You have decided to take the plunge and start a home based business, but now you have one dilemma, where do you start? At first it seems like a very daunting process with a huge to do list that needs to be accomplished. Take a deep breath, roll your shoulders back, roll your head side to side a bit and relax. We are here for you and in this 4 part series we are going to break all of the steps down into a how to guide that goes week by week for the first month of your new business.
We have done this before and helped plenty of other people just like you start a business, so we can make this simple and straight forward. Now if you’re a little more relaxed, and ideally a bit excited, let’s get started on your first week of starting your own business.
Day 1: Choose your Business.
You have probably already put a lot of thought into this and probably have an idea of what kind of business you want to start. If you are weighing between a couple of ideas take the day to look at your options and research them before making a choice. You may find you do need more than one day for this and that is okay, this is a big decision. If it takes you a few days of research and pondering, end your day one once you have a final decision. If you know exactly what you want to do and have already put a lot of thought into it then great, you are ready for day two.
Day 2: Define your scope.
This is where you decide if you are going to have a business that requires full time hours or part time hours. You need to decide what your actual goals are both short term and long term. Write these goals downs. It might look like in the next six months bring in 6K of revenue, or it might look like in the next six months create a full on-line store. The point of defining your scope is to have an idea of where you want to go so you can set up a road map to get there.
Day 3: Where’s the money?
Many business startups fail because they don’t have the capital to succeed. You need to run the numbers. Remember the goals you set on day two, you need to calculate realistic costs to get there along with the revenue you can expect to bring in. If you run these numbers and realize you do not have access to the capital to get it done, you are still early in the process and can go back and chose a different business or change your goals so that your goals are in line with your financial resources. You may also be able to adjust what you are going to charge clients to be more in line with the financial needs of the business. The basic outcome of this goal is you should have an idea of your cost and what you can bring in and those two need to meet at a place that you can actually sustain and grow your business on.
Day 4: Who are your clients and or customers?
You might already have an idea of what this demographic is, but this is the day where you drill down and put down on paper who those customers are. Using a tiered method can work really well for this with your biggest easiest target audience being your top tier, then look at the sub groups, the people it might take more work to get to and these fall into the second tier. Next you might have customers that you will only be able to reach after you have proven you are successful or after you have grown to be able to support larger more demanding customers, and these are your third tier.
Day 5: What is your pitch?
You probably have some unique benefits your business is offering or a different twist to it, so articulate that. Develop the pitch you will use with prospects to turn them into customers and clients. You need to be an expert on your own business so you have to be able to tell people what makes you the right business for them to spend their dollars with. Over time this pitch will develop and change and you might even find you need different pitches for different tiers of your target audience, but on Day 5 commit to paper your pitch to your tier 1 clients.
Day 6: Give your business a name.
You have probably already been thinking about this, but on day six you get to commit to a name and write that down. Make sure you check that the name you are using has not been trademarked and isn’t in use by another business or product that you might be competing with. When you have chosen a name, buy the domain and any variants you can think of. You may find that even though you only use one domain for your actual website you have many others that point to it. Make sure you pick up the .org .net and other variants of your business name so that you don’t later have an imitator trying to cash in on your traffic.
Day 7: Business Plan Day.
Throughout the week you have been writing down goals, crunching numbers, defining your clientele and creating a pitch. On day seven you take all of that and put it into a business plan. Try to have your 3 month, 6 month, 9 month and 12 months goals. If you can forecast out further go ahead, but concentrate on the details of your first year in this business plan. Don’t worry about having it all perfect, you will be able to refine and change your plan along the way, so think of this as your living business plan which you can adapt and change, rather than something set in stone that you have failed if you don’t do it exactly as you first wrote it.
Phew, week one is done and you have accomplished so much. You’re already farther down the path to realizing your business than most people who day dream about having a business someday. Pat yourself on the back and get ready for week two, because you still have a lot to accomplish, but you just laid the ground work and you can’t build a house or a business without a solid foundation.