There are about 1.2 billion Catholics in the world. With that many people with something in common, there is a great opportunity not only to build a great business but one that is socially good virtuous.
Now, in reality, a Catholic business shouldn’t be any different from any other business aside from its goals. When devout Catholics want to start a business, you’ll often see them create a book store. That’s great, but often these small shops get dominated by larger online chains.
Here are some tips for starting a business that carries with it the conviction that comes with faith:
- The most important thing to realize that everybody needs a solution to something, and if you can fulfill that need you are making their life better. Your business does not have to be overtly Catholic (i.e. a Catholic book store, or a Catholic bakery), rather your mission statement and the soul of your business should be geared toward holiness. That way, you could start a web development, show shine, or online fishing store and still carry with it the impact of your faith.
- You need to learn effective selling and marketing skills. I can’t tell you how many Catholic businesses I’ve seen that have horrible promotional campaigns, terrible websites, and still wonder why they can’t get any customers. Just because your business is faith-based it doesn’t mean that you can ignore the fundamentals.
- Engage in social media. There are a lot of folks out there that are willing to spread the word of your business, especially if you’ve engaged them on a consistent basis. Do not ignore the revolution that is taking place, and take a course on social networking if you have to.
- Find a mentor – even if they are not Catholic. You need someone to bounce ideas off of and to ensure that your ideas are realistic and doable. A mentor will act as a guide and will make sure that you are successful.
- Join a mastermind group and share ideas. The best way to learn something new is to learn it from someone else. There are meetup groups all over the place and for almost every industry, and you need to take advantage of them. One additional benefit is that you’ll be networking with other people who may become future clients.
The point of this article is that you need to do everything that a secular business person needs to do. Just like being religious won’t help you to be a better soccer player, if you intend to join the game of business you need to learn the rules of business. So get out there, and start learning.