Starting a business can be both exhilarating & challenging.
Here are some essential steps to set up, grow & scale your business fast doing what you love, making a huge profit & a vast & lasting difference.
Step 1: Discover your vision & values – FIRST (suspend for this part the monetisation or reasons you can’t do this)
Ask yourself these two questions: “What is most important to me in my life?” “What is my purpose?
Here are some questions to help you answer these questions:
1.What could you do all day that doesn’t ‘feel’ like work (most of the time)?
2. In what areas are you prepared to endure challenges & see it as a get up & go rather than give up & go
3. What do you feel totally in flow doing where you feel like time flies?
4. In what areas do you love helping people & solving problems
5. What do you feel you are good at, better than others, and/or could become great at?
6. What/where do you already spend a lot of your time doing & thinking about?
7. What causes bigger than you could you see yourself being involved in, or what mission/education do you want to share?
Step 2: Act upon & start a business around what comes up consistently & you will find a way to monetise this latent talent & uniqueness.
1.Test the meaningful problem/solution
2. Does your business serve, solve & scale?
3. Crowdsource your product/service & create a V1. MVP
(Minimum Viable Product) as soon as possible
4. Test your product/service/IP with low overhead, low risk, first & fast
5. Get feedback & iterate
6. Pivot frequently & don’t be too attached to what you want; Kodak or Rolls Royce/Coca-Cola all started as other business models & evolved
7. Can you monetise it? Really? Don’t be nostalgic or romantic. De-risk early
8. Who are your ideal customers & are there enough of them?
9. Repeat this process for each product/service you launch, & check in yearly that your existing business is still doing this
Step 3: Creating your product or service & going LIVE
1. Start with/create an MVP & iterate from there
2. Do you have IP, license, patent, trademark or none of the above?
3. Set up your co. quickly & easily online
4. Alone, business partner, staff at the start (PA, MD/Opps & sales early)
5. Work our your costs & margins in isolation & including
overhead; work out GP (Gross Profit) & NP (Net Profit)
6. Break even point, MAC (Maximum Acquisition Cost per customer), PHR (Per Head Revenue), LCV (Lifetime Client Value)
7. Finance through cashflow, personal cash/loans or equity
8. Focus on making money not spending it. What is your remuneration
Step 4: Values, Vision, Mission & Culture (V.V.M.C
1. What do you believe in & stand for?
2. What makes you unique?
3. How will you change the world/make a dent/matter?
4. How do you serve & solve?
5. How to team/staff crowdsource your V.V.M.C
6. What makes your co. the best co. to work for?
Step 5: Create the community, database, fans & followers & customers now
1. Multi-platform strategies
2. Leverage all the free ones first (TY, FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc)
3. Be visible & credible on all main engines/sites
4. Give information freely to build goodwill
5. Make it easy to follow, like, opt in & get your info
6. Reinvest into PPC (Pay Per Click) as soon as you can
7. Discover as many marketing channels as possible: DR (Direct Response) not ‘brand’ marketing
Step 6: Personal & business brand
1. Celebritise yourself in & exclusive of your company
2. Platforms on the above section on both you & your company (FB, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YT etc)
3. Do not make the company reliant on you or it won’t scale
4. Give valuable information out for free & look after your community
5. Be clear on your vision & values; what you are & what you are not
6. Balance the new innovations with existing proven platforms
7. Embrace digital early & focus on building a marketing team fast
Step 7: The main functions of a business
2. Vision & innovation
6. HR & recruitment
Step 8: Managing yourself & building your tea
1. Create a routine that works for you & follow it (KRAs; Key Result Areas, IGTs: Income Generating Tasks, KPIs: Key Performance Indicators)
2. Compartmentalise your time (Let your diary manage your, never you managing you)
3. Work on the vision & building the team outsourcing. Leverage early in the day
4. Manage & master your emotions (discipline, leadership)
5. Use your NM assets when you don’t have cash
6. Help people, add value, look to do JVs
7. Don’t wait until you are maxed to leverage
8. Passion/profession & vocation/vacation merge
9. Tell everybody what you do; shameless plugging with passion
Step 9: General
1. Expect challenge. Don’t wish it away. Solve them & you grow
2. If you keep asking your customers, business is easy; give them what they want & need
3. Think long-term. Will this decision be the right decision for 3, 5 or 10 years in the future. You have to live with past mistakes so think long term. Stay patient, keep going even if progress seems slow
4. Contribute to your community & industry
5. It’s OK to make loads of money! Focus on serving & solving 1st though
6. Keep overhead low & don’t rush to raise external finance
7. The longer you do it, the easier it gets
8. Get mentors, go on courses & keep reading/listening/learning. Do not do it on your own you don’t know what you don’t know
9. Don’t listen to or get sucked into arguing with, the critics, haters & trolls. Just do your thing the best you can & serve others
10. But always seek feedback to grow & improve
11. Do not procrastinate or deny big/real problems. Roll up your sleeves and sort them out as it increases your value
12. Know when to say yes & when to say no
13. Get accurate and up to date management accounts & KPIs as soon as you can
Any comments, questions, or wild disagreements please post below.