The Idea: The most lucrative business you can create is the one your passionate about, the one that makes it impossible for you to sleep at night. Now aside from passion, there has to be some kind of demand for whatever product or service your creating, its not like you passion in it self is going to cut it. And last but definitely not least, it has to be an ideas that has a blueprint of success or is at least feasible with modern day resources, don’t walk around thinking that your about to magically invent the next generation Google Glass, when its been barley been released yet.
Now if you are not passionate about your business idea, you won’t commit to the low moments within your entrepreneurial life cycles – yes you’ll have a bunch of them. So find your passion and start there. Once you find yourself at an acute motivational point, get to the drawing board and turn that idea into a reality. There are resources to get it done. Your idea might be original but the framework to make a business out of that idea isn’t – so get cracking.
Establish a solid business framework
I know this may sound like something obvious, yet you’d be surprised of how many actually “forget” about to: Take action! You have no idea how many wantrepreneurs there are out there, acting, writing and sounding like the next Zuckerberg, due to their appealing “entrepreneurial-looking” Facebook profile. Challenge your idea and explore its lucrative or contributive potential. Research exclusivity or commonality – Is it a unique idea? Is it fulfilling a community need? Is it a common start up with other examples to model? I know it may sound like a lot of planning already, but you haven even gotten started. So continue by spending at least a month doing due diligence on your idea and the revenue profitability of that idea. Catalogue your research, random thought processes and framework on a word document or notepad. There is no point in doing due diligence if there is no record of your recollections and research to review. This information will be the backbone of your business plan.
Side note: You might find that you have several business ideas and want to pursue all of them. Go with the smallest idea first. That way you can learn from your experience and build up preparation for your bigger ideas. Or sometimes it is best to start with the idea that requires the least amount of capital. That way if it doesn’t work out, you don’t have a debt load to remind you of the miss-step.
So, make a decision based on your original research. If its sound proof and you know that you are passionate about it, then that’s your green light to get the business started. You will end up with a draft Business Plan.
Understand how to start a business
This is where you have to make use of the pleathora of resources and information available to you to start a business. Research everything you can about, entrepreneurship, small business, and start-ups. Seriously, just Google these phrases and commit to a consistent daily reading. If that bores you out (which it probably will eventually), make use of blogs, webinars and even networking events! My suggestion is, create a separate email to keep tabs on these resources via subscriptions.
Understand that there are three types of entrepreneurial resources:
- Government- SBA.Com for example (Always start here. It is the most unbiased feedback of advice on business start-up that you can get)
- Private- Blogs, Programs, Organizations, Consulting firms etc. (This includes businesses that are in the business to help start other businesses).
- People- Networks, Friends, You (your experience whether entrepreneurial or not is important too)
So, attend free seminars, maximize on entrepreneurial subscriptions and learn as much as you can. Create your own entrepreneurial MBA program and keep notes handy-along with your business plan notes.You will end up with a draft: Personalized Start Up Resource Guide of everything you read, heard and discussed.
Decide on a path and stick to it
Time for the boring stuff: logistics and finance. Complete the Logistics and know what parts you need in the beginning. Don’t go full pro and pay for extensive business packages. Start purely with the basics. As you start making profits then it’s fair to start adding on solution packages as you see fit.
- Again start with SBA. Get the government legal perspective on what is needed to be recognized as a business under your countires law. Then you can look to 3rd party resources.
- Register Business name (DBA), Attain tax id, Chose legal entity type: LLC, S Corp ,C Corp etc.
- Create the essential basics: Website, Email/Contact channels.
- Decide on Brick n Mortar vs. Online Business and attain appropriate sales licenses.
Then comes the financing: Knowing the logistics will give you the basic layout costs needed to start the business. It can take anywhere from $500-$1000 to start a business without the physical location costs (Hence the reason for e-commerce business). Yet you need to keep a plan on how you want to go about financing the business going forward.
- Capital financing- via traditional banking model & crowd funding
- Pitching- business plan competitions at the local and national level.
- Program- entrepreneur programs that provide seed money etc.
- Organic- start selling the product or services and building a customer base slowly
- Personal- your savings, friends and family etc.
Start building your team
At this point, you got the business started. It’s legally recognized, a business plan is on deck to guide your future decisions and you are keen on the financial support portfolio needed to get the ball running. Now it’s time to revisit two key items that should have been covered during your research (Stage 1 and 2). No business is sustainable without an efficient employee base and satisfied consumer base.
- Employee Base: Will you do this solo or do you know people that can support your idea? When will you have enough business cash flow to hire a team. Refrain from using loans to pay salaries. Employee pay should be supported by company revenue streams. One you decide on the solo vs. team phase, you need to think and research ways to attract, recruit, and employ workers for your business.
- Consumer Base: I won’t go into great detail here. Just make sure you create quality products for a targeted audience. Don’t go rogue and create something for the masses. Furthermore, target marketing is key to success- email subscription base, social media, referral incentives etc.
Well, at this point, you are learning so much that there will be a bunch of cross roads to attend to. Point is, hold on to your passion for the business and keep learning. As your reputation and client base improve over time, you will have more opportunities at your disposal.
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