We’ve been to seminars, read books, and visited tons of web sites on how to start and run a small business. We were given advice on how to write a business plan and how to follow it. We have done just that. We made a “road map” for our business to follow. Our plans were flawless. Startup capital was achieved. Our marketing plans were successful and our businesses were up and running according to plan. Things were looking good… and then it happened.
What happened? We can all fill in the blank right?
I have a friend that developed a great business plan to open up a boutique. She used all of her savings for her startup. She picked out a great retail location near a mall that had high traffic and great visibility. She stocked her boutique with sure to sell fashions and launched a great ad campaign. She scheduled an event packed grand opening. The day was fast approaching for this grand event… then it happened.
City trucks roared onto the street in front of her boutique and began the process of closing access for several blocks on both sides of her shop. She found out who was in charge and asked what was happening. The city had decided to revamp the sewage system and broaden the road. How long would it take? No one knew. Six months later, after trying everything she knew and offering a lot of free stuff, she was forced to shut down her boutique. Her road had an unexpected detour.
Road maps are great planning tools for start-ups, but we all have either known someone who has had to take a major detour or have been forced off our path ourselves.
When that happened we had to forge a new way. A way that was previously unknown to us. Our map became useless. It was time to leave the old map behind. We launched out to either build on to our business skills or develop entirely new ones. It was time to Burn the Map. Our wits determination would be our map! We had to get off the highway and turn our journey into an expedition of the unknown.
That’s the way real life is for an entrepreneur isn’t it? It’s like an expedition of the unknown. Sometimes, seemingly overnight, we are forced to become the David Livingston or Ernest Shackleford of the business world.
Sometimes we feel like we’re alone on this expedition, but we’re really not. Chances are, there has been someone out there who has been on the same piece of “unknown” wilderness that you are traveling now. They are usually happy to share with us how they overcame the certain obstacle you now face.
That’s what this blog is all about. It is a blog that will be providing stories and tips that we can all share. We’re all on this journey together. I encourage everyone to leave their stories and tips as well. Together, we will have a successful expedition!