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How to Startup Before You Startup

If you’re thinking about starting a business or even if you’ve already started one, don’t spend your time fussing over spreadsheets, logos, budgets or competition.

Packed house on opening day

Those are all parts of the puzzle, but if you want to build a business that cannot fail, spend what may feel like an exorbitant amount of time focused on building and nourishing a community.

I know you’ve got to pay the bills, but get this part right and you’ll never have to worry about having enough business.

In a perfect world, every business would spend a year or so doing nothing but community building before they ever opened the doors.

So, what would that look like?

Natalie George had a day job and dream of opening a healthy, all natural, vegan and raw food restaurant. The vision for this restaurant was created after a dining at well-known San Francisco restaurant Café Gratitude.

After several years of hoping, she launched the business. The only thing is there were no pots and pans or forks or glasses, in fact, there was no physical place at all. She launched the business by asking people to help her build it.

She began by inviting people to join a community that cared about the ideals of gratitude, abundance, community building and, of course, raw food.

She raised money to build the business by holding workshops and selling gift cards for future use. She asked everyone to join her mailing list to keep up on the progress. She shared stories about the ups and downs, exciting and frustrating moments and the joy of making tables from reclaimed wood.

The following four items were the focus of her website.

Cafe Gratitude is opening in Kansas City

Would you like to be a part of making it happen? There are several ways to contribute!

1. We are starting Cafe Gratitude KC Store Builders. Purchase a gift certificate to be used at Cafe Gratitude KC for $1000, and you will get a $1200 gift certificate! That’s a 20% return on investment and will totally support the opening of Cafe Gratitude!

2. Attend one of our upcoming events: Community Building Workshop, Abounding River Practice or intenSati.

3. Ask yourself, friends and family, “What are you grateful for?”

4. Sign up for our mailing list and we’ll keep you posted on our progress, events and future ways you can contribute.

I went to the opening preview event last week and the line to get in wrapped around a city block. Once inside the place was packed with people celebrating with organic beer and wine and the music of the Makepeace Brothers band, but more than anything, they were celebrating their place in a community – and by all accounts, that’s going to make for one health business venture.

So, how do to you start a community building business?

  • Develop a clear vision
  • Focus on giving
  • Get out in your market and teach
  • Start connecting everyone
  • Tell stories and share your goals
  • Ask people to help
  • Let people contribute
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