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  • 24 April 2014
  • Tracy Spahr

Small Business Success: Say I Do To Your Small Business

A business is a huge commitment; you may sink your entire financial and emotional well-being into its existence. And just as you wouldn’t rush into a marriage, you shouldn’t rush into being a small business owner.

Seems simple? Think again! When the right situation comes along, there is something to be said for fighting fear, taking a leap of faith and trusting that the puzzle pieces will fall into place.

When the right situation comes along, there is something to be said for fighting fear, taking a leap of faith and trusting that the puzzle pieces will fall into place.

That is exactly the leap Josh Opperman took after his fiancé left him with only the ring he gave her as she made a sudden departure. Josh was told by his jeweler he would only be offered around 20% of the ring’s value if he was to sell it.

Instead of fearing it was the wrong time or the wrong business, Josh, along with his sister, turned this negative situation into his current business – I Do Now I Don’t. I Do Now I Don’t is a second hand jewelry marketplace that offers safe transactions, by having each diamond verified by a gemologist before transactions are processed. The eCommerce site exchanges diamonds and other memorabilia for a price closer to fair value than would be offered elsewhere.

We’ve all felt those feelings of insecurity and uncertainty, but Josh turned those feelings into a prosperous business earning him recognition as the 2014 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award from Entrepreneur Magazine. He provides some tips below:

Start small: At first, I Do Now I Don’t only had 100 rings on the site; now, 7 years later, there are thousands. The site has also expanded to all types of jewelry. The business grew incredibly fast, and had to quickly adjust to increasingly high volumes of merchandise. Starting small gave Josh and his sister time to learn best practices and troubleshoot.

Be flexible: Josh always wanted to own his own business and be an entrepreneur. Even as a child, he would brainstorm different ideas and businesses. He never dreamed of being in the jewelry industry, nor did he know anything about the jewelry business. However his flexibility and openness resulted in a great company he is proud of and passionate about.

Be trustworthy: The biggest challenge for Josh and his sister was trust – when buying and selling very expensive items, a trust factor is imperative. Customers needed to be comfortable sending in high-value items. They established credibility by hiring a gemologist and taking advantage of multiple media opportunities in the early stages of the business.

Convenience can make a difference: When Josh worked from home, there was a The UPS Store on the same block that he frequented to get supplies and ship packages. Keeping day to day tasks as easy as possible gave him time to focus on the main priorities of the business.

Be a problem solver: Josh believes the best ideas in life come from problems you are trying to solve. If you identify a need, and find a solution, you may be well on your way to owning your own business.

Do you have what it takes to be the Entrepreneur of 2014? The search for Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur of 2014 has begun. Entrepreneurs can submit their entries for this year’s contest at entrepreneur.com/e2014 and entrepreneur.com/e2014college. Entries are being accepted until June 17.

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