Are you staring out of your office window wondering how you can escape? Imagining what it would be like to be in control of your own destiny, make your own decisions, have the freedom and flexibility you crave.
Chances are one of the escape routes you have considered, apart form winning the lottery, is starting your own business. Yet, you hesitate, as you are not sure how to start, if your idea will be a success or even if you have what it takes to be successful as a business owner.
These are normal concerns. Last year, when writing my book, I interviewed 50 women who were al, considering leaving their jobs to crossover and start their own business. They all had an idea, and could imagine what it would be like, yet they hesitated.
Their main concerns were;
- Will I make as much money as I make now?
- How will I know my business will be a success?
- Do I have the right skills and experience to be a success?
- How do I start?
- How much money will I need to get started?
They need Clarity, Confidence and Commitment
How clear are you on the idea for your business?
Have you defined precisely what you are selling and who will be buying it, or is it more of a vague idea of the area you want to move into?
The clearer you are about your business idea, the more tangible it will become. When you have a tangible idea, you can speak about it with more conviction and certainty.
The other piece of clarity you need is your reason why for starting up the business. This is essential to understand, even at this early stage, as this will subconsciously dictate what type of business you will create.
For instance if your deep reason why you are setting up the business is to have freedom and flexibility over your time, so you can spend more time with the kids, then you are creating a lifestyle business, and this will have certain boundaries around it.
But if you are creating a business to be financially free, either through a sale longer term or global domination, then you will create the foundations for your business quite differently from the former.
The next phase of starting a business is to get confidence about your idea. You need to assess the opportunity, the demand and what your competitive advantage will be.
This means defining which market you are entering, and how big that market sector will be, and to understand if there is an opportunity there for you. It also is critical to assess the competition at this stage. I think competition is a great thing! If you have competitors already, that means there is a market for what you are planning to sell. The trick at this stage is to research the competition and then to create a better and more compelling offer.
Once you have reviewed the market and your competition, take a step back and consider if your idea will be a success. Or maybe it needs further refinement to make it really stand out.
So now you have the Clarity, Confidence and Commitment for your business idea. Are you ready to commit? The best way to prepare yourself for this commitment is to write a business plan. If you don’t write a business plan for your business, then based on my experience o working with hundreds of clients over the years, you will never have a business, you will just have an expensive hobby. Harsh, I know, but true.
Business plans do not have to be onerous – in fact the best ones are documents that are living and breathing. And as you get more information, or new insights and idea, you can add them in and enrich your thinking.
Keys to a simple business plan are:
- Sales and profit forecast
- Details of how you will create your offering and the costs involved with that
- How you will sell it
- Details of your target market
- The benefits you offer them
- Marketing plan
- What support and infrastructure do you need and the associated costs
Then to bring it all together you need to create a compelling answer to that age old question, “What do you do?”
Answering this in a clear manner with passion will mean that you have the clarity, confidence and commitment to start up your business with a plan for success.
I wish you all the best – do let me know what you ideas are – I love to hear them!
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