Starting Your Business Right: How to Open a Successful Business

Getting from Outstanding Idea to Opening Day

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Susan Corcoran, Partner, Jackson Lewis LLPMichael Rao: The first thing I did, before I even opened my business, was to reach out to ten brokers and owners in different marketplaces to create mentorship.

Louis Scamardella: And there are a lot of programs where similar entrepreneurs get together and talk.

Robert Wyker: Start with chambers of commerce that almost every town has. And then there are trade shows. You certainly want to call on as much knowledge as you can find from people who have anything to do with your industry, because nobody can know it all.

Carolyn Mandelker: And at whatever level you are at, try to hire the very best people you can get for whatever you can afford. Don’t try to cut corners, because you’ll pay for it in the long run.

Robert Schork: What goals should Harry be setting for himself in terms of measuring his success?

Robert Wyker: You have to have some kind of a concept of success: ‘I have to get to this point by this date in order to feel that I am on track.’ A milestone, a test. If I am going to start a marketing program—I am going to advertise in 914INC., for instance—what kind of results am I going to get? This kind of testing has to happen in every aspect of business to see that you are on the right track. [You also have] to know that, if you are not meeting your goals, you have to go look for different paths to take.

Carolyn Mandelker: I want to just [add]: ‘How long do I advertise in 914INC.?’ The outlet may be the right outlet for you, but the ad you run may be awful, or it may be a great ad in the wrong place.

Robert Schork: Sorry, we only run great ads!

Carolyn Mandelker: There is one very important thing to remember in all marketing, and that is this: It is not about you, even though it is about you. And what I am really saying is: You must use each of these tools to reach out to people and bring them in, and in order to bring them in, they need to understand the value-proposition, because what they are thinking is, ‘What is in it for me?’ So [good advertising] is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Mistakes that non-professionals make: They create ads that have too many words and no value-proposition. The other piece of advice that I would give is: We are in the digital age. Some people are very afraid of social media, but social media is very important. It’s really about developing relationships with your customers and having conversations.



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