This list is only a start in scratching the surface about a decision to start your own business. It’s a different story if you’re considering a consulting or part-time effort from your home on weekends, rather tthan a storefront retail business with a 2-year lease and staff. Whichever it is, you’ll still need a legal framework, tax advice, accounting support and a lot of hardware like office supplies, equipment, computers, programs, telephones, and so on.
The following 12 points are guideposts only. Consider them carefully:
1. IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE PASSION… STOP RIGHT NOW!!! This is the #1 condition for success. If you don’t have the commitment, time, effort and support, don’t even start.
2. BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, IS THERE A MARKET FOR YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE? Research the marketplace, competition, pricing, break-even, competencies needed and time-line
3. OK… WHAT’S IT GOING TO COST ME TO START-UP? Investment to start? Barriers to entry? Technology? Can you do it yourself or need paid staff? What’s the cost to market? Investors?
4. HOW TO BEST DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD? What can you provide that others can’t? How will you position yourself? Low cost? Quality? Service? Other?
5. WHAT’S THE MARKET SAY ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS? What’s the potential size of the market? Growth rate? Life cycle? Price elasticity? Cycle or seasonal demand? Ask potential customers?
6. CHECK OUT YOUR PERSONAL PLUS’ AND MINUS’ Assess your skills and abilities. Are you good in finance but not in marketing? Visa-versa? Strengths? Liabilities? Opportunities? Threats?
7.DO YOU HAVE A PLAN? You’ll need steps to consider at each stage. What information do you need? What alternatives as a back up? Strategies? Time-line? Staff or competencies needed?
8. GROW THROUGH EFFECTIVE MARKETING AND EXECUTION How to develop a positive reputation? Get testimonials? Speaking engagements? Ads or articles? Customer awareness?
9. GAIN BUSINESS THROUGH E-BUSINESS AND DIGITAL MARKETING Where will the leads and traffic come from? Can you create and maintain a website? Can you use LinkedIn, Facebook?
10. SO… HOW DO I PRICE MY PRODUCT TO MAKE MONEY? Where will you position your product/service for pricing? Is there a price constraint? What’s your capacity? Competitors price?
11. WHEN TO HOLD ‘EM AND WHEN TO FOLD ‘EM… What are your profit goals, by when? What will be your “cash burn”? When will you run out of money/credit? What is your STOP point?
12. WHEN TO GIVE UP YOUR DAY JOB? Aggressive level?: At break-even, monthly expenses are covered + income growth of 10% per quarter. Conservatively?: All of the above plus one-year’s salary in the bank! What about benefits? Retirement? Family considerations?
This article focused on the basics of starting a business. One of the important decisions you must make is: What is your ultimate goal and how do your reach it. Our next article will be on Reinventing or Accelerating a Small Business.
Call now for a free consultation and we’ll explain how we can help. No obligation, just objective input! Contact Bill Kaufmann, President, My Greener Future at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our website is: mygreenerfuture.com