Sometimes, when we get a new idea and we are thrilled to get to work and jump in head first! Let me tell you, that is the WRONG approach! I have done it, lost lots of money and time just because I was so excited to get started, get moving, and make money! Now understand, it is important to remember not to get too caught up in planning and over-analyzing as well. Doing this can lead you down a road of doubt, lack of confidence, and eventually never getting started at all. However, jumping in without planning can be as detrimental as not starting. When you have an idea, you can’t jump right in and lose your focus from the start. What! How do you lose focus from the start? Let me explain that to you.
In 2016, I had an idea to begin an inspirational, motivational t-shirt business. I was so excited that this seed was planted in me that I got right to work! I researched the types of business structures available such as sole proprietorship, LLC, C-Corp, etc., and settled with sole proprietorship because I found that was the least expensive way to start so that I can begin making money! Ok, right there… “I found the most inexpensive way to get started making money.” This is an example of jumping right in and losing focus from the start. My seed and starting point was creating inspirational t-shirts and that should have been the focus. Of course, when we choose to start a business we are looking to make money. However, when you are starting a business, not a hobby, you shouldn’t look at it as making money immediately.
Instead, ask yourself questions to be sure that this is a trustworthy “Chick fil A” style of business. One that has superb quality, excellent customer service, and leaves the customer with a positive memory and experience. Not simply another fast food, unmemorable eatery (business), and just like all the others. It should be one that solves a problem and fills a need that may not already exist, has the customers’ best interest at heart, will make them better in some way, and will leave the customer so impressed with your service and what you have to offer that you are tattooed on their mind. In doing so, they will not want to go or shop anywhere else for a similar product or service.
Your plan should consist of these ingredients:
- Ask yourself probing questions to ensure that this is something that you love and you would want to do (or has components of something you love to do) even if you earned $0.00 for 3 years doing it. Hint- If you can answer yes to this, you’ve got something you will more than likely stick with because a typical business can take up to this time to begin producing a consistent revenue.)
- How can you help someone else with your business?
- Is there a need for your business?
- Who can benefit from what you have to offer?
These are basic, but undoubtedly a sure way to get you off to a great start in the planning phase of your business. This may not be the sunshine and rainbows part of the business, but it is the most critical to ensuring you set yourself up for success. A resource that I suggest beginning with is Dreambuilder, The Women’s Business Creator. It is a free program course for women who are starting a business that takes you through step by step of creating your business plan. I recommend this 1,000%.
It is easy to navigate and a free tool that helps you finish with a completed business plan, hear from other like-minded business women that have successfully used their course program, and started profitable businesses. Dreambuilder even provides a course program for financing your business. Be aware that it will take time to complete the planning phase, however, if you put in this time on the front end, it will help you stay focused from the beginning through the fruition of your business. Remember, a business isn’t a speedy race to be the first to get the finish line- you will crash and burn out fast… and most importantly, will not make it to the finish line! It is, however, a steady marathon that takes patience, time, and consistency.
Color your thoughts BeYoutiful!