Going into business for yourself is probably one of the biggest decisions you might make. How then do you evaluate your idea, and it’s business potential?
There are lot’s of lists on what successful entrepreneurs have done, and or suggest to do. Let’s cut tot he chase and figure out what should work.
How committed are you?
I will do whatever it takes – If you have not been in business before, the road ahead will be filled with you needing to make a commitment, take responsibility learn, take action, spend money to make money and do lots of research. All of this will take time and a solid commitment. Will you family support you mentally, physically, emotionally or will you be fighting all the way to try and make things work? Without the right support I would suggest you rethink being in business fast.
Are you a lone wolf or a team player?
You can’t do this alone – Well you could try… chances are though you will need a bookkeeper, a marketing person and generally a team of people to do the work (Business owners take risks and do the planning, not all the ‘hack’ work, get used to that.) If you don’t have the funds to set up a team early on how will you do it? KNOW the answer…
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
I want to know my product or service is used by thousands of people – A great goal to have. Be clear about this and work back from this end point to know how it can be achieved. If your product makes a positive difference to people’s lives then it should be a readily achievable goal, if not consider something else.
How are you going to make money?
I have researched prospective customers, industry experts and suppliers, I know what is required, what the customer should pay, and if they will pay it – Research, seems to be time consuming, yes it is, so make sure it’s thorough and gives you real information, not just here-say. “My Friends think it’s a good idea…” is not enough research to build a business from.
How will you grow the business?
You will run the sales side of the business with great passion and interest and then train others to do what you do or better – Remember you are aiming to be a business owner, not just a person doing a job. For you to be able to pay people (you as well) you will need to grow the business, make more sales. Your research will help you to make decisions on how to grow your business. learn to ask more of the right questions to get more of the right answers.
Yes you have competitors, but you can outline clear reasons why people would buy from you – If you can’t get clear about how you would be different from your competitors then rethink going into business. If you don’t know who your competition are then do more research. They are out there find them and understand what they do and how they do it, then beat them at it.
My research indicates I can make a profit – That’s a great start, will that be able to continue? if you are selling shovels to miners in a gold rush, what happens when the rush is over in say four years time? Ask questions, measure sales, learn to add depth to your business if one product or service is fading. Where will your profits come from in the future, how much will that profit be?
Your industry knowledge is…
I have solid experience and contacts in this industry – Or you can hire more of the right people to add to your depth of knowledge. This knowledge can make the world of difference, success can be elusive so know what’s happening. Tip, ask your suppliers for great examples of ways your competition are providing great solutions for their customers, you might just be missing a key pointer or two that can make a positive difference for the customers and your business.
Are you achieving anything yet?
I have started my research and have nutted out ways to connect with prospective customers – Great start, what next… make a list and push it about, before you know it your ideas will have a life of their own. If you are after finance from an investor or a bank they will want to know what you have achieved so far and what will happen next.
What will make your business extraordinary?
Brilliant service, great value and great prices – These are all solid starting points for an extraordinary business but there will be more to your business success, you need to find out what it will be and work hard to make it a reality. Also look at the service, value and price, how will you ensure these are first rate? You need to do some more research don’t you… You need to get more of the right people on board as well, don’t you… Now make a map, or a plan, or a dream chart or a visualisation chart. Call it what you will, but you had better have some way of knowing what the territory looks like and what you will be doing to make things right so you can get extraordinary results.
So that’s your starting point list. Don’t just sit there in a daze, grab some pens, paper, flip-chart, computer or whatever to start to make your plans for success. Know well that if you don’t do it, no one else will.