many people as you can by using social networking websites, e-mail and of course, the phone. You never know who may be waiting to help you.
3) Pick your trade and educate yourself. In economics, we call education an investment in Human Capital. Now that you have an idea of the field you’d like to go into business, you must become an expert in it! I recommend checking out books from your local library on topics that effect your trade and reading them front to back and vice versa. You are arming yourself with knowledge which when it comes time to conduct business, will be your best friend.
4) Choose your market and get to it. Where do you want to sell or operate at? Who are your ideal customers? What will it take to get to those very customers? These are the top three questions you should be asking yourself. If it turns out you may need to move to another city to reach these customers, then this business may not be the best option, unless you can realistically get to this city. Once you have answered these questions, start planning to get your product or service to your market!
5) Utilize free publicity. Our generation is so lucky to be in the world of Facebook®, Myspace®, Twitter®, Tumblr®, and the list goes on! Start building a brand through these websites and attract your market through them. Most social networking websites are free and have tools beyond useful to business owners.
6) Start working. Your business will become almost like a child to you. You’re going to be there from its conception, and if you do things right, it will live longer than you! Do whatever it takes to ensure the success of your business and while operating under the law, you will be destined for success!
So back to that lovely woman I was speaking about earlier, struggling to make ends meet. Like so many Americans, she’s looking for a way out. My recommendation to her and so many others in her situation is to consider starting your own business. Look at all the factors making it so difficult to prosper financially in our economy. The cost of living in cities all over the country is skyrocketing and making people have to make unconceivable choices, banks are barely lending to the people who need it for the fear of default is eminent and overall, things are not getting easier unless you are able to find extra income. So why not make that additional income on your own? Follow the few steps that I mentioned a few times a month. Simply sit down and brainstorms ideas that could be turned into money making businesses. You might be surprised by your creativity and the drive that will automatically come with a great idea!