Running your own business is a lot of responsibility - although it also has a lot of unique perks. You can be your own boss, set your own hours, follow your passion, and work from home. Of course, getting from the idea phase to actually running a successful business (you know, one that’s actually paying the bills) can be difficult, especially if you’re a foreign entrepreneur trying to get started in the U.S.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Remember Your Purpose
Any entrepreneur has an ever-growing to do list. As a foreign entrepreneur, you’ll have even more i’s to dot and t’s to cross than your American peers. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. If you haven’t done your own personal work on mindset and goal-setting, it can make matters worse. It can be helpful to remember why you decided to start your own business in the U.S. in the first place. Why did you want to work for yourself? Why did you choose to do so in America rather than in Sweden? Why did you choose the specific product or service at the core of your business? Get out a pen and paper and write these things down. Hang them in a place where you will see them each day. This level of clarity makes all of your other decisions so much easier from here.
Take Advantage of Available Resources
Seek out the resources in your area. Many organizations cater to budding entrepreneurs and owners of growing small businesses. If you’re having visa issues the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can help. And of course, don’t forget SACC-SanDiego.org, which offers access to networking opportunities, educational programs, and consulting services.
Find a Mentor
Sweden boasts many successful entrepreneurs. And there’s no reason you can’t be among them. But you’ll need some help along the way. Often, the best advice an entrepreneur can get comes from someone who’s been in your shoes. A mentor can offer you tips for building your business and support when you simply need someone to talk to. Connect with successful foreign entrepreneurs in your city to see if they would be willing to mentor you.
Uncage Your Business
Business strategist Rebecca Tracey, founder of the Uncage Your Business series, recommends getting clear “about the fundamental aspects of your business that will make all the difference in your bottom line.” Those aspects are where you should focus your energy and create measurable goals over the next twelve months. For example, if you’ve been wanting to build a website for your business, but it keeps getting moved down your to do list while you put out other fires, it’s time to make it your number one priority. Set a goal each week until your website is successfully up and running.
Get the right advice (like the tips listed above). Get in the right mindset. Surround yourself with the right people, especially fellow Swedes who’ve been in your shoes before. Seek help from experienced business mentors whenever needed. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to launching (and running) your own successful U.S. business.
By: Julie Morris
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