Kedma Ough is a recognized business development and business funding expert, innovation and entrepreneurship thought leader, award-winning champion of small business, and business advisor for independent inventors. Throughout her career, Ough’s driving mission has been to empower people—particularly minorities, veterans, women, people with disabilities, and innovators—to become business owners and to maximize the potential of their businesses. To date, she has helped more than 10,000 individuals fund, launch, and grow their businesses, in a wide range of industries.
By: Admin Ramírez
No entrepreneur can say that initiating a business is easy. Some may be able to say that paperwork, finding customers or brand design was easy, but it is very difficult for anybody, having a successful business, to say that everything has been easy. On the contrary, doing so requires cunning to face constant challenges.
“I have undertaken business ventures on different occasions and in different areas, and I have learned, but that has been accompanied by many hours of hard work, sacrifices and continuous learning, which now allows me to help others to start their businesses, says Kedma Ough, small business superhero and expert in business funding.
Kedma explains that to be an entrepreneur you must mentalize to go into a marathon of achievements and adversities that will make you feel in an amusement park of emotions. There are also two fundamental fears that an entrepreneur must face, the first is related to the fear of failure, which is natural, but it must be learned how to overcome it, and the second, a little more difficult to eliminate, is the fear of losing capital, a situation that can mean the end of the project.
“The way to overcome these fears is by fixing in you mind the idea that in case the worst happened, you have to take it as an apprenticeship, which can help us in the future, and not as a failure, if we do, it will become a mental block that would prevent us from trying to start again.”
The “SmallBiz Superhero” explains that dreams should be pursued, but you must focus. Therefore, it recommends NOT venturing out without having planned the early stages of the project, because that would avoid many errors that are easy to detect, but that could end up ending the business.
“Before we embark on the adventure of starting a business, we need to have a planB, be creative, build a team that supports us in what we don’t know and a good strategy that allows us to get afloat in case of any unforeseen events,” she explains.
To prepare the starter plan it is necessary to analyze all possible edges, but mainly you have to focus on two aspects. First you must be clear about the business idea and second, determine what your strengths and weaknesses are to choose the best paths, Kedma reaffirmed.
“Let´s suppose we are very clear about the business idea and why we firmly believe in it. So, now we need to examine what skills or competencies are required to start that business. No matter if the business is going to be big or small, you must have certain skills, such as empathy to deal with workers, suppliers or partners and know how to put yourself in each other’s place, to address problems, complaints, and suggestions for improvement,” says Kedma.
She warns that another important quality is the ability to listen. “Every entrepreneur must be able to listen, which is not the same as hearing. Listening means that we learn from what they are telling us and, therefore, we are able to offer them a logical answer and anticipate their needs and thus attract and retain talent.”
Kedma, who is Angel Investor and has dedicated herself to supporting entrepreneurs on this and other topics dedicated to the discovery of talent and their own abilities, states that there are many other skills that can be used when it comes to managing a business, so it is necessary to be continually learning.
“Conflict resolution, time management, stress management, how to organize meetings effectively and project planning are important, and since they are not innately mastered, they must be learned and combine them with the strengths to attack weaknesses.”
She argues that one must be sincere when talking about one’s own abilities. “I’m good with public relations, but can I keep the company’s accounts? Or the opposite may happen, we know a lot about finance, like running the business, but we’re shy and we don’t even dare stand in front of a group of people to talk to them about how good our product is and how much we need their support.”
I may “know all the laws that affect our business, better than an attorney, but we have no idea what profile we need to hire or the partner who can complement the business. Create a team that complements you.”
Finally, Kedma gives us 4 tips when it comes to start a business:
- Do not try to do it alone, find and expand your community.
- Test your products. Get feedback about user Experience.
- Don’t try to become a millionaire, money is a consequence not a goal.
- Surround yourself with people you admire.
Kedma Ough | VP of Business Coaching at Automate Grow Sell & Angel Investor at Pipeline Angels