In celebration of the agency’s 13th anniversary, food & beverage and travel PR and social media firm Hanna Lee Communications recently announced its “13 Top Tips for Budding Entrepreneurs,” part of the agency’s #tastemaker series to give back to the community. The tips represent the hard-won insights of president and founder, Hanna Lee, to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders.
Lee, a PR and marketing expert with over two decades of experience, has led the agency to become one of the most awarded and respected in the industry under the motto of “Think Like Journalists and Act Like Brand Ambassadors.”
“13 years ago, I pursued my dream of creating a PR agency that exclusively represented clients I truly believed in,” said Lee, in a news release. “I learned a lot by doing and by reaching out to mentors who offered me guidance along the way. This list of tips is my own personal way of saluting the community that embraced me and I encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs to take the plunge—with eyes wide open.”
1. Passion is not enough—dedication matters
Having a passion for running your business is a given, but success comes from hard work and dedication. Devote yourself not just 100 percent, but 1,000 percent.
2. Being the best is not enough—pursue excellence
Pursue excellence and be the best of the best of the best. Moreover, once you achieve it, you have to keep improving day in and day out, year after year.
3. Sleep is everything—in this case, more is more
A healthy mind in a healthy body is the foundation of running a healthy company. Be selfish and take good care of yourself mentally and physically. Getting enough sleep is everything so you can be your most productive the next day.
4. Be a control freak
Pay attention to every detail of your business. From email communication to how you dress, every interaction counts.
5. Be picky—choose clients that have a vision of changing the world
Work with clients who have a long-term vision and an idea that impacts how we live. Do not settle for ordinary clients, as they will ultimately define you as ordinary.
6. What balance? Redefine the work-life mix
Embrace being “on” 24-7. Redefine your work-life mix and get over seeing selfies of your friends having fun on their Instagram feed while you’re working. You are creating your own destiny. And it’s worth it.
7. Stay lean—less is more.
Profitability is more important than the size of the company. Stay lean. Get a bookkeeper and an accountant from the get-go who can keep you on track. Don’t wait until after the fact. These folks are your best friends.
8. Stay relevant and be a “go to” expert
Be a leader in your field and in-the-know. Educate yourself continuously and stay hungry for experience and thirsty for knowledge. This will enable you to be an influencer, not a follower.
9. Be tech-savvy
Be ready to run your business from your smartphone no matter where you are. Technology is your buddy and various apps can help you run your business on the go. Also, make a friend at an Apple or tech store who can give you a tip or two on an ongoing basis, not just when things break or go wrong.
10. Your personal social media is no longer personal
As an entrepreneur, your work and life are merged. Make sure everything you post on your personal platforms is thoughtfully curated and reinforces your overall brand message.
11. Business comes and goes, but loyalty matters
Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, sometimes we are let go and sometimes we let go of clients, but loyalty transcends everything. It is particularly rewarding when former clients return with new business.
12. Together, we can do better
Create co-marketing initiatives with complementary brands and companies that share the same interests and values. This applies to those for your clients and also for your own company. Together, we can do better and defray costs at the same time.
13. Tap mentors—and mentor in return
Create a brain trust of mentors who can guide you along your entrepreneurial path and mentor next-generation entrepreneurs to pay it forward.
Bonus tip: Don’t overthink it
When you have ideas, share them with relevant clients or colleagues immediately. Perfecting your ideas sometimes creates delays and someone else might beat you to the punch.