Networking Advice to New Entrepreneurs from Alfred Edmond Jr.

HUDSON: If recent history holds, about a half million Americans will start their own businesses this year. Good luck.  Tonight`s commentator thinks they should get to know one another a little bit better to help each other survive.  Here`s Alfred Edmond, Jr., senior vice president and editor-at- large at “Black Enterprise.”

ALFRED EDMOND, JR., SR. VP/MULTIMEDIA/EDITOR-AT-LARGE, BLACK ENTERPRISE:  For my first NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT commentary of the New Year, I want to talk to those for whom 2012 will be your first as business owners. My advice — simply this — spend as much time as you can with other entrepreneurs. And whatever you do, don`t get so caught up with the day-to-day challenges of getting your business off the ground that you isolate yourself from others.

No matter how brilliant your idea or how much passion and hard work you bring to the task, entrepreneurship is hard, especially in the beginning. If you are persistent, flexible, resourceful and fortunate, your business will survive long enough to reap major rewards for you. Until then, you`re going to need all of the advice, mentorship, ideas, and encouragement you can get. More experienced entrepreneurs can help you to avoid reinventing the wheel. Fellow newbies can share both your triumphs and your fears, because they have them, too.

More practically, staying active in networks of entrepreneurs in your city or industry will keep you plugged into the resources you`ll need to survive and thrive. So join local business groups, attend events and use online social media to network with other entrepreneurs. Establishing strong, healthy business networks in your first year of business could be the key to making it to your second, your fifth and beyond. I`m Alfred Edmond, Jr.

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