What Is The Best Way To Start A Business?
This is an excellent question and like a lot of questions on this blog, may require multiple answers! People start businesses many different ways and they are starting them at a record pace. I read somewhere that in July of this year (2010) over 540,000 businesses started in the US! That number is staggering, and that is why I think this question was asked.
To begin, it is my belief that there is no actual “best” way of starting a business. People have started a business in a day with no prior thought or planning. Some of these businesses go on to be great successes and some of these businesses fail miserably. Other people start businesses with years of planning and preparation. Some of these businesses go on to great success, and some of these businesses fail miserably. Any way you can think of to start a business has had its share of successes and failures.
So if there is no “best” way, is there a smart way to start a business? This question I can answer. If you are thinking of becoming an entrepreneur or BizOwner (you might want to read my definition of a BizOwner) then I can in fact give you a step by step approach to starting a business the smart way! Here are the steps to starting a business the smart way:
1) Make sure you have what it takes (traits, skills, and knowledge) to start and grow a business (become a BizOwner), and make a formal decision that you really do have what it takes to be a BizOwner.
2) Verify the business model of your business is sound and that you can sell products and services at the prices you want to charge.
3) Create a short Business Plan for the business you want to start. I would recommend the 20 Question Business Plan model. It works well in my classes and a handful of bankers and investors that have seen it like it a lot.
4) Make a formal decision on the business you want to start and make a formal commitment to the growth of the business.
5) Take care of the details. This included starting your business legally, develop a financial tracking system, taking care of all tax issues, and making sure all laws of the federal and state governments are handled.
6) Develop the CAP habit and make sure you work your CAP each week. CAP stands for Customer Acquisition Plan. You might want to read my other blog post titled “Every Small Business needs a CAP!”
7) Build you business one SOLID customer at a time. There is a difference between customers and solid customers. A SOLID customer is a customer that refers you to others, is a walking testimonial for your business, and will not leave you at the first sign of competition or a lower price. The growth and success of your business depends on the number of SOLID customers your business has!
That’s it, a seven step approach to starting a business the smart way. It appears I have not covered these seven steps enough, so I would encourage you to check this blog frequently or even sign up for the RSS feed. Thanks for reading!
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