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Starting a Business: The Genesis

gen·e·sis ˈjenəsəs/ noun: genesis

  1. the origin or mode of formation of something

synonyms: origin, source, root, beginning, start Since my Consulting Company was literally named for it, it seems only right that I begin this blog series, well, in the beginning.  To those of my readers considering starting your own business, I salute you! It may seem like a big undertaking - and I’m not saying it’s not - but like anything else, when you have a plan, anything is possible.  With that said, where do you start?! If you’ve ever been on my website you’ll see that I’m a huge proponent of checklists and plans. It ALWAYS pays to be prepared and well educated before starting something. So you’ve got a cool idea.  What do you do with it? Before you even get to the planning stage (my blog on Business Plans will be coming soon), you’ll want to explore your idea in detail to make sure it’s feasible.  Many people won’t get past this stage because, depending on how you approach the questions, you can talk yourself out of it before you get started. I encourage you to ask the important questions but try reframing ‘How’ with ‘What’.  Consider the following: Instead of, “How long will this take?” ask yourself, “What commitment and I willing to make?” Instead of, “How much will it cost me?” ask yourself, “What am I willing to invest in my idea?” Instead of, “How can I get people to do business with me?” ask yourself, “What is my contribution to the problem I’m trying to solve for people?” You get the idea.  It’s always valuable to ask the important questions and make sure your idea has some bite but too many people get scared by the How and forget their Why. Once you’ve determined that your idea has merit, then then planning begins. (Enter checklists!) ASSESSING YOUR OPPORTUNITY ☐  Determine why you want to start a business.

☐  Conduct a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths and weaknesses.

☐  Decide whether you want to provide a product or a service; build an online business or brick and mortar.

☐  Assess how much capital you have to risk and how long it will last.

☐  Determine if you want the business to be part-time or full-time.

☐  Discuss your plans with family members to ensure they are behind you.

COMMITTING TO YOUR BUSINESS

☐  Make a list of business ideas that fit your strengths and interests.

☐  Identify businesses that are having success today.

☐  Understand the problem(s) your business will solve.

☐  Define the market you want to pursue and your target customer.

☐  Validate your idea by talking to potential customers about it.

☐  Evaluate how customers solve this problem today, as well as what the competition offers.

☐  Create a quick financial plan, identifying costs and forecasting sales to see if your capital gets you to a profit.

In addition to providing you with this checklist to get you started, I’d like to give you some resources to help you along the way.  After all, just because you’re going into business for yourself, doesn’t mean you have to do it BY yourself! Here are some GREAT sites to check out:

www.score.com  

www.sba.gov

www.cweonline.org

www.genesisconsultingcorp.com (insert shameless plug here)

If you prefer a more hands on approach, all of these wonderful organizations have real people you can call or even meet with.  So what are you waiting for?!



#smallbusiness #startup #entrepreneurship

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