I want to be the boss! – Part 5

This is fifth in a series of blogs for those that want to start their own business.  By now you’re committed, you know what your financial situation is, you’ve started your savings cushion and you’ve proven that your business is feasible.  Congratulations!

Step 6:  When will you be ready to launch your business?

There’s still some additional work you can do before you launch your business.

Tip 1:  Determine when you’ll have your cushion saved up.  Keep track of your savings and how much you’re adding each week and each month.  Reviewing your progress as you go along will give you a good idea of when you’ll have your cushion of 6 to 12 months worth of expenses saved.

Tip 2:  Create a product and/or service plan.  Think about what you’re going to start offering.  Going out into your market place with too many products or services can cause confusion.  You’ll want to start with one or two before adding more.  Your customers will know what to go to you for and you’ll be able to clarify your message to your potential customers.

Example:  Perhaps you’d like to be a direct seller and you’re planning to offer Miche handbags and scented candles.  Pick one or the other to lead with.  It will be less confusing to your potential customers.

Tip 3:  Now that you’ve picked your product or service to start with, calculate the amount or volume you will need to sell to cover your basics.  You want to keep in mind how much business you’ll need to sustain you.

Tip 4:  Prepare a marketing plan for your product or service.  Be sure your plan has the following elements in it:

  • What are your annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly goals?
  • Who is your target market?
  • Where is your target market – how do you get in front of that target?
  • What activities will you need to do to market to that audience?

Tip 5:  How will you spend your time?  What many small business owners – or entrepreneurs leave out – or leave to chance  – is planning their time.  As a business owner you need to identify how much time you’ll spend on each activity.  Your activities may include:  Administration (paying bills, invoicing, filing, follow-up, etc);  Marketing/Business Development; Work (actually providing the product or service); and New Product/Service Development.

For each category select a percentage that you’ll spend your time on.  These should not add up to more than 100%.  Create a flow – to your day, your week and your month.  There is a time to complete everything – so you don’t have to keep it all in your head and put yourself on overwhelm.  This ensures everything will get done.

Next week we’ll talk about a few more ideas to keep in mind as you set yourself up for success.

Post any questions you might have below.

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