Have You Got What It Takes?
HAVE YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES?
Have you tamed your mind enough to go ahead and be an entrepreneur or are you still in dreamland formulating your ideas? Have you even got what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Begin the New Year with a logical approach to your business.
No, it doesn't count if you have just been selling goods on Ebay for a few months. Being self-employed is being the CEO of your business, the worker in your business and the admin/financial officer, often all rolled into one if you work alone. Until you’ve experienced a business from all three points of view, you can’t really qualify your answer as a yes. Of course, many of us get stuck at being the worker and have no time for the admin or overall management of ourselves but that is just a poor business and one that is likely to fail within the first two years or if you are lucky to make it that far, five years of trading. Being an entrepreneur means you are self-employed with all the responsibilities which ensue. If you haven’t been self employed – are you ready for it? It’s not just about the sales; its about the long term vision of the company with aims targets and goals, it’s about ensuring financial health and clear administration with processes in place as well as the sales aspect. Many people get lost in the sales and forget about the other aspects– this is not an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur has a keen eye for all aspects of business.
Being self-employed also requires much more time than being employed by another. Have you got a family and children that need your attention? How will you fit in your family to your business or vice-versa. Are you single or without emotional or financial support? Self employment is no joke when the buck stops with you and time not spent on the business can be time wasted – and how much time do you need to spend with your family and friends to stay sane and grounded?
Managing a family is not the same as managing a business. In the very least, experience should be gained in the manufacturing of the product/ service offered. Then there is the administration side. If you haven’t got experience of that, get help. Go on a course, check with your local commercial group or bank for free training. Go back to school and learn how to do what you don't already know. Business is about processes put into place and followed. It’s about a structure that’s tweaked until it works. There’s no shame in not knowing, only in not doing something about it.
What career goal have you set? To be the best at something? To earn your first million dollars? How about this one , to be able to spend more time not working? My career goal is when I can get my business to work for me – possibly as a franchise and the processes put in place are elegant and sophisticated enough that I oversee and I do not have to work that hard to make my money. How about that one as an end goal? Write down your career goals. Think big! Now think bigger! Women often curb their dreams so step forward and be bold. As long as you are prepared to put in the work and use the correct expertise, who knows where you might go?
Do you have a well-formed idea or is it just a thought which sounds good to you? A business idea needs to have a base – is it home based or external to the home? How hard are you prepared to work and are you willing to take a risk with this idea? Whether it’s boat cleaning, dog walking, expert witness, manufacturing or a consultant, is your idea carefully thought out? Asking where what who and why can be useful in this context
BUSINESS PLAN AND BUSINESS PLAN SUMMARY
Banks expect business plans for loans and it would be a fool not to plan the different aspects of their business. However, let me suggest to you that you begin with a Business plan summary and to help you wit this – answer the following questions and you have your summary to work from. Do not write more than one paragraph for each answer.
- What is your business name and why have you named it that or if you don't have one yet, think of a name and why that name.
- What is your product?
- What is the market for your business?
- Create a logo
- What is the value statement that goes under the logo?
- Why are you better than any competitor you have?
- How important will your product or service be in 5 years time?
- How do you rank the importance of your client/customer?
- What is the geographic area of your clients?
ONE SENTENCE PUNCH
In more than 6 words does your business do? If you can’t explain your business clearly, you probably won’t be able to run it. This sentence is going to be your best sales speak. It’s your convincer. Take your time on this one and see what you can come up with.
WHAT’S ON OFFER?
What is your product? What else does your client/customer get from you? Do you have knowledge of their problems/pain? Can you present a solution to the client? Can you get their approval and have them engage your services/product? What specific products/services will you offer within the first year of your business, the second year of your business and so on.
WHO WILL WORK WITH YOU?
Even if you are a sole trader, you will probably rely on others to do your accounts, website, printing and marketing. Who will work with you or support your business? Knowing this will help you focus on how to apportion your time and resources.
What market research have you done – online/offline? Who will you specifically be promoting and selling each of your products/services to? Who have you identified as your key competitors? What will make you stand out to your target market and against your competition?
What marketing tools will you use to communicate with your target market – do you know the name of the tool, the description of it and how often you will use it? Social Media is the way forward. Get some coaching and don’t leave it to chance.
Being an entrepreneur it’s not enough to have a great idea. Your business needs to be divided into many sections, Admin, Finance, Marketing, Operations, Management, Production (more on this another time) and you need to have a clear idea of what you need and where you are going. Take heart entrepreneurs, all you need to do is tame your monkey minds that jump around from idea to idea and chatter without structure and follow some simple steps to get yourselves started.
©JL Nash 2017