[/custom_frame_left] So you’re thinking about starting a business and wondering where to start? You’re in good company. Check out the USA map on the left. What you’re seeing is the level of search interest for the phrase “starting a business”.
First lesson: you’re not alone.
What the search data shows is that most of you are looking for information about business licenses, business plans, and business ideas.
Let’s explore each of these.
Each State and City are different. It’s easy information to find online and you’ll typically download a form, fill it out, include a check (or pay online), and get a certificate.
Be careful about zoning restrictions and your type of business. If you’re planning on running the business out of your house, watch out for association rules or other legal restrictions. Most of the noise is about creating traffic in a residential area. Be smart and meet with large groups off-site.
You will find the license part to be the easiest question to answer. The business plan introduces some challenges. Business plans are good things, but I suggest to my clients to go with an abbreviated version. The danger of paralysis by analysis is real and some would-be business owners never pull the trigger because they get stuck on the business plan.
If you’re just starting out, I recommend a rapid release program. You may have heard the term “ready, fire, aim”. The idea is to get to market as fast as possible. Don’t be a perfectionist with your product. Get started and let the market tell you what changes to make. When the market proves itself, continue to refine the product and build larger processes to support the business.
Bottom-line: no sales = no business.
Simple as that. If you waste your creative energy and passion on everything but making sales, you’re missing the fundamental key to business. That’s why I telling you to abbreviate the plan and accelerate the marketing/sales process.
Let’s be straight about business ideas: they are worthless apart from execution.
You need ideas? here are 999 business ideas.
The most successful business ideas are ones that find an urgent need and create a product or service to meet that need. There’s nothing wrong with copying what works. You don’t get extra points for being creative. It’s the opposite, you put yourself at greater risk the farther you deviate from what is currently working for many other businesses.
Don’t try to be unique. Instead, focus on getting to market fast and listening to your customers. You want to prove the business model (customers that buy from you with a profit margin) and pivot quickly. Why? Because a business plan does not survive first contact with customers. You will refine your idea based on customer input and ultimately develop your winning product.
Once you land on a proven business idea, you’re ready to build out and launch a wider marketing strategy.
[message type=”custom”] Do you need help with your business idea? Give us a call and let’s talk. We can help you with practically every aspect of online marketing (website design/hosting, lead capture, E-mail campaigns, SEO/SEM, marketing plans, etc.). We also provide individual or group consulting. We are here to help you succeed. [/message]