8 Tips for Your Startup Journey!

woman_planning_organizingCongratulations, you realize that you want to be your own boss and you’re excited about starting your very first business! There are so many routes that you could take, but having the right direction not only cuts down on time, but helps you to achieve success faster!

Below, find 8 ways to start your journey:

1. Evaluate your talent and what you’re good at

Now that you want to start a business you’ll probably look at business ideas, opportunities, franchises and perhaps even the worldd of home parties and direct sales.  However, it’s always a good idea to take a look at what you’re good at doing as well.  Perhaps you get complimented regulary on something you do and people are are always asking you if you do this as a business.  Maybe you have a talent or hobby that gives you joy when doing it.  The point is to always look within first before you make a decision to go with something else.  If you do decide to do something else, make sure it is in alignment with who you are.

2. Write Your Personal and Business Visions
A vision is simply an experience that you would like to have within a specific amount of time.  Before you start a business, it’s important to complete your personal vision of what you want to experience in your life.  This helps set the foundation for your business vision and will ensure that there are no conflicts between what you want personally and what you want for your business.

Once you’ve chosen the type of business you want to start write down what you would like to experience within six months to one year. This will give you clarity and serve as a foundation for planning.

3. Have a Plan & Strategy
So many women are confused about what a business plan really is.  I find that many women think it’s just something you need to show the banker and if you’re not in need of a loan then a plan is not needed.  A business plan is a blueprint or map of how you want to start, manage and grow your business.  It answers the question Why!

A business strategy is a blueprint that shows how you’re going to implement the plan. Both are essential and when you first start,  creating a plan and strategy to get you through the first six months or one year is just fine.  I call this a Working Business Plan and you can get a copy of the outline by clicking here.

If you’re preparing a business plan to submit to the bank for a loan consideration then a full Executive Plan is in order.  This includes full details and assumptions for a 3 to 5 year period including information on management, competition, marketing research, industry research and financial projections just to name a few.

4. Work with a Business Coach
One of the first things I learned in owning my own business is that it helps to have someone who can help to hold you accountable and be there as a guide and mentor.  That’s just what a business coach does! Business Coaching is all about helping you to gain better focus and clarity and helping you to accomplish your business goals sooner than later!

If You’re Ready to Try Out Coaching, Click here for a complimentary session with me!

5. Create a Business Fund Account
Having a cash cushion to help fund your business before your start is truly a blessing!  Starting your business will surely require a financial investment and the less money you owe back due to loans or credit card use the quicker you’ll see a profit!
Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into investing in an opportunity or franchise before you’re ready to financially.

If it’s a business startup from your own idea make sure you prepare a cash flow or expense spreadsheet to know beforehand the amount you’ll need to get started.  Remember, it might be some time before you see a profit, so don’t get yourself in debt if you do not have another income source to pay that debt!

6. Don’t Quit Your Day Job Yet!
“Hold Your Horses!”  If you’re working a full-time or part-time job don’t quit just yet. Your new business might not be able to handle paying you a salary and paying the business expenses all at once.  It will take some time!

A cash flow analysis and a break-even analysis will help you to evaluate when it’s a good to quit your job.
7. Know What’s Required of You!
Just like you would receive a job description when you start a new job, it will be important to write a CEO description for your business. You need to know what’s required to effectively manage and operate your business.  You need to know the skills and knowledge required.  Knowing this will help you to evaluate where you are in the midst of things and where improvement might be needed.

8. Form Your Power Team!
Show me a business woman who’s in the know on how to make things happen in her business and I’ll show you a savvy business woman who has a Power Team.  While you might be a running the business as a solo-entrepreneur and wear many hats, it doesn’t mean that you have to do eveyrthing by yourself.  The solution is to form a Power Team, which is a group of individuals or professional service providers that can help you to implement and get things done efficiently.

An example of who might be on your PowerTeam could include: graphic designer, web designer, accountant, lawyer, business coach or consultant, virtual assistant etc.  It’s important to look at the various administrative tasks that your business requires frequently and ensure that you have interviewed and identified people to help handle those tasks.

Once you’ve done that create a database of your PowerTeam including their full name, email, office phone, cell phone, address and their assistant’s name if applicable.  Next, make sure you have them grouped in your cell phone as your PowerTeam.  This way when you need something done quickly, it’s just a phone call away.