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So you want to be your own boss. Are you ready for it?

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So you want to be your own boss. Are you ready for it?

So you want to be your own boss and start a business but don’t know where and how to start? Don’t panic – you are not the first. With the economy now more suited to startups than ever before, more people than ever before have found the “job” they always wanted is not actually for them. Others have come to the conclusion that they would rather create work they love, constructed to fit with their own life goals. No matter what the motivation is to be your own boss, you can start today.

When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.
Eric Thomas

Working in your pajamas, setting your own hours, having good coffee at your desk for a change … there are lots of reasons people dream of leaving the normal workplace and launching out to become their own boss. The perks are great, but the work is still hard. If you’re serious about being your own boss and working from home, you can definitely do it

8 tips to be your own boss

If you take these following steps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming your own boss.

1. Take a stand for yourself

If you are dissatisfied with your current circumstances, admit that no one can fix them except for you. It doesn’t do any good to blame the economy, your boss, your spouse or your family. Change can only occur when you make a conscious decision to make it happen.

2. Identify the right business for you

Give yourself permission to explore. Be willing to look at different facets of yourself (your personality, social styles, age) and listen to your intuition. We tend to ignore intuition even though deep down we often know the truth. Ask yourself “What gives me energy even when I’m tired?”

How do you know what business is “right” for you? There are three common approaches to entrepreneurship:

Do What You Know: Have you been laid off or want a change? Look at work you have done for others in the past and think about how you could package those skills and offer them as your own services or products.

Do What Others Do: Learn about other businesses that interest you. Once you have identified a business you like, emulate it.

Solve a Common Problem: Is there a gap in the market? Is there a service or product you would like to bring to market? (Note: This is the highest-risk of the three approaches.) If you choose to do this, make sure that you become a student and gain knowledge first before you spend any money.

3. Business planning improves your chances for success

Most people don’t plan, but it will help you get to market faster. A business plan will help you gain clarity, focus and confidence. A plan does not need to be more than one page. As you write down your goals, strategies and action steps, your business becomes real.

Ask yourself the following questions:
– What am I building?
– Who will I serve?
– What is the promise I am making to my customers/clients and to myself?
– What are my objectives, strategies and action plans (steps) to achieve my goals?

4. Know your target audience before you spend anything

Before you spend money, find out if people will actually buy your products or services. This may be the most important thing you do. You can do this by validating your market. In other words, who, exactly, will buy your products or services other than your family or friends? (And don’t say. “Everyone in America will want my product.” Trust me–they won’t.) What is the size of your target market? Who are your customers? Is your product or service relevant to their everyday life? Why do they need it?

Be your own boss


5. Understand your personal finances and choose the right kind of money you need for your business

As an entrepreneur, your personal life and business life are interconnected. You are likely to be your first–and possibly only–investor. Therefore, having a detailed understanding of your personal finances, and the ability to track them, is an essential first step before seeking outside funding for your business. This is why I recommend setting up your personal accounts in a money management system such as Mint.com to simplify this process.

As you are creating your business plan, you will need to consider what type of business you are building–a lifestyle business (smaller amount of startup funds), a franchise (moderate investment depending on the franchise), or a high-tech business (will require significant capital investment). Depending on where you fall on the continuum, you will need a different amount of money to launch and grow your business, and it does matter what kind of money you accept.

6. Build a support network

You’ve made the internal commitment to your business. Now you need to cultivate a network of supporters, advisors, partners, allies and vendors. If you believe in your business, others will, too.

Network locally, nationally & via social networks. Join your local chamber of commerce and any other relevant business groups. Here are some networking basics:

When attending networking events, ask others what they do and think about how you can help them. The key is to listen more than tout yourself.
No matter what group you join, be generous, help others and make introductions without charging them.
By becoming a generous leader, you will be the first person that comes to mind when someone you’ve helped needs your service or hears of someone else who needs your service.

7. Sell by creating value

Even though we purchase products and services every day, people don’t want to be “sold.” Focus on serving others. The more people you serve, the more money you will make. When considering your customers or clients, ask yourself:

– What can I give them?
– How can I make them successful in their own pursuits?
– This approach can help lead you to new ways to hone your product or service and deliver more value, which your customers will appreciate.

8. Get the word out

Be willing to say who you are and what you do with conviction and without apology. Embrace and use the most effective online tools (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn) available to broadcast your news. Use social networks as “pointer” sites; i.e., to point to anything you think will be of interest to your fans and followers.

Even though social networks are essential today (you must use them!), don’t underestimate the power of other methods to get the word out: e.g., word-of-mouth marketing, website and internet marketing tools, public relations, blog posts, columns and articles, speeches, e-mail, newsletters, and the old-fashioned but still essential telephone.

If you take these steps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming your own boss.

Founding Member of Blown Businesses. Passionate about the growth and success of black owned businesses in the UK. Lover of all things with four wheels and fast. Also Contributing Editor for TrendLife Magazine, a refreshingly bold magazine that brings the best lifestyle and entertainment news to Beds, Herts & Bucks.

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Introducing

My BLOWN Business – Myles Jensen | Jensen & Jensen

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Jensen & Jensen explain to BLOWN Businesses how they plan to disrupt the creative solutions industry

How did you start Jensen & Jensen ?

We are two young twin brothers, who have launched many businesses in the past. Some have been successful and many are not here today. This however has not stopped us. We noticed a gap in the market for a youth-driven consultancy and we sought to create something special. Through adversity, we launched Jensen & Jensen with the goal to be a modern-day Satchi & Satchi. That is why we decided to put our name above the door.

What services do you offer as Jensen & Jensen ?

We are a creative solutions agency, our services focus on branding, design and development and digital marketing. My brother and I are also consultants working with legacy brands to provide a fresh off the wall perspective.

Jensen & Jensen explain to BLOWN Businesses how they plan to disrupt the creative solutions industry

Jensen & Jensen explain to BLOWN Businesses how they plan to disrupt the creative solutions industry

What has been your biggest challenge running Jensen & Jensen ?

Working with family, being young founders, an industry that is heavily run by middle-age white men. From the very start, we had to cut above to be heard. Disruptive innovation.

What do you enjoy most about running your own business ?

After going to boarding school, I quickly learnt that I had a problem with authority. The best thing I enjoy about running a business is autonomy and the aspect of waking up each morning to a new challenge. No two days are the same. I love being able to make a difference.

Contact Jensen & Jensen

Contact Jensen & Jensen

Founder Myles Jensen of Jensen & Jensen

Website address
jensenandjensen.co

Instagram account
@wearejensen

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Marketing

Black owned businesses need to adopt new marketing strategies

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Black owned businesses need to adopt new marketing strategies

Despite all the problems Coronavirus has brought with it, the pandemic has given black owned businesses an opportunity to stop and take stock. The same can be said for black entrepreneurs.

The subsequent lockdown has forced many black consumers online and changed their buying habits. Where previously most purchases were made in person in the local community, the black pound is now being spent online at a growing rate – and that is not going to change. This gives online black business a much needed leveller over traditional brick & mortar retailers.

Black owned businesses need to adopt new marketing strategies

With this newfound opportunity comes the need for black owned businesses to adopt new marketing strategies. BLOWN Businesses have looked at the areas where black owned businesses can make important changes to improve their lead generation and gain new customers.

Improve your customer’s experience

Before chasing new customers, take care of the ones you have. Many overlook this important cornerstone of good business. By consistently improving your customer’s experience, you will ensure that you don’t lose customers to your competitors. Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool. Traditionally, word of mouth marketing was spread from one person to another based on a positive recommendation. In today’s digital world, taking that recommendation and using it on platforms such as Google, Trustpilot and LinkedIn all adds to a robust word of mouth marketing strategy.

Focus on customer loyalty and retention

As mentioned above, retention of loyal customers is so important. Recommendation from loyal customers are worth their weight in goal. Having a loyal and supportive customer base will make up-selling and cross selling easier when you launch new products/solutions. Focus the right amount of your marketing activities targeting this audience. When potential clients can see you have satisfied customers, you will spend less time and energy trying to impress them.

Black owned businesses need to focus on how they visually appeal to prospects

Get visual with your content

In the past, small black owned businesses would often neglect the visual aesthetics of their business. You cannot afford to make this mistake online. Online, you have split seconds to make an impression and first impressions last. Your business is one of many bidding for attention. If your logo looks cheap or your font is uninspiring, potential customers will keep scrolling until they are impressed.

If you don’t have design skills or the tools, hire someone. Your brand and how you look to clients is fundamental to your success. When it comes to posting on social media, ensure all your visual graphics look great and are unique.

Master one social media platform at a time

If you are not taking advantage of the various social media platforms available to promote your business, you are already late to the party. But arriving fashionably late is okay if you can make an entrance. The best way to do this is by mastering one social media platform at a time. If you prefer Twitter over Instagram, focus on Twitter until you build a big enough audience to spend more time on Instagram. If you are going to do post on a platform, do it properly.

New black owned businesses should focus on mastering one social media platform at a time

Embrace networking opportunity

2021 is going to be the year for black owned businesses in more ways than one. Black owned businesses have a unique window to forge new partners and suppliers who share the same value of supporting other black owned businesses. The BLOWN Network is one of many networking platforms and marketing resources at your disposal. You should embrace every networking opportunity you get with other black owned businesses.

 

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Start Up

Eight tips for raising tomorrow’s black entrepreneurs today

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Five tips for raising tomorrow's black entrepreneurs today

The next Amazon or Ebay could be launched in your home. In fact, it could be coming from one of your children. Today’s black children have an excellent understand of the world of opportunities the internet provides. Because of this fact, it should come as no surprise that many young black entrepreneurs are pursuing their entrepreneurial goals as early as six or seven years old.

These big ambitions for such young children need to be cultivated, and as a parent, you can help raise tomorrow’s black entrepreneurs today. From engaging games to teaching kids about money to advise on credit, here are BLOWN’s Eight tips for raising tomorrow’s black entrepreneurs today:

1. Promote curiosity in everything

Children have amazing minds. It is often said that it is easier for a child under the age of seven years old to learn a second language than it is for adults. Why? Unlike adults, children are continually absorbing information and in education on a daily basis.

Eight tips for raising tomorrow's black entrepreneurs today

Promoting curosity will help shape tomorrow’s black entrepreneurs today

Curiosity involves asking questions, finding answers or creating solutions, and not being afraid of failure. Research has shown that when children question and examine what is around them, they do better at school, in relationships, and at work. Help them take online learning classes or find opportunities to do projects that relate to their interests and ideas.

2. Show them you are listening

One of the most important pillars of being a good parenting is letting your kids know you understand and support them. Children’s minds are always changing and growing. One week they may want to be an astronaut while the following week they want to be a veterinarian. These flip-flopping ideas may make it tempting to smile and nod when your little one expresses their desires, but don’t be so quick to say no.

Eight tips for raising tomorrow's black entrepreneurs today

Listening to young black entrepreneurs is key to their development

If your child wants to be a fashion designer, buy them some plan T Shirts and help them with some early designs. It will cost you some money but see it as an important investment. Yes, the mind of a child can change from one minute to the next, but as parents, helping your children grow and explore new ideas will help them their ideas seriously.

3. Get them to understand money early

Given how important financial skills are to navigating life, it’s surprising that schools don’t teach children about money. As a parent, however, you can teach your child important financial lessons — and you should. These lessons can begin from as early as 3 years old. There are many interactive ways to do this such as giving your child a budget to spend when you are in a supermarket.

Rather than handing over £3 and saying ‘get what you want’, set them a task. “You have £3 and you need to buy 3 items and have at least 50p change. You can also start discussing you financial decisions such as why you budget.

As the child grows older, you can look at something much more challenging and start teaching them about profit and loss. Get them saving and understanding the importance of money.

4. Remove the fear of failure

Over 3 in 4 startup businesses fail. If we don’t want this to deter future black entrepreneurs, we need to remove the fear of failure. Entrepreneurial children should be praised for their attempts and encourage to believe that setbacks are only temporary. Most children and teenagers love having money. The motivation is already there in most cases so removing the obstacle of fear should be done at an early stage.

Support any small business projects your child may bring to your attention. Don’t see it as wasted money, rather a reasonably priced lesson. By starting your child’s business idea, you will be teaching you child patience, drive, and responsibility. Be prepared to offer comforting words if his or her expectations are not met. Putting all this effort into a project only to have it fail can be crushing for a young child but you will have taught them an invaluable lesson that it is okay to fail. In time, you can look back at what was learnt from the experience.

5. Help your child get started

A great parenting tip for empowering kid entrepreneurs is to help them get started off on the right track. Help them do research about similar products or ideas. Is their pricing, right? Is there a current need for their idea or business?

Invest time and money in their ideas

If your kid wants to become an entrepreneur, it’s your job as a parent to help them make it a reality. This means helping them learn how to market their service or idea. This may also involve learning how to manufacture a product and taking online learning classes about their interests.

6. Look for opportunities

If your child wants to launch a product or service, they’re going to need to be in the public eye. This can be done through social media, word of mouth, and even getting contacting us for a mention.

Taking your children to such things as trade shows can also give them the opportunity to understand how networking works. There are also various online learning classes that can help parents and children discover how best to market a new product and make connections. We will be launching mastermind groups on BLOWN soon including ones for young children and teens.

If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.” – Marcus Garvey

7. Get the family involved

By getting the family involved, you can strengthen bonds whilst gaining valuable input. Some siblings may want to work together, some may not but the benefits of teamwork outweigh going alone. Creativity thrives when people work together on a team. Brainstorming ideas as a group prevents stale viewpoints that often come out of working solo.

Family projects encourage everybody to feel proud of their contributions. Tackling obstacles and creating a product together will bring the family closer. Working toward achieving mutual goals will teach your child great leadership skills.

8. Make it fun

Whatever you do, you need to make the exercises and experience fun. The best way to do it that is by removing rules and taking the back seat. Offer guidance but do not lead. By doing this, your child will believe this is their project and they have control.

Which one of these tips do you feel is the most important to teach the next generation of young black entrepreneurs? Let us know your thoughts below!

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Start Up

Five reasons why WordPress is ideal for new startups

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Five reasons why Wordpress is ideal for new startups

Originally launched in 2003, WordPress has grown to become the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. Today, WordPress is used by more than 74 million sites that publish new posts every second. This widely used CMS has become a favorite among startups because of how powerful of a tool it is. Just how powerful is WordPress exactly? Check out the following 5 Reasons why WordPress is Ideal for StartUps.

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Start Up

Five lessons start-up entrepreneurs can learn from Kanye West

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Five lessons start-up entrepreneurs can learn from Kanye West

When you think of Kanye West, business acumen is probably not the first thing that springs to mind. With 21 million albums sold and over 100 million digital downloads, you will be forgiven for questioning if there is anything you can learn from Kanye West that can be applied to starting up your business.

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Start Up

Five ways to find the business ideas hiding in your head

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Five ways to find the business ideas hiding in your head

The truth is not everybody is cut out to be an entrepreneur or run a business. But most of us do have dreams and hopes of running our own businesses and becoming the next Richard Branson. So how do you take the business ideas in your head and turn them into a reality?

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