Starting a business can be both exhilarating and 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]
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: Do 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 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
7. Can you monetise it? Really? Don’t be nostalgic or romantic. De-risk early
8. Who is your ida customer & 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 [Minimum Viable Product] & 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 & NP
6. Break even point, MAC, PHR, LCV
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
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
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 as soon as you can
7. Discover as many marketing channels as possible: DR 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
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
7. a. Leadership/speaking
Step 8: Managing yourself & building your team
1. Create a routine that works for you & follow it [KRAs, IGTs, KPIs]
2. Compartmentalise your team
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 no13. Get accurate and up to date management accounts & KPIs as soon as you can