Updated: May 23
Lead By Example
In the world success is measured by a few things. You need to be able to dedicate unreasonable amounts of time, sacrifice your social life, family and friends, just to keep the business going and in the proper margins of success for your business, big or small. The founders and their CEO Board have to have good leadership skills and create fair, grounded work ethic laws. Leadership will also need to hire dedicated and dependable employees who will benefit their employer and the business in general. FInally, good planning and organizational skills. This is standard for people in the world and it is equally a standard for Christian businesses, like AW, Chick-Fil-A, Hobby Lobby, etc. Many business owners (Christian and non-Christian) will open a business and make the mistake of thinking they will start making money right away, only to find that making money, raising money, and having finical stability in a business is a lot more difficult than they anticipated.
President Wilson thought along these lines when she founded AW in 2018. She owns and operates an online non-profit LLC corporation business, so she makes nothing profit wise, but at most she thought she could raise awareness for her Christian ministry and receive donations from the church. That never happened. It shocked her as much as it did the CEO Board because everyone expected the church (Christian people) to be understanding and step up to help one of the Lord's children in their time of need. Disappointments aside, there is so much more to running a business than financial stability. If you are a Christian business owner there are few tips you can try to prevent disaster. It doesn't matter what type of business you have, there will always be necessary steps you must follow to be successful.
1. Yahweh First
Psalm 37: 5 says,
"Commit thy way unto Yahweh; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
King David did not stutter or suggest this, he declared boldly that Yahweh will act when we put him first and trust in His promises. God must be the source of your passion and drive when running a Christian business. If you are not submitting to God in your personal life or living a honest, righteous life the way the Lord intended for you, how could you possible hope to please Him if you start up a business? Always pray about what to do for the business and keep an open communication with your Maker. Keep your trusted people close and confine in them, but also make sure you keep yourself in check with Yahweh. If He moved you to have a business or you just wanted to start a business without feeling moved, that is wonderful--either way you must submit your works unto Him and trust that He will lead you down the proper path.
This may mean you fast, wait a while or act right away, but no matter how you go about seeking your answers from Yahweh, make sure your heart is in what you're doing and that your motive is to bring honor and glory to His name verses your own. As you go about keeping Yahweh first, remember that you need to be organized with everything you do. It will help you complete tasks and stay on top of things at all times. Invest into a planner or make a check off list for each day. As you complete the tasks on the list, check it off your list. This will ensure that you’re not forgetting anything and completing errands or procedures that are vital to the growth and survival of your business.
2. Book Keeping
Every business should be keeping track of records, such as the IRS, transactions, business investment with other businesses owners, etc. Whether this is the CEO, Treasurer, Vice CEO, someone needs to know where the business is at financially at all times. They also should be on top of weighing the pros and cons of financial investments and should be very organized in their book keeping so if asked, they know where the records are and can provide detailed reports about the business's finances to whoever needs to know.
3. Study The Niche & Competition
Familiarize yourself with your niche and then observe how other people go about the marketing mix and social media influence for their targeted audiences. Competition is expected and you need to be aware of who you're loosing to and why. Never hesitate to study and learn from your competitors and their marketing strategies. They very well might be doing something you could be doing and could do better. They also can show you what is effective for them and what isn't working for them, which should give you a idea to avoid for your own business. The more comfortable you become with your niche and understand how it works, the more you can mold your marketing mix to fit the narrative you desire when you decide to advertise to your targeted audience.
4. Take The Risk
At some point you might be faced with making a "risky" choice. Here's the bottom line. Good and bad choices happen with consequences. Do not fear this, but rather carefully choose which risks are worth taking. But you should also be well informed before making a high risk decision. Meaning, you should do your research, learn about what it is you want to stake your business on. Timing is another factor that comes with risks. If you made a sound choice, but the timing is bad it could hurt your business instead of helping it. If you are the CEO or President, it is a good idea to go to the CEO Board and consult your close and trusted people and get their opinions about the risk you want to take. There is console and wisdom with many advisors and sometimes, they might see something you don't see so make sure to keep open communication with your officers.
5. Think Outside The Box
Do not be set in your ways. Listen to your employees from time to time, not just those on your level or in leadership. Be open to new ideas that come from the staff and be actively looking for other methods to improve your business and its presence. Ultimately you want to create a business that is unique, separating it from your competitors. looking for ways to improve your business and make it stand out from the competition. Embrace different and try to remember this: If applicable, you want to offer something that your targeted audience doesn't already know or has seen.
6. Be Patient
You built and opened your business. Congrats. That is a huge feat right there, but you must be patient with the public. They don't know your brand yet like they know Nike, Disney, Bob Evans, Denny's, Rue21, etc. Just because you are certified, have a FEIN, are registered with the state you reside in and have a message and product you want to share with others, does not mean people care or want you in the beginning. It can take years before people know who you are, let alone want to trust you with their time and money. While you are waiting, focus on completing milestones, building a good rep and going out into your community and meeting the people and offering free products. Give out business cards, rent a billboard, run some ads on social media and keep your passion. Not seeing progress might weaken the dream. Don't let it. Especially where you are serving a mighty God who sustains you and very well may have called you to open a business. His timing is not our timing, but while we wait there is no harm in perfecting the craft and enjoying the progress that you are making.
7. Do It Yourself Over Hiring Outside Help
If you want something done right, do it yourself. Paying others to help your business where you lack the understanding and skills is not wrong, but realize that will come with a price. A big one. Many freelancers charge differently hourly rates and that will add up depending on what you want done, how much of it you want done and labor. If you can figure out how to do something for your business, be ready to sit down and study. Otherwise, you will be having to pay other people to do it and over time, this will cost you personally or cost your business's treasury to suffer. Then again, if you have financial support or a benefactor that provides money for you, you can afford to pay someone without trying to figure out a way to replace the money that was lost.
8. Positivity Makes A Community
Don't be negative when creating online or offline content for your targeted audience. Don't allow your niche to reflect hurtful things such as racial slander, hate speech (towards anyone of any color, religion, sexual orientation, disability, etc.), judgmental attitudes or values. That is not helpful for your brand or for your business. People do not like bad attitudes or treatment in customer support or from the leadership branches in general. To avoid creating a negative impact with your niche work with your base wisely and build trust with the community by being respectful, nice, kind and understanding when they're not being understanding or respectful towards you. Be the bigger person and always try to defuse a bad situation with a gentle answer over a bitter one. Remember, you are representing Yahweh and Christ, you are their stewards and your behavior will affect how others see Yahweh and Christ in you if you behave fleshly and promote negativity in your niche.
Blog post written by AW
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