It is a rare occasion that an entrepreneur that is just embarking on the process of starting up a new business has all the time, funding and resources necessary to do what is needed. Often times, it is more common to hear that new business owners go through a transition period of starting up their own companies while still under the employ of someone else. Exiting one situation and starting up another requires a delicate balance of integrity, honesty, and dedication to both causes. Ending one career and starting another is not a time to burn bridges; many times, existing relationships with colleagues may open doors to new, profitable relationships with investors and clients. It is important to be open and honest with everyone involved, and let your intentions be known so as to leave with grace and start your new venture with a clean slate and clean conscience. I once had the opportunity of working as a “minion” for a large upscale catering company, and I had the opportunity to observe a coworker who was very loose lipped about branching off and starting a similar company of his own. He became increasingly erratic while at work, and he missed several meetings and appointments with clients in the interest of developing his own client list. Eventually, it came to be known that he had “borrowed” equipment and other resources from our old company in order to aid in funding and starting his new company. Needless to say, that activity was frowned upon, and he was disciplined appropriately. In addition, this behavior was detrimental to both his old relationships and the new ones he was trying to foster.
This above referenced example is no way to get started in business. Experienced business owners have taken consistent steps to ensure that they get started out on the right path, and that they maintain honest and fair dealings with all when closing old doors or opening new ones. They know how to enter and exit business with integrity, and they do their best to maintain relationships across all professional interests. Let’s discover what steps to success we need to take in order to get started right:
Become A Thinking Machine! Your job as a new business owner is to think think think…..think about every aspect of how you want to run and grow your idea and bring it to fruition. You need to come up with answers to every possible question an investor or employee could ask you, such as:
Who is my product or service targeted toward?
How do I intend to fund my business?
How many people will I need to get this idea off the ground?
How do I plan to advertise and grow my business?
Of course, there are many many other aspects of running a business that need ironing out, but taking time, quiet time, to think about and craft your plans is essential to success. Winning takes planning.
Create A Business Plan And Gather Resources
In today’s competitive world of ideas, entrepreneurs are clamoring to find funding sources and investors to help them get their businesses off the ground. No serious investor will even take a second look at you unless you have put together a business plan that knocks their socks off. An organized business plan includes information such as an executive summary, a company description, a market analysis of your product versus similar products already in existence, sales strategies and financial projections. All of this information is necessary in determining whether an idea can be moved forward into physical form. In addition, having a plan this detailed will provide you a skeletal structure for creating timelines, completing projects, and achieving goals. There is a wealth of information on the internet for creating quality business plans; do your research and find one that suits you and your particular situation.
When deciding what resources you will need, make lists of things you will need to do and things you will need to obtain in order to start operating. Whether you are running a one man show or starting out of the gate with twenty employees, being able to know what you need and then being able to use those resources wisely will ensure that your business attains a solid market presence.
Gain Confidence With Budgeting
You need to spend time in the beginning stages of your business setting up proper systems of accounting, bookkeeping and tax records; if these systems are not put in place early, then it will hurt your business in the long run. Decide how to set up your business to most effectively protect you and your personal assets, and stay on top of all expenses, both necessary and unexpected. If you do not feel comfortable implementing some of these systems, then hire a trusted, proven professional to do the management for you, but make sure you can afford to pay him/her. This will be essential to your developing business and its exponential growth.
Effectively Advertise And Network
Starting a business, managing day to day operations, and being responsible for establishing a solid market presence with advertising can be overwhelming for a new entrepreneur. The internet is a VERY vast place of products, services, and gobbledegook; slogging your way through webpages to find your company could be almost impossible if you don’t find a way to increase your presence. Search engine giants like Google and Yahoo need to be your new best friends. Fortunately for you, Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a specialized service offered by prominent companies to allow you to effortlessly slide to the top of Google’s most searched page list. Find professionals that specialize in SEO and creating a large presence for your company. The more people that can find you, the more likely you are to make a profit.
Focus On Creating Quality Relationships In Your Business
The cornerstone of any good business is just that-----quality relationships with customers, quality relationships with employees. The customer that is treated well comes back for more, and the employee that feels heard, happy and fulfilled will stay to help you increase your profits. Focus on making every interaction a positive, rewarding experience, and people will seek you out for more of what you are offering.
Following these simple steps will not only help you to minimize risk, they will help you to grow and thrive no matter what the market forecast. Good luck, keep your nose to the grindstone, and commit to learning as you go!