Do You Have What it Takes to StartUp in Seattle?
And it's no wonder the waves are so fierce, when you look at all the entrepreneurial competition you'll need to watch out for around the sound. Every day, the big businesses of our metro area, lose motivated employee's to the lure of entrepreneurial adventure and the potential to achieve your passion. Just a few of those big companies are Microsoft, Nintendo, Amazon, Boeing and Starbucks - all who churn out individuals with a plethora of untapped talents and skills, that refuse to be silenced.
You might even be one of those people, so you will know exactly what I'm talking about, and you probably already recognize the significance of your situation. Any entrepreneur in this town, is up against a slew of competition from geeks, freaks, gurus, pro's and the radically innovative, at minimum.
To add to the need for constant vigilance and innovation to keep up with competitors, you've also got to keep an eye on the city council and state legislature, for all sorts of crafty and unexpected changes throughout the year, that can effect your wallet and/or your business. To pile onto that, just about every business in Seattle is seasonal, meaning that while you should have business throughout the year, there will be seasons that hurt and seasons that hit. And like our fine Seattle weather, those seasons might stay consistent, or it might start snowing in June after a week of hot sun, you never know!
You'll also need to make sure you're scheduling skills are up to date, whether you personally do it, or you have an assistant who does it, it needs to be done! I suggest this, because when it comes to doing business in Seattle, there are some traffic stopping events that happen in Seattle, that you'll need to plan around when it comes to having meetings, hosting events or doing any big advertising. Some of those events are: Mariners, Sounders & Seahawks games, Conventions, Seattle Hempfest, Folklife, the Torchlight Parade, Sea Fair, Comicon and whenever the president is in town, and they don't always announce it ahead of time. There's also the constant construction which really jams things up if you need to travel over either i-90 or the 520 Bridge, and we can't forget about the deep bore tunnel they've insisted on building on the water front, which will mean serious backups when they take down the old Alaskan Way Viaduct. All of these events are significant to any successful entrepreneur, not only so that they can keep their schedule effective and professional, but because it often means being able to schedule time at home or time for fun, because there are some days you just won't be able to work effectively due to the crazy activities of our ever expanding metropolis.
Another common hurdle that I and my clients have run into, is finding good help. Every entrepreneur wants to bring on board founders, partners and employees that they can be proud of, though the reality is that most entrepreneurs and soon-to-be startup owners are strapped for cash, and all of the valuable workers are holding out for the boss that can afford the investment to cover their reasonable rates. Yet you cannot run a business in Seattle without hired help, because the chances are, you're more likely to come into more business than you expect to, and only fail because you didn't have strong and loyal employees in place.
My biggest learning lesson in this arena was with my event planning company, where I booked live bands all area the sound. When I started the business back in 2009, I had never dreamed that I would have so much success with my company. There were venues all over, who were strapped for live and local talent, and an affordable booking rate. Not only that, but I had one thing over my competition that stuck out with venue owners - INTEGRITY. I made sure no one got taken advantage of, and that everyone was compensated fairly and timely. I also made sure the bars were cleaned up before I left, and covered any expenses for accidental damages caused by the bands I worked with. Everyone was pretty happy, except me, because I was overworked, and even though I was making some money, I wasn't paying myself enough to cover my own care, because I knew I needed to hold on to the people I had in my company. And even though I was sacrificing, trouble started brewing when I started getting requests to run events at multiple locations on the same night. Now, this wasn't unexpected, and in fact, I had hoped to have those opportunities, though at the time, I wasn't prepared for it, because I didn't think it would happen so quickly.
So when I started dedicating my time to trying to find the right people to hire, to run events for me, things started to go down hill. I could only have my excellent greeter in one place at a time, and having any events running without me, meant that I would need to have excellent event managers and security persons, and that meant I was going to need to charge more in order to attract the right kind of staff. That was a big issue for me then, as I had always been able to make money as the "affordable" booker, and asking for more money, to me, felt like I was going to be taking a huge loss from the venues that were used to my breakneck prices.
I experienced the same phenomenon with my mobile mechanics business before that, though it wasn't as chaotic as with event planning in Seattle. Basically, the inspiration I'm trying to impart to you, is that anyone who wants to jump out into the Seattle scene to create an epic business, should be aware of the challenges that they face.
Whether it's hiring, scheduling, event planning, expansion, funding or even exit strategies, the emphasis is on preparedness. The more you know before you go, the easier the ride will be.
And knowing what you know now, how do you feel? Do you have what it takes to run a startup in Seattle? Are you ready continue as a lone wolf in the thick business jungles of Seattle, or are you ready to invest in your own success and make your adventure a lot more fun, by employing a Seattle Startup Coach, who can help you cultivate your map to business success in Seattle?
Feel free to give me a call, for a FREE No Obligation Consultation @ 206 486 GOAL (4625) Let's Talk About Your Future