Monday, January 3, 2011

Resolved to Start a Business in 2011?

Did you make a new year's resolution to finally start your own business? As you begin, take time to answer some key questions. You can do this in your head, but I suggest writing down your answers in a notebook (yes, with pen and paper), or writing them on a screen and saving them in a special file. You can return to your thoughts and modify them as often as you like. But once committed to paper or screen, your ideas will become more concrete and will help you move toward your goal. In fact, that is the first question (see below).

America is a great country partly because it is made up of so many independent businesses. Just drive down any street in any town or city and see all the shops. Go online on Ebay or Etsy and see all the small businesses selling a variety of items. Look at the successful big businesses. They all started with a person with an idea for a better way to fill a need. Ford, HP, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, AT&T...
1. What is your goal? Freedom? Independence? Making money? Being Creative? Making the World Better?
2. What is your big idea?
3. What need do you see in the marketplace that your idea will fill?
4. Who is your target audience? Who will buy what you have to offer?
5. What resources will you need to tap to bring your idea to fruition?
6. What will you need to spend? (How cheaply can you execute?)
7. Will you do this on your own or with a team? Have you assembled the team?
8. How will you market your idea?
9. How will you make and deliver your product or service?
10. What will you live on while you do this? How will you finance your business?

Feel free to contact me if you'd like help in working through these questions, or if you need a guide for a plan. That's my business -- helping entrepreneurs turn ideas into reality and crafting plans that answer the questions investors ask most often. - - Twitter: @upstartwyn

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