Small Business-What Would Your IPO Look Like?

Success is celebrated and cursed in equal measures. Build a good company, but don’t break bad. Soon, small businesses may have miniature “IPO” moments like Facebook will have this week. What can we learn from the current court of public opinion.

Think Mark Zuckerberg thought his dorm room project would lead to this? (Photo illustration originally appeared in WIRED Magazine)

The current commentary shows the hurdles of building a company and what happens as the inevitable changes occur during that journey.

In a quiet moment, Mark Zuckerberg may express wonderment when he thinks of the days and nights spent bringing “The Facebook” to life in a dorm room. As his company prepares to go public, he appears to be wiser beyond his years. But, there are inevitable steps in the process that new entrepreneurs still need to get used to.

Google once proudly displayed its motto, “Don’t Be Evil.” But, the public path means you need to know your way around the system to try to maintain control. It reminds me of the phrase, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

In a recent post, I touched on the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act that was passed by Congress and signed into reality by President Obama. A major concern expressed by opponents of the legislation was that a process for small businesses to raise money legally through small investors could develop new levels of fraud and deception.

Here’s some breaking news: There is plenty of illegal and unethical activity to go around.

The bigger issue for small business owners is how navigating this new course of turning a few customers into investment partners will play out. Those who have never started a business have probably never experienced the decisions that, “are good for business.” No matter what expectations are clearly established, an owner once celebrated could soon face a different reality.

“I could have done that!” – View a video sidebar from Catch Driver Marketing here.

A small business owner I worked for had a great metaphor for this struggle. “People think your business should be like a public library. They want it to be available when, and how, they want to use it.”

I believe that there are more positives than negatives with these new opportunities for small businesses that have generated a loyal customer base to tap into that for growth and sustainability. However, plan carefully to consider the emotions that can manifest themselves when you move from being public to going public.

Glenn Kass – Catch Driver Marketing (Photo by Shuva Rahim – Accent Photographics)

Glenn Kass and Catch Driver Marketing want to get your ideas on track. To learn more, visit www.catchdriver.com. Or, follow at www.facebook.com/catchdrivermarketing and www.twitter.com/CatchDriverMktg.

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About catchdrivermarketing

Catch Driver provides marketing and communications services/consultation for small to medium size businesses and non-profits. The "Your Ideas...On Track" slogan means helping organizations and business owners with projects they want to do, but lack staff and time to execute themselves, and working to drive them to a successful outcome. See more at www.catchdriver.com.
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