Entrepreneur with a background in project management, communications, marketing, and graphic design. Passionate about networking, educating, hand all things creative.
First of all I want to give you a lot of credit for what you are doing. One of the great things about being a business owner is that the successes are truly your own, but the downside is that the failures are too. Going through the tough times can be emotionally and physically exhausting.
To get started with, well, getting started, you need to first deal with the past crud and work to rebuild the business' reputation and trust. Too often businesses attempt to start fresh under a new identity without addressing the baggage and ultimately they are not successful because the air has not been cleared. Think about any major company that has had a PR nightmare whether it be tainted food, tampered packaging or a mechanical error. What do they do? They publicly admit they messed up and expressed their plan to ensure it doesn't happen again.
Now for you, I am not saying to alert the media. Simply start with your stakeholders. Reach out to those you feel you have wronged. Invite them to coffee or lunch, talk through the problems and get their input as to what and how you can improve during this next phase. As you build up trust, your network expands organically, and as you clear that air, those former foes now feel that they are playing a part in your new endeavor. Once you start to rebuild that reputation the re-branding and re-launching is easy.
Everyone makes mistakes. It is how they are dealt with that makes the lasting impression, and frankly, people in business want to help others with their business.
While job boards can be a beneficial resource, if you are looking for individuals with experience and a high rate of success your best bet to fill positions will be via networking. High level sales reps are in constant demand across all industries which means they are being fished rather than doing the fishing. Most high level reps are recruited by other companies while employed and do not frequent the job boards as often as entry-level or associate reps. To get started with this approach, think about who you do business with? Who is your banker, who is your insurance rep, who sold you your car, etc. All of these individuals have careers that are dependent upon successful networking and if they sold you, they are a good person to chat with because they will know other qualified individuals. Also, they are likely to know who may not be overly happy in their current job.
Supporting an existing business is a great way to test the market demand for your services. If you contract with an existing company as an independent contractor (rather than diving in and buying part of their business), you maintain your autonomy, test the market, and keep yourself open to deciding in the future if you want to invest in the existing company or truly branch out on your own.
Experience is definitely the most important. When you are speaking with developers, look for the ones that challenge your idea rather than ones that simply do whatever you ask of them. The best developers are going to be knowledgeable about the existing marketplace and be able to tell you if your idea already exists or how it differentiates from other solutions already in existence. You want your developer to be a partner that is truly looking out for your best interest and working to help your business rather than looking for a quick profit.