How can we convert from a community organization to a business startup?
I have 300+ members in ITSA (IT Sales Academy), which was established in 2012. We're looking to convert our business into an IT sales company- what are the first steps that a company needs to take to make that type of fundamental transition?
https://www.facebook.com/groups/itsalesacademy/ and https://www.linkedin.com/groups/IT-Sales-Academy-4761220?home=&gid=4761220&trk=my_groups-tile-grp
Not a one paragraph answer but here's a quick foundation check. List the requirements to make a com org successful. Then list the requirements to make a business successful (there are plenty of suggestions from my colleagues). Take note of the common behaviors/characteristics. Note the missing pieces and make a plan for filling that, note the excess and own up to the reality that some pieces may need cut. Now that you know the who of your company you can follow those other processes with open eyes about what you are working with.
I'd suggest seeing a business lawyer and accountant to discover what kind of business entity you should set your company up as. You might also look into putting together two types of business plans, depending on your needs. If you need money for your start-up a traditional business plan will be useful. If you need a business plan to chart what actions you'll take to grow the business, I'd also suggest putting together an action plan.
I'd also suggest defining the core values of your business and see if those core values are the same as the community from which this business has originated.
If you need help, feel free to pm me.
Was this part of the original business plan? If not then you will be needing a new one and integral to this will be your sales and marketing plan with underlying operational 30/60/90/180 days plans to ensure that you execute on time and within budget. Your other main consideration is that you are about to embark on a major paradigm shift needing a different mind set and personnel and you need to be ready with both when you flick that switch
The first step Bari is to create a business plan for the new IT Services Company. This means an analysis of where your goods and services fit in the marketplace and what is your value proposition (what makes your services unique from the competition) and who is your competition.
Once you have this sorted out then I would work on the marketing aspect of the business plan who, what, when, why. Next create a website answering those questions for the target audience and include a blog. Since you have a social community on facebook, you can leverage that to develop a full social media platform and use your blog to share across the platforms. Content is important. I also suggest you create videos to explain your services to the market you want to enter and think about holding webinars, podcasts or a Google hangout session to explain your services to a broader audience.
If possible I would try to find companies among your IT Sales Academy members whom you could use as test customers, who in return would give you a testimonial or endorsement. Good luck in your venture. PM me if I can be of further assistance.
Bari. You need a strong Business Plan that explains your Mission and Vision Statements and an Organizational Chart detailing how your business will operate, it's goals as it scales, and revenue milestones that will support your growth.
I completely agree with Elaine Slatter about making a Business Plan, and marketing aspect.
In addition, make sure you have the correct infrastructure: the right systems for managing money ins and outs, managing time - yours and your team's, and a good system for team communications and delegation.
I've seen too many great ideas fizzle out because the execution (i.e the way the company operated) didn't quite work and made lives miserable for everyone involved.
Before you go too far into traditional business planning, take a moment to consider whether your customers will buy what you're trying to sell.
One approach is the Regis McKenna approach to vision statements:
For [target customer]
Who [statement of need or opportunity]
The [product name] is a [product category]
That [statement of key benefit, a compelling reason to buy]
Unlike [primary competitive alternative or approach]
Our product [statement of primary differentiation]
You should be able to fill this out and then use it to test your business hypothesis with potential customers. You want to answer the question, "Does anyone want to buy the service that I want to create?"
Another approach is what I call "ASPIRE."
Authority: People look to us to solve these problems
Systems: We have proven methods in place
Passion: The business is also our hobby
Innovation: We have solved a problem in a unique way
Research: We have data to support our claims
Expertise: We have proven skills in this area
These items focus on whether you're likely to succeed with a product. The more of these you can answer in the positive, the more likely your success.
300 members-lot of brainpower, lot of people, what are the members benefitting at present?
Are these people resumed?
Sounds like you have a service branch, can you connect them all to a central source?
What do they have to market?
How do you currently fit into the picture with them?
Answer these questions and we have the basis for your new IT company?
The follow up question is what do you actually want to achieve from this? Is the purpose for this company to finance the non-profit side of things, to run side by side with the non-profit or is it to replace what was previously a non-profit with a profit making business? It is a bit difficult to answer further until that is clear.
A business plan is a definite must! If you need some further information for that business plan my company can do the research for you. We already do this for VC investors to make sure they invest in the right start up. We can do this for your company. From there we would need to know what your company wants to be. Contact me if you want to discuss further.
The simple answer is create a written business plan. I know it may seem antique as well as simplistic, but if you follow a good template all of your questions and ideas will manifest into results. I can also provide you with some real action items, but I would like to talk to you first to get an idea of your vision.
Would you like to set up a time to talk?
First of all you have to set up your business plan , according to your needs , you said your members are 300+ So accordingly you need to convert them into Sales force by highering a profisional Sales , to train them , they know what is sales but they can"t practice it , Some of them may know but any why they need to be trained , setting up your business plan according to your No of members , they can go graudually to reach your goals planned , Its not easy to do so but by the time the work can run smoothly , Sales force from time to time needs some changes to be made but it will go for your targets .
What are you trying to monetize? Is it having all the members be sales people or are you trying to sell new members on the organization? I agree with William. You need to figure out:
1. What is your vision?
2. What is your mission?
3. What is your niche?
4. What position makes you unique?
5. What passage (distribution) will you take to market
6. What will it cost?
7. What methods will you use to promote it?
Create a future vision for your company then a great business plan that will move you forward toward that vision. And find mentors to work with you.
Do a business plan with emphasis on Mission and vision statements.... Then work on a revenue stream where, how and why and then look to fully understand your costs.... Using the business plan as a guide,,,
And remember nothing happens without a sale
The first step is to develop a business plan outlining what your finite mission is, how it will drive revenue, what will your costs likely be and how you will get there. For example, are you a sales outsourcing company? Outsourced lead / appointment generation? SaaS sales and lead development infrastructure? Sales training?
This will force you to do market research, develop a prospect list, develop a marketing and sales plan and think through the finances. Even though we know it is all subject to change, you can't sail "rudderless".
With this business plan you will have
Once this is done you can focus on infrastructure and operations details in a focused way. And with a budget in mind!
1. Ask your lawyer to establish the By-laws of the new B company, .
2. Try to minimize taxes, perhaps the idea of incorporate is possible.
3. Keep both companies and develop a business plan in order that any profit out from company B; could be totally re-invested in company A, which as a community services oriented company, could have revenue taxes reduced to zero....
My concern is 300 FB followers although a wonderful start is not enough of a foundation to really count on for a start up business.
Just do it!! :)
(Also follow all the great advice given here)