I wrote a training guide to starting your own business several years ago, and decided to publish the individual chapters here.
What follows is the introduction, and the chapters will be published individually in the future. Enjoy!
Welcome! If your goal is to start your own business, you’re at the right place. What I’m going to be giving you is a process, or a blueprint if you will, for launching your own business from scratch. You can take the steps as quickly or slowly as you would like. The speed at which you complete them is completely up to you and your individual circumstances.
I want to say very clearly that I am pleased that you are considering starting your own business. I have a confession to make, I do have a selfish reason and that is I believe as more and more folks begin their own businesses, everyone will benefit, including me.
Why do I say that? Well, what I mean, is when people in general increase their productivity, everyone is helped by that increase in productivity.
I’ll give you an example, ok? If I had a business where I manufactured computers, let’s say they are laptop computers, and I figured out a way to make laptop batteries last twice as long without any increase in weight.
I don’t know if you have travelled much in your business (if you have or have had a job) but if you take your laptop with you away from your familiar environment, it is sometimes a problem to find a place to plug in. So battery life is a big deal.
So in my example of the laptop batteries, if I can increase the battery life and let’s say I do it without any increase in cost, I have helped my customers get more output. And that productivity boost will have some impact on everyone they associate with in their business, especially their own customers.
The other piece to this is the belief that most people can be more productive working in their own business than in a job. Notice I said CAN be, it’s really up to you to govern yourself and your time and what you do with your time, but most people realize there are huge inefficiencies in corporate America, particularly in the typical office environment. And in my experience the same can be said of many blue-collar type fields as well.
Your boss wants to get the most work out of you that he or she can (that’s their job), but in most cases they are not really that interested in developing you as an individual, and of course that’s why many of us went to college or took some specialized training and also why we want to keep learning all the time. We recognize that it’s our individual responsibility to be good stewards of the talents and skills that we possess.
The bottom line is that when you have your own business, you are free to do WHAT you want WHEN you want, you’re not hampered by company protocol or office politics, and I truly hope that you will make your aim to maintain a high output level.
The plan that I have laid out will work whether you are online, offline, or both. Sometimes marketers tend to just jump right in and start selling without dotting all of the “i’s” and crossing all the “t’s” as I’m going to suggest you do. My way isn’t the only way, but it is a way that WILL work if you do all the steps. For the person that craves a methodical approach, this should be perfect for you.
Now let’s jump right in to the ten steps. Some of these may take longer than others. They are laid out in order, to give you a methodical process for both preparing yourself mentally and doing the required legwork that will help ensure your success.
The steps are:
1. Self Assessment
2. Market Research
3. Decision Time
4. Business Planning
6. Startup Paperwork
7. Marketing Plan
8. Assemble Your Support Team
Stay tuned for Chapter 1
He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough. Proverbs 28:19
This post is closely related the last one. I selected the King James translation because all the others I reviewed just didn’t have the same “punch”.
When the scripture speaks of “vain persons” or “vanity”, think “shallow”, “lacking depth”, or even “lacking character”. It’s a thin veneer that covers, making things appear different than they really are.
Of course, this is rampant in the business opportunity (bizopp) field, where programs and products are sold based on promises and dreams, but very little substance. The vain person will tell you what you want to hear: that getting rich is “easy”; anyone can do it.
If you have spent time on farms as I have, you know that plowing is not a quick process. It takes time and it seems like very little progress is being made when you’re in the middle of plowing. But what we are told in this verse is careful, continual action leads to prosperity.
There’s a great deal of talk amongst internet marketers about “lazy” methods of making money.
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. – Proverbs 13:4
I’ll give you a little secret: such talk is more than a little illusory. Sure, there are some who work only a few hours per day on their business, but it took thousands of hours to get to that point. Even then, a business does not “run itself” (see my prior post on “knowing your flock”).
The word “diligent” implies constant, careful, consistent action in moving toward your goals. It means not giving up when things aren’t going your way. It means having faith that your actions – your “works” – will actually produce something of value.
And that even includes your efforts to improve your business. Often we get stuck in a rut of doing the same thing we have always done – providing the same product or service in the same way to the same group of clients or customers.
If that is meeting your goals, great!
Many times, conditions change and we get dissatisfied with the outcome of our efforts as a result.
Instead of whining about how “easy” it used to be to earn (whatever your target), you get to practice diligence in improving your business… whatever that means for you.
It might mean learning a new skill set.
It might mean putting into practice a new lead generation system.
Or it could mean finally testing and tracking your marketing efforts.
Bottom line: practice diligence if you want to reap the rewards of the diligent.
Think “the tortoise” not “the hare”.
This passage is important for any business owner.
Know well the condition of your flocks,
and give attention to your herds
for riches do not last forever;
and does a crown endure to all generations?
– Proverbs 27:23-24
The key is understanding what is meant by “knowing”.
Put yourself in the mindset of a shepherd. He would want to know:
“Knowing” therefore has a context and a purpose. It’s not knowing is the sense of knowing facts.
A good business person will have the same mindset as the shepherd. He or she will have some sort of measurement mechanism — or several — to compare different aspects of the business over time and with other businesses… with the goal of incremental systematic improvement over time.