The first thing that you get to understand is that the key to building a successful business is figuring out who your customers are and how you can bring value to those customers. Once you understand how you bring value to your customers you will then be able to figure out how to monitize around this value. Finally you will begin putting together the process to execute around the value proposition. This final step is planning. Planning allows you to clearly articulate how the business will make a difference and create value for customers. It is the steps that you take on a daily basis that will allow you to reach your goals.
I have identified seven key areas to focus in on when developing the strategy to build and grow your business.
My 13 year old son had a project due today about 9/11 for his 7th grade social studies class. He was supposed to interview someone about what they remembered from 9/11. As we discussed this I realized that he really has never experienced a world not impacted by 9/11. I got a copy of the New York Times that I bought the day after the attack to show him. While we looked at the images my 7 year-old looked at it and said “What is that?” He had never seen what happened.
You’re ready to start your first business. You have probably thought of a million things you need to do to open the business but unless you have been there before there are five things you won’t know that will trip you up.
Everything Costs More Than You Expected ~ You have probably been working on a business a plan that includes forecasts for revenue and expenses. It looks great and you can clearly make this work. Probably not. Most first time entrepreneurs under forecast their expenses and over project their revenue. When you are projecting expenses multiply what you have put in your initial plan by three to five times to get a realistic idea of what your expenses will be. Are your revenue projections still covering expenses? If not you need to do some more prep work.