First things first… starting a business is NO easy task. Actually, for the most part it’s not even a fun task. Don’t get me wrong, it can be as fun as you make it. However, it can be extremely stressful at times. There will be days that you just want to stay at home, kick back and relax. There will be those days where you say to yourself, “eh, I can just take care of it tomorrow.” Anything along those lines is going to set the tone of your attitude, your work ethic, and your business.. this is NOT the precedent we are trying to set. Period!
“eh, I can just take care of it tomorrow.”
– Unsuccessful People (Not always, but a lot of the time)
BEFORE you actually start your business, the very first step in the direction of becoming your own boss, is to figure out your mindset. To think long and hard about what you want to do, what you want to achieve, how long you are going to work for it, or how much you are willing to put into it. This is step #1 and single most important, that being said, it’s also one of the hardest things to follow through with! You need to ask yourself these questions:
- What is my business? (Product, services, advisor, etc.)
- What is my niche? (Who I am directly trying to sell to)
- Do I want this to be a primary or secondary income?
- Am i going to dedicate all my free time to growing this business so that I can become successful?
AFTER you first ask yourself these very important questions, and if you are serious about your business idea, then the next step would be to write a business plan. When I first started my business, I was always looking up different views on how to start a business. I tried to get EVERY point of view on all different types of business. All that did was set me back and take me longer to start mine up. If you looked up, “How to write a business plan?” there will for sure be some good articles out there; some more than others. I also spent a lot of time looking into this as well, and I can tell you from experience, while it is very important to have a plan, there will ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS be unexpected events, or something you missed.
After the countless hours spent researching what it takes to make a business plan, I can out with asking, and answering a few questions and a few pictures drawn. As an example, if I wanted to start a car detailing business, my plan would look like something along the lines of:
Name of business/logo: Better Than Everyone’s Detailing/a big sponge
Description of business: Interior & exterior car detailing, all types of vehicles
Who I will sell my service to: locally, my town/state
How much time can I dedicate towards this passion: whenever I am not working at my primary job, weekends all day, mornings-afternoon the rest of the week
What do I want to make of this business: I want to replace my current income and take it on full time within the first year and grow it consistently every year, expanding my knowledge and furthering my reach in the state
What do I need to start this business: cleaning products for inside and outside of the vehicles, a means of reliable transportation, internet to market, a phone to speak with customers
How do I plan to reach new customers: word of mouth(my own and others speaking about good service), Facebook campaigns, handing out business cards to local stores, weekly advertisement of radio
Don’t be shy on details within these questions, because it is only going to give you a more concrete base in which you will grow your business on! After these questions are answered it’s time to do some research! (Always continue to push yourself to learn new techniques, styles, different products, different types of customers). In the sense that we are still putting together ‘Better Than Everyone’s Detailing’, we need to research different styles of vehicle detailing. How can we beat Joe Shmoe’s Detailing down the street? We bring TOP NOTCH skills and results to the table, as well as excellent customer service. (Imagine you and Joe Shmoe’s Detailing offer the same detailing package for the same amount of money, what will be the deciding factor for the customer? Customer service.) Aside from proper style and technique to the actual detailing, you need to learn the products in which you will be using. Do you want to use top of the line, more expensive products? Or would you prefer to use the cheaper, not so top of the line products? I’m sure either way would work, but to the the best you need to get the best. (In most cases, not all!!) If you have a job that you do full time or part time and are building a business on the side, then I’d suggest going for the more expensive, better result products. If you don’t have a job and are working from whatever savings you have, then save where you can and buy the cheaper things!! Simple as that. At the end of the day, the products only differ slightly but it’s the passion that will 100% set you above everyone other business!
The research aspect needs to be followed for any business, not just the one I’m describing. A few examples: A clothing brand should research different manufacturers, different styles of print, consistently researching the market they are trying to market to because fashion frequently changes. Another example could be a financial advisory business, and if you don’t have a degree and want to start your own firm, then you BETTER bring only the best to the table! By that I mean, you should research different savings accounts, retirement funds, certificates, money market accounts, ALL aspects of money. You should research this inside-out, front-to-back, and side-to-side. If people are going to entrust their money with you, that is a huge deal. Just getting them to trust you is the first step, the hardest step.. which is why research and customer service comes out on top every time!
These are just a few examples, but at this point I’m sure you get the idea! Before you do anything with the actual business idea, everything I have laid out for you is so useful and so important. The more you prepare, the better you are going to set yourself up. HOWEVER, don’t forget what I said in the beginning.. Don’t get too caught up in the details. Concentrate on furthering your knowledge, better your understanding of the business you want to start, and just begin.