Jan Goss, founder and CEO of Show Up Well Consulting, gives advice to burgeoning entrepreneurs.
By Jan Goss, Photo courtesy of Jan Goss
I have a great idea, and want to start a business. Where do I even start?
First, congratulations for having the courage to even think about beginning a business. I began four successful businesses after the age of 40. Some were more lucrative than others, but all brought me joy and increased my financial well-being.
Here are some simple safeguards to get you started.
Do your homework.
No venture succeeds without sales. If you don’t have sales, you don’t have a business.
- Is your idea something that people already want, or will you have to explain why you think they want it? If it is a hard sale, you may be setting yourself up for burnout, physically, emotionally and financially.
- Is your idea meaningful to the population at large, to a select group or just to you? Have you identified your ideal client? Dig deep into their world. Learn everything you can about them.
Think your operational processes through from beginning to end.
- Write out a solid business plan. Without a map, it is tough to get where you are going.
- Be the customer in your mind. Use your imagination to create the most excellent experience for the people who are spending their money with you. Think about every detail. Be sure your customers will feel they benefit greatly from your product or service and will come back for more.
Check your energy level. It takes a lot of effort to begin a business. Are you exhilarated when you think of your new venture?
- Write down all the reasons WHY you want to do this business. Your WHY will keep you going when obstacles arise.
- Make a list of who will benefit when you succeed. What need are you meeting? What about your venture fills you with joy? How are you making their life better?
Have a solid financial base and management.
Your basic needs must be met, or fear and worry will creep in. When you are starting a business, it is a great time to look at your relationship with money. Money is energy, and your thoughts, emotions and beliefs around it can make or break your business.
- If you are offering a service, it is possible that you can begin with a lot of hustle. Knock on doors and get to work! If you are developing a product, you are wise to have your capital in place for the development process so you will have something to sell.
- Be sure you secure wise financial management. Talk openly and honestly with your financial team. Weigh your financial decisions carefully. If you are not sure about something, seek wise counsel. Ask for help in areas you are weak.
Be clear about how you will get the word out about your business.
- Who is already successful that you can participate with to make your business known?
- Use every free avenue you have available to talk about the benefits of what you bring. People care about how your product or service will affect them. Focus on how their life is better because they do business with you, then talk about it!
Take starting your business seriously, but don’t forget to have fun in the process! Tap into that excitement within you and enjoy your journey. Things may not turn out exactly as you planned. It is okay. It is all part of the process. Learn and grow, make necessary adjustments and keep moving forward. Light a candle, say a prayer and show up well every day!
As always, I am here to support your success, Jan.