Do you recall when it happened? The exact moment when your entrepreneurial obsession kicked into high gear and you just couldn’t shake it off? You stayed up some nights obsessing about how awesome this idea will become. You decided you wanted to be an Entrepreneur and pranced around imagining your success and how you will prove the naysayers wrong … well easy tiger, you will get your chance. First you need a plan so keep calm and put on some lipstick let’s get to work. I’ll help you keep it simple. Just answer the 10 questions below and you will have a one page business plan to help you toward your next actions.
10 Questions Every Entrepreneur should Answer
- Why do you want to go into business? I have met so many interesting people who are passionate about their business concept but who have a false sense that going into business will free up their time. I’m not saying it’s an impossibility but in the early stages of your business, time will not be readily available. It’s the one resource you will have to give generously in order to take your business off the ground. With that said, think deeply and honestly about this and write down your answers … don’t worry, no one is looking so you can afford to be honest.
- What will you sell? Think through your actual product(s) and/or service(s) that you would like to sell.
- How much will your product or service sell for? Think about your price point.
- Who is your Customer and Why should they buy what you sell? Describe your customer and identify what your unique selling proposition will be that will convince them to purchase your product.
- What is your break even point? Here you have to look at what it will cost to product your product and calculate how much you will have to make in sales to cover your expenses and break even.
- How will you market your product and/or service? If you think your idea is sound then make sure you think through your marketing strategy. What channels will you use, how will you process orders and what will you need to be able to do so. For example, will you be using an online store? A physical store? etc
- How long do you think it will take for you to start generating revenue? This is an important question that sometimes takes the back seat when passions are high. This is important in assessing your financial commitment to the business. You should be looking at the sustainability of this period on your own or if there is a need for an investor.
- Who will you turn to for advice and motivation? One very common occurrence with Entrepreneurs is that they have no one to turn to for motivation, encouragement or guidance. They try to rely on themselves. Either they have the ‘aha’ group that will be busy telling them why they should not be pursing their passion as a business or they will have the unwavering supporter who is just trying to stay positive but doesn’t know enough to offer any real life advise to re-affirm and guide their convictions.
- How will you sustain your livelihood while pursuing your business? If you are financing your business out of pocket, just make sure you plan adequately for the financial impact it will have on your life while you kick it off the ground. You should think about this and plan for it.
- How will you measure your success? Here you will describe what your business ‘success’ means to you.
Starting a business is not something to be done without proper planning. While many people have achieved success without putting much thought into their venture, I suggest you shy away from that approach. Just by thinking through and addressing the 10 questions above, you will already have put together a very simple plan for your business. You can also turn to the business-usa.gov site for some great free resources that will help you as you plan your business venture. With your one page plan in place, you can now make a list of the next actions you need to take to move things forward.