I have never started a business. I need some advise and direction. I have an idea but need more of a mentor and advise on next steps?
I have spoken to people to outsource the development stage. I have the idea and know what I want to accomplish but I am very unskilled at putting together a business plan and gaining capital or making connections with people. I am great with people but I am feeling frustrated about how to proceed. Thank you everyone for your help.
Starting a business is a great idea if you have a great idea or can provide a product and service that other people or businesses will buy. You need to test that your product and idea has a market before you lose your life savings or the savings of friends, family or fools (they are usually the only investors available first time round :-)).
To do that you need to gather all the facts and evidence you need (Preparation), analyse all that information (Analysis) and set out your goals, primary and enabling objectives in a one page plan. But you are not finished yet! Review the plan and put together a plan on how you will execute that plan (Execution). The critical step here is to make sure you have in place and can afford to put in place the necessary resources to accomplish your plan. As you implement your plan you need to verify that what you planned to do is being done and if changes are required that the changes will still achieve your goal and are the best use of your resources (Verification). As you get towards the end of your first phase in your business make a conscious effort to review what you have planned and how the process has worked noting what you need to improve in the next phase of your business (Review). If you like this approach I have a lot more to say about it on my Blog here http://www.russellyardley.com/step-by-step-business-planning.html
For starters, don't do anything until you've secured all of your intellectual property. Start an LLC. If you're looking to launch a product, make sure it has a patent, or trademark its brand name. Never talk to anyone about your ideas until these things are done, as the most unlikely of people could take your idea and run with it before you get a chance to.
(There are lots of other great tips already posted here -- I didn't want to restate any of them, but did want to include this).
A great place to start is to find out your target market/ideal client.
After that, you can find out what triggers them to buy your service/product and build your entire marketing message around those answers.
It's a lot to start to a business but in reality, it's fun and exciting.
The best starting point is to look at building new relationships. That is where you will find your audiences as well.
Feel free to personal message me if you'd like to discuss ideas further.
5 Star Marketing Community
Please let us know what business you would like to do. You need to understand 1) what is your strength, 2)what business you would like to do 3)Market and consumers 4)Investment etc. PLease feel free to share the details and then you can take the next steps.
Lots of good advice out there. There are plenty of guides on the practical aspects and I would just like to add a note on the personal aspect as I have been there myself... you need to have 3 things (and I'm sure you've heard these before):
Passion: You need to have a personal passion for whatever you want to do. Anything less than 100% commitment to starting up your own business will lead to exactly that - less than 100% success.. I have seen this first hand.
Patience: Rome was not built in a day. When you build your business plan, consider where you want to be in a few years but start with small steps.
Persistence: You may find that in the first months (unless you are extremely fortunate like I was) you get a lot of rejections and it's not always easy to keep going. Also there are going to be ups and downs, you need to persist - specially when things are on the "down"
So many things has to consider when starting up a business. I still need to do a lot of things when working on startup businesses even through I already ventured 7 startup businesses.
Too many good advises here already, I just like to share what the first thing I normally for a startup business - design than build a scalable, repeatable and viable business model.
I think I can help you. I am a Business Coach and have done several start-up Regional offices in the Middle East, India and Asia. I am doing my certification for Business Coaching and need a lot of hours to get certified. Therefore, I am willing to offer FREE Business set-up coaching and you could be a great candidate for this considering the Coaching experience that I have and the many years of new business setups. If you are interested, please send me a message.
We can have a chat one of these days if you are interested.
I can help you put your business idea into action, and market it to people of interest. However, I believe the first step is to legalize your business, then develop a strategic plan for your business. I am an Attorney / Business Consultant and have a business consulting firm called Compu-Perfect Professional Services, which has been providing business consulting services for 18 years. These services include:
• Business formation (Corporations, Limited Liability Companies (LLC's) and Nonprofit Organizations)
* Business Coaching
• Contract Drafting and Reviewing
• Trademark Search and Registration
• Completion of the 501(c)(3) application for nonprofit organizations
• Grant Research and Writing
Hi there! What type of product or service are you selling?
I assist people with bringing their products to market and from my experience you need to develop a budget to accomplish what you want to do.
You will need to hire people to:
Develop a product that can be produced.
Develop a business plan which can cost as much as $15K to be written by a professional.
Determine how much you are willing to spend on bringing the idea to fruition.
Hire good people to work with you who understand the market you are going into.
All the answers to date are great.
Also anything you develop wil take as much as 3-5 years to become an overnight success.
develope your mission statement first. What are you really looking to do and why would anyone want you to do that for them
Hi David. I realize there are a bunch of answers on here already, but I felt compelled to share my thoughts with you. First and foremost, realize that you inevitably get what you give. There are a TON of free resources out there, but most are self-serving (business development centers or chambers of commerce), or provide little to no real help (most free mentors/advisors). The reason is, few people will be willing to roll up their sleeves and get dirty with you unless, of course, they are getting paid and/or getting some kind of equity in the business. Therefore, as a first-time entrepreneur, it may be in your best interest to find a real ally - either an outside consultant who you can pay to do some of the dirty work you don't know how or are otherwise unable to do, or, if you can find one, a co-founder who can do the same but for less money, but likely more equity. In all, no business person is an island and no one person can really do it themselves. The name of the game is finding your partners, choosing them wisely, and compensating them so that they do excellent work while still leaving enough of the pie for you to enjoy and become a big success. If I can be of help in directing you to resources, please feel free to reach out to me directly. Best of luck!
I concur with the advise that you seek at your local SBDC (Small Business Development Center). A resource I use with my clients is www.leanstack.com the lean canvas. It is a great first step to articulate a business model (its a free dashboard). I also recommend http://www.spark59.com/ which is Ash Marya's site which has many Lean resources.
I agree with the recommendation to contact your local SCORE office. Find your local office at www.score.org. You will receive seasoned advice in many different areas, and at no charge
Why are you reinventing the wheel. There are a multitudes of books to help you start your business, including Dummy books with CDs of forms, business plan. Join the professional association for your business and attend meetings. The competition will mentor you. The website will provide a lot of information and preferred vendors for websites, etc. Also, there is the federal website of the Small Business Administration, your state government websites and your local government websites. Government entities all over the US are looking for you to help you succeed.
You should always start with a business plan, based on the assumption that you have a product or service you wish to sell. Completing a business plan will help you focus on the reality of starting a businesses, especially the financial aspects.
Be prudent when you do your business plan, do not overestimate sales revenue, and remember, even if you have the best product or service in the world, it will still take time for you to build a local, regional, national, international reputation.
Be careful what you invest in, we are in a dynamic world, what once applied today, may not apply tomorrow. Everything you put your efforts into must make a return on that investment, and you need to know what return you are looking for in the context of each investment.
I know plenty of people who for example invested £50K in equipment and the equipment was never used, because they had to modify it and did not have the time to do the modifications at the time. Three years later, the modifications had not been done, the machine never made any money, and was worth nearly 50% less then the purchase price.
None of its rocket science, just common sense at the end of the day.
David, many good ideas have been offered to you below. All of my clients (I'm a business advisor) all started from scratch just like you and the key is to complete a SWOT analysis and understand your strengths, weaknesses both as a business person and as a sales person. No matter what your product or service you'll be selling somebody something. This process requires you to be brutally honest with yourself. Then brainstorm these 2 questions- What opportunities are there that I can take advantage of to advance my new business and what threats are there that could stop or impede your business?
Then decide how will you compete with your competitors...by price?, or value?, or both?
Creating a business plan will answer all those questions. Find an experienced business advisor in your area to meet with you.
Contact me directly if you need more ideas.
All My Best....
You start with a business plan.
If you are in the US, then check out SBA.Gov.
Also look for your local SCORE chapter and if you are a veteran, look for the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) for your area. Their services are free of charge for veterans.
You have to think real hard about your goal to be a successful entrepreneur. There are lots of things you should do prior to being counseled on all of the merits and duties involved in the process of being a successful business founder. I am not being negative. Quite the contrary, I want to assure that you are approaching this process to build the greatest opportunity to succeed and flourish with something that is motivating, exciting and rewarding to you.
Entrepreneurial qualities are essential to the challenges of planning and operating a business. Talent, luck, unique ideas and good business advice are important but character is the feature that successful business people usually have in common. These are traits you should have - Are you a self starter? Are you really interested in others? Are you a leader? Can you handle responsibility? Are you a good organizer? Will you put in long hours happily? Can you make up your mind quickly? Do people easily rely on you? Can you run all night and all day without getting tired? Can you take a punch in the nose and keep on fighting? Can you adapt to change? No one is a perfect entrepreneur. You will get better but if you have negatives in many of these you might not want to waste time pursuing a dream.
If you are cool with what is essential as a person these questions are next. What is the essential purpose and spirit of you and the idea? Are business conditions and the social, political culture ripe for your idea? Have you researched your idea and truly proven what it will do, who will really have to have it and who will sell it for you or how you will sell it yourself? Finally, are you sure enough of this working that you will spend your own time and a lot of your money to verify that your idea is real, reliable and actionable.
When you have figured this out you are ready to get a business planner, mentor, consultant, coach or some person who has proven that they are competent and committed to “teach you to fish.” Do not hire someone who simply says pay me, answer these questions, write me a check and we will get this figured out for you. Get someone who you have talked to, has a good bio, can communicate successfully with and answers your questions and makes suggestions that you understand and can act on. Finally know that if someone is going to mentor you and you leave their office uninspired, confused and without energy to get to work you are talking with the wrong person. Find a coach who not only knows what he/she is doing but who also communicates well with you and has the passion and spirit to inspire you to achieve your grandest goals. GOOD LUCK!
First of all you have to develop a clear, concise, and simple value proposition for your idea. What's different about it - faster, better , cheaper? Then you need to develop a break-even analysis, or in other words how much of your idea do you have to sell to who,at what price, and why are they going to buy it (every day, week, month) to cover all the expenses associated with starting and running your new business for a year. After this exercise that should be enlightening, you can consider taking all that information and start to build a business plan. You may also want to get my book: Guidebook to Planning - A Common Sense Approach, available on Amazon for a process to use to build a winning business plan.