I was asked the question: “How do I start a business?” Because I hear this question often, my response was the prepared. Upon the response of the person who asked the initial question will let me know if they are 1) just spinning their wheels, 2) have an idea that needs molding or 3) hitting the nail directly on the head!! The third is not often but has happened.
For those that have the same burning question, here are the things I inquire about when I am feeling out you and your business idea.
1) What is your business? I don’t mean making music or building houses or designing clothes. Your business should be your passion. I get great joy when I am planning an event for a client. As they are describing their event, they can see it! Their eyes light up. The expressions on their face tell me as the event organizer what areas make the client brighter. Those are the areas I focus my attention on. The same is with your business. When you tell others about your business you should be telling a story.
2) Can you describe your target market? Some will reply, Target market? Everyone! But that may not be factual. Look at the product or service. Presently where do you see the product or service being used? Who is buying it? That is a small means of market research. You cannot sell your product to everyone. Even refrigerators are marketed towards married couples but single men and women buy them as well. You have to know your target market to know how to reach your target market.
3) What is your budget? This is where most people run into that proverbial wall. The next question that is asked by the prospective client is “Well how much should I have?” I tell everyone to attempt to save as much as possible depending on the business. A consulting firm needs less start-up capital then a clothing designer who will need to have at least a sewing machine and fabric. This is when market research comes in again. Hopefully you have done some real world work in the industry you’re going into which will give you a clearer idea of what materials you will need to begin your journey.
4) Would you do this if you did not get paid? Only those that are truly passionate about what they do will do it for free! Sometimes you’re going to be asked to do your career for charity or because the family cannot pay you at this time but they need the help. To gain more you accept more for less. I use these moments to perfect my craft. I am doing it for a cause I believe in and I want to demonstrate my worth, so I go the extra mile like I would a paying client to ensure that the client that I am helping in their time of need will pass my name on to an organization that is seeking an energetic Special Event Organizer.
The advice I pass onto everyone that has a dream is to write it down. If your dream is to own a Porsche or a BMW put a picture of it on the refrigerator. You will see your dream every day which will remind you what you are striving towards. If your dream is to open a barber shop put the barber pole on your refrigerator.
If your dream is to have a flower shop put a picture of flowers on your refrigerator. See your future as you strive towards it.
Tell me your vision for 2015. What do you want to accomplish by December 2015? What measures are you going to take to achieve that goal?
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