Brewing up a winning plan for your small business
ARA) – Job creation continues to be a hot topic in today’s economic climate. While government actions and policies can play a powerful role in rebuilding and strengthening America’s job market, small businesses on Main Street can also be a part of the solution. Small businesses employ half of the nation’s workforce and account for 60 percent of gross job creation.
If you are thinking about creating your own business, Samuel Adams Founder Jim Koch has a few tips for starting out. Koch began brewing Samuel Adams Boston Lager in his kitchen in 1984.
“When I started Samuel Adams, there was so much I didn’t know about starting a small business,” says Koch. “I couldn’t get a bank loan or find funding so I learned to be creative with my resources because I had to do more with less. This created a company culture of innovation and creativity that still defines our company today.”
Koch offers this advice for anyone thinking about starting their own business:
* Examine your passion. It’s important that your idea is something you are passionate about, whether it is through expertise, personal interest or family tradition. Your passion will allow you to outwork and outsmart your competition.
* Explore financing options. In addition to typical business loans, conduct a search to see if you are eligible for a low-interest loan through a government program – www.sba.gov is a good place to start. Organizations like ACCION USA also offer microloans with favorable rates for small business owners. More information can be found at www.accionusa.org. Koch’s experience starting Samuel Adams inspired him to team up with ACCION USA to create Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a program that provides microloans and business coaching to entrepreneurs in the food, beverage and hospitality industries, helping them get started.
* Attend business seminars. Seminars provide an opportunity for you to get free advice from people who have been successful in operating a small business and get answers to the questions you’ve been dying to ask. Through Brewing the American Dream, Samuel Adams hosts speed coaching events where those interested in starting a business can consult with experienced staff from within Boston Beer and other partners from various business disciplines, like marketing, packaging and publicity for quick tips and ideas for success.
* Know your competition. You should have a clear picture of your competition, as well as an idea of how companies in your industry are doing. What do they do well and what do they need to do better? Learn from their successes and failures.
* Push boundaries. One of the only ways to attract and retain customers is by giving them quality and character they can’t get from someone else. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope with your product. It’s a good thing if your customers see something different in what you offer.
Running a successful small business comes down to hard work and passion for what you do. “And, realizing your dreams by doing what you love is the most fun you can have while working,” says Koch.
For more tips and information on Brewing the American Dream, visit www.samueladams.com.
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