Have you ever had a great idea for a business but just didn’t know what the first steps should be and the idea goes no-where?
Starting a business is a dream many people have but many never become a reality for the shear reason that they don’t know where to start. There are hundreds if not THOUSANDS of things to consider when starting up a business.
So how do you PLAN to START a Business?
To me, starting a business is like training for a marathon. No-one in their right mind goes from couch to attempting running a marathon without serious, dedicated and well planned training, and you should approach starting a business in the same way.
Start small, and work your way through a series of well considered mini steps. If you get through the first set OK, then plan the next few miles and make it a little harder. See how you go, then plan the next steps.. so on and so forth. Constantly training your mind with harder challenges, getting better and quicker each time.
“YES I get it, but what FIRST?”
Here are 7 things I start with when embarking on a new venture:
- SHARE MY IDEA with carefully chosen associates. People you can trust and you know will give you intelligent and considered feedback. Do some market research into the idea and ask a few questions. Does it exist already, is there a market for it, what will people pay, is there competition, who would buy, where are these people etc.
- Map out what the PERFECT BUSINESS would look like i.e. how many employees, how much time/effort from you, location, revenue etc Even put down your ideal client type, age, gender etc.
- WORK BACKWARDS from there and and see how much of the perfect business you could setup immediately and what would you have to compromise on. (try not to compromise too much as it is difficult to get to the ideal the further away you start from there) Then ask yourself, would the business work with all of these compromises?
- If no, go back to step 2 and reconsider. If yes, MAP OUT the first 90 DAYS of the business and write down as many things you can think of that you need to do. Write down everything no matter how minor it may seem.
- Next to that list put 3 columns, COST, TIME and OWNER. Go through each one and allocate a dollar value, how much time you expect it to take (guess if you’re not sure) and allocate an owner of that task. Many might be you for now.
- CREATE a PROJECT PLAN with all of these tasks in it. Break it down into sections that are bite sized and achievable chunks. Work out the cost and the timing. Will you need help on the task you allocated to yourself? Who would that be and will they cost you anything? Refine the plan until you can make the costs and the timing work.
- Now bring this altogether and EVALUATE your idea now with all of this knowledge.. Is there a market for it? Will people pay for it? how much time, money and people do I need to kick this off? Do I need finance to get me started? Do I need employees? How long until I’m profitable and do I have the cash-flow to sustain it till then? Does it still resemble my initial idea, is it better or worse? Is it a GO or NO GO?
As you are progressing through each of these steps you will either get a sense that this idea is worth pursuing or that the more you dig into the concept, the worse the idea seems to be. The more you work on the plan, the more things you will think of and the more you can consider before jumping in.
Whatever you do, DON’T jump in UNFIT for business. The more and better you train yourself for the main event, the more likely it is you will reach your goal.
Running a Business is not as easy as it first seems but with the right training and coaching you might just get into the zone and make it look easy to those on the outside.
Please seek independent advise to suit your needs prior to leaping in.
If you’ve started a business, share your starting steps here in the comments to help others on their quest…