When you have a brand new business concept, the ideas flow freely and the excitement is electrifying! The sky is the limit and your dreams seem to come alive! It is a great feeling! There is a point, though, where all of that excitement and brainstorming must be put into a workable plan. That doesn't mean that the excitement needs to die, but it does mean that some critical thinking is needed.
In an earlier series of articles called "4 Parts of An Entrepreneur" I talked about the different characters within an entrepreneur that work together to build a business out of that flurry of ideas. Just like a successful entrepreneur has these parts that must work together, a successful business has parts that must work together as well. At the base of it all are 3 main pieces that must be put to use properly:
Of course, every business needs a product or service to offer. If you are starting a new business you will need to be offering a new concept or a new spin on a old concept if you are to be successful. If you come out of the gate offering the same product at the same price and in the same way as your competition, you will find it very difficult to succeed in the marketplace. So you must offer something new or offer a unique experience to consumers. If you don't do that, you will fail to pull people away from their normal buying habits and switch to you.
Without purpose, a business will lack vision and determination. Much like a human being, a business needs to have a sense of purpose if people (employees, lenders, customers) are going to buy into it.
There are two ways to think about purpose and both are important.
First is your outward purpose. What change is your company making in the live of those around it? Do you make meals easier to prepare and thus take stress off of time crunched parents? Do you educate the public about something that can make them enjoy life more? Do you make it safer to work in a warehouse setting? Look past your product or service and see how it actually changes lives. That is your outward purpose. That is why people will buy into you.
Second is your inward purpose. What change does your company make to your own life and that of your employees? Does it allow you to live a certain lifestyle? Does it provide you with the feeling of control you desire? Does it free up time to spend with those you love? This is your inward purpose. The benefits that you and your employees receive from doing business.
Define both of these and set goals for them. Then when you face decisions, you can compare your options to your purpose to see which is the best.
Never ever forget that the success of your business, no matter what it is, is dependent on people. Right from the beginning you will need people.
At first it may just be a family member to help with the accounting, but soon you will have customers who need to be treated right. Then you will need suppliers, lenders and employees. Behind every business you deal with and every order you take there is a person. Treat them wrong and you will lose them or be treated poorly by them. Pay your bills, listen to your employees, deliver on all promises to your customers. No matter how wonderful your product is, you will taste defeat of you do not treat people properly. Guaranteed. The great thing is that people respect those who treat them well. So in return, you will receive the kind of treatment you desire from all of these people. That makes business a much more pleasurable thing. Sound too simple? It is simple! But it is amazing how fast people forget this when things do not go smoothly. Be the one who keeps treating people properly at all times and see how appreciated you become. Your business will flourish because of it!
When you are starting a new business, there are a million things to think about. Be sure that these 3 are in place and you will have a strong base to build from.
Know that your product or service is unique and be able to explain why.
Know your company's purpose and be able to communicate it.
Know the people around you and treat them well.
These concepts are covered in detail at our "Discovering the Entrepreneur Within" workshops. Click here for dates and tickets.