At Viral Solutions we understand that every business starts out differently. We believe in business. We believe in You. The other day, I posted Are You Indecisive About Starting a Business? Here are 3 Questions to Ask Yourself article. The responses to those questions should aid the reader in a self-assessment whether or not he or she is ready to start a business. The purpose of this post is to help that reader with 5 additional things to think about before starting a business.
1. Does your business concept really fit you? You want to start a business. Great. Does the vision of how you want to run that business work with or against your entrepreneurial DNA? Are you proposing a cookie cutter approach to starting your business, winging it one day at a time, or crafting a business that fits you? Joe Abraham, Author of Entrepreneurial DNA: The Breakthrough Study that Aligns Your Business to Your Unique Strengths is a great weekend read to help you dig deeper on that question.
2. What is your break-even analysis? The purpose of this analysis is to identify how much money you need to
make to break even to run your business. It is highly encouraged to run the numbers and ballpark what your magic number is to operate your business and break-even. Certainly, the objective is to make more than that. This steps requires research, analysis, and calculations. There are many tools and resources online to help you determine your own specific break-even analysis. If you’re starting out small and resources are limited check to see if there is a local SBA or Small Business Resource Center near you that you can meet with a representative that may be able to help you run those numbers. Mentors and accountants are also helpful.
3. The Business Plan Debate. Some live by it, others swear to avoid it. The decision really ultimately boils down to you. The purpose of the business plan is to provide an organized roadmap for your business. It requires research, analysis, and strategy. If you’re using a canned template or simply winging it to only focus on sections that you prefer over others then you’re missing the boat on the validity and strategy associated with it. If this is something that you choose to do, you must take it on wholeheartedly. If there are sections that challenge you, reach out to a SME of that area. Right or wrong, you’ve got to do what works for you. Regardless, the web is full of ample resources should you decide to investigate and prepare a business plan.
4. Money, Money, MONEY. Yep. Now we’re talking dollars and cents. The opportunities for getting the “bank” aka money to fund that business concept may vary. Some put everything on the line and self-fund their venture. Others get investors, partners, loans, grants, or business plan competitions for seed money. Websites like IndieGoGo.com and Kickstarter.com make it easier, yet in some cases, extremely competitive to fund projects, products, and/or ventures. The only way to truly know how much money you’ll need is doing to the work with the numbers and research. Any wise investor is going to have specific questions that need to be answered before writing a check, and if you can’t answer the questions, you don’t get the check. Do the work. Do the math. Take your business concept seriously and identify what resources you need, how much they cost, why the resources are needed, and how you will get those resources.
5. How will you market your business? Marketing is an essential element to the success of market penetration, growth, and sustainability. Just as there is strategy in a business plan, there is strategy in a marketing plan. In order to get down to the nuts and bolts of your marketing strategy requires research, analysis, and purposeful planning. If you feel unclear or overwhelmed about marketing and crafting a strategy that fits with you it is encouraged to partner with an SME to help educate, strategize, and implement marketing practices.
In conclusion, starting a business is a lot of fun and a lot of work. These are just a few of many essential things to consider before starting a business:
- Identify whether or not your business concept and vision align with your entrepreneurial DNA,
- Identify how much money you need to break-even,
- Identify where that money is going to come from,
- Create putting a business plan, and marketing plan.
Take the time to evaluate where you stand on those issues, and adjust your planning and implementation accordingly. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert in all of the areas, be the expert in what you provide, and if you need help in other areas, don’t be foolish to not seek out the resources, mentors, or SMEs.
Brightest of Blessing to Your Business Venture.
by Katie Doseck, PhD MBA
Chief Visionary and Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve | Viral Solutions LLC
Copyright 2015 by Viral Solutions LLC
Katie Doseck, PhD MBA | Chief Visionary & Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve. I catapulted my experience with extensive education, trainings, and personal coaching; earning a PhD in Organizational Management with a specialization in Human Resource Management, MBA in Organizational Leadership, and BA in Law & Liberal Arts. Subject Matter Expert (SME) areas: Human Resource Management, Employment Law, Organizational Change, Change Management, Resource Planning, Strategic Planning, Talent Management, Selling & Sales Management, Training & Development, Decision Making Models, Project Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Motivation. Dr. Doseck is based out of Logan, Utah.
Viral Solutions LLC is a Digital Marketer Certified Partner, Infusionsoft Certified Consultant and a Mobit Certified Partner. We help overwhelmed small business owners duplicate themselves – so business can be fun again.