In our first entrepreneur series post, we talked about Becoming an Entrepreneur: The Profile. As the Kauffman Foundation found, most entrepreneurs are 40 years old, married with children, and have been working in their industry for at least six years or more. This shows us that not only are entrepreneurs full of good ideas, but they’re also BUSY. Today’s entrepreneur is looking for ways to build a business, yet also spend time with family and continue to provide for the household.
The Importance of Planning
Planning is critical to any business. You need to think through your idea, financial profitability, marketing strategies, competition, business work flow and more. Determining when you are going to work, and how much time you’ll have to devote to growing your business. This is especially important if you plan to continue working for an existing employer while launching your business. Creating a business plan and knowing your action steps will be one of the best things you do for your new business, and your family.
Know Your Audience
Every great business knows its target audience - what they think and feel, how they make decisions, what they buy and why, how they manage their schedules and the needs that you can meet. By gaining a full understanding of your audience, your planning efforts will be stronger and more targeted, and your time will be used much more efficiently.
Channel Your Ideas
As entrepreneurs we understand ”amazing ideas.” Any entrepreneur has a million of them, and often times there’s a new one each day! But as you get your business started, channel your ideas. Remember that not all of them are going to work out, and not all of them are feasible. While it’s great to keep the creative juices going, when it comes to execution, be reasonable with your time, budget and resources. Highlight some of your BEST ideas, and then go after those. But just remember that biting off more than you can chew and trying to “do it all” will not go well for you nor your business.
Do Your Research
Research is a key part of starting any business; you’ve got to know the climate out there! But as you research all aspects of your business and industry, pay special attention to the financial projections and your competitors. You need to know what your competitors are doing. Once you have an idea of how their business runs, figure out what they’re doing right … and what they’re doing wrong. Your business will be successful as you identify areas of growth within your industry and offer something unique and specialized.
We cannot underestimate the importance of planning for your new small business. Stay tuned for our next post in our entrepreneur series, Becoming an Entrepreneur: Wise Counsel.