Recently, Dr. Greg Henley, director of the Herman J. Russell Center For Entrepreneurship at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Ga, interviewed me for his “NexXt Entrepreneur Day In A Life Video Series,” sharing the stories of entrepreneurs in all 50 states. I'm excited to share his video interview of me. It's 28 minutes long, and I think you will enjoy every single second.
Among other things, Dr. Henley asked me to share tips to help people who want to start a membership-based industry trade organization like the Indie Beauty Network, which I launched in 2000. Here are some of the tips I shared in the first half of the interview.
Understand the industry you want to serve. You cannot lead a trade organization unless you understand the trade. Since I knew how to make cosmetics, and had owned a cosmetics company, I was intimately familiar with the challenges of running a beauty business. My experiences uniquely equipped me to lead a trade organization in the industry.
Establish your expertise. If you are recognized as a knowledgeable person in the industry, you will have the credibility needed to appeal to people who may wish to join the organization. You can establish this reputation in many ways, including authoring a book, maintaining a blog, publishing white papers, etc. Sharing your commentary about the industry establishes you as a helpful and trustworthy information source.
Know that there's a demand. No matter how established your industry expertise, it cannot support a trade organization if there is no demand for the type of expertise and services you have to offer. Research your industry first to determine its special needs and challenges. You will quickly discover whether there is nor is not a need for what you want to offer.
In addition to these tips, I shared from my heart about what it's like to run a business as a wife and a mother, the top mistakes I've made in business, how I'm handling the current tough economy, my greatest fears and challenges, my philosophy on “failure,” the highest and lowest points in my business journey and so much more.
Question: Do you see yourself and other Indies you know in this discussion? How would you answer some of the questions Dr. Henley asked?