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4 Tips for Starting a Business

What if you have a business idea, but you don’t know where to begin or who to ask for help? Starting a business is a daunting task for anyone, and even more so if you try to go at it alone. It can be hard to find resources and support that are willing to take a chance on you and your company.

I was fortunate to be given a chance by 1 Million Cups (1MC), a free program that helps entrepreneurs launch and grow their enterprises. Their mission is to “educate, engage and inspire entrepreneurs across the country.” I pitched my business idea to them a couple of years ago, and they took me on. With their help and support, I was able to grow my company through the ranks of success.

1MC recently celebrated their three-year anniversary and invited me back as a panel member for the event. Here are some tips I offered at the event to help you grow your own business:

1. Own your mistakes. Starting a business is a learning process, as it should be. Especially if you are new to entrepreneurship, you will likely make decisions that do not have the desired outcome. If you don’t recognize your mistakes, you risk the failure of your business. Always be ready to pivot and adjust your approach based on what works and what doesn’t.

2. Stay humble. A lot of successful entrepreneurs out there are willing to offer their advice and are worthy of learning from. Never let your ego get in the way of accepting feedback or guidance from people who have proven they know what they’re talking about. This goes back to the idea of owning your mistakes, too; share your struggles with others so that you can listen and learn from them.

Picking paint colors and growing the business with an investment of sweat equity.

3. Do the things no one wants to do. Distinguish yourself from any other business by going the extra mile. Work weekends. Be available late. Your spouse may not be too happy about these concessions, but your customers will love you for it.

Paint the floors at Immaculate Paint Protection
End of one of many long days - finally finished painting the shop

4. Be excited about your business. It’s hard to sell a product or service that you are not enthusiastic about. The best way to get your customers excited about what you have to offer is to believe in the quality of your product yourself. An engaged client is more likely to purchase the product for themselves and spread that excitement to other potential patrons.

These tips will get you on the right track, but there is so much more to starting a business. I am extremely grateful to 1 Million Cups for their help and support as I launched Immaculate Paint Protection. If you are an entrepreneur, I highly recommend them as a great resource in your journey.

About the author: Bill Fetter’s passion for cars started at an early age, as he loved anything with wheels. Through his childhood, Bill observed his dad’s work as a mechanical engineer turned marketing manager and proud lifelong employee of General Motors. During high school, Bill honed his passion for cars by hand-washing and detailing his neighbors’ vehicles. Knowing he wanted to be in the automotive industry, Bill earned a degree in Industrial Engineering from Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. He’s worked as an engineer in the automotive manufacturing, medical device, steel industry, and pharmaceutical manufacturing fields.

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