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Small Business Development Update

As we begin August, we start to conclude the summer, and on the horizon is our second period of business growth. As Small Business Development Director and the Director of our leads and business development groups, I am constantly observing members along the entire spectrum of business growth and success. I see many startups begin their path within RED, our leads group, and I also see established businesses such as Bowled Over Promotions and Balance Orlando who have seen both sustainability and growth over multiple years.

While other factors such as personality and adeptness may factor into business growth and success, the single largest hinderance that I’ve observed is fear. I’ve seen fear manifest itself in two usual ways: paralysis and mania. Paralysis is usually either at the inception of a business or when there is a decline in growth and the business owner is terrified that s/he has no idea how to fix the problem so s/he ducks under the proverbial covers and simply hopes things turn around on their own. Mania, with its same root in fear, looks the opposite of paralysis. The business owner is afraid s/he doesn’t know what to do so s/he does everything they can possibly think of not because it’s part of any cohesive plan but because they are afraid that if they aren’t doing it, they are making a mistake. I’ve gone through both of these myself in my nine years of private practice, and neither is pleasant.

That brings me to what I’ve observed and experienced is a solution: admitting the fear to another business owner. Admitting that you really don’t know how to set up tax structures, how to market yourself, how to price your service, etc. It feels like you’re naked and completely out of shape, but if you do it with a trusted source, you start to learn how to assemble a plan, you start to learn either how to accomplish what you don’t know how to accomplish or who to use for that task.

This is why it gives me great excitement to highlight the MBA’s business development programs through business coaching and our mentorship program. And for those who are able to attend the twice-monthly meetings, our leads group RED, is an incredible resource. I, along with some of my Small Business Development subcommittee, will be on hand at our own table on Wednesday at the MBA mixer. We will answer any questions you have and sign you up on the spot for any of our free programs. We will also be awarding a free RED membership!

It’s an exciting second half of the year ahead and I hope to see each of you on Wedneday and I look forward to signing you up for one of our free programs!

In Pride in Business,

Chris Stephenson
Director of Small Business Development