Do you have a great business idea, but are unable to find the time to start it?
Lolly Daskal, president and CEO of Lead From Within, has great tips on how to start a business while managing a full-time job.
1. Set Your Vision.
The first step in establishing your business is having a vision for the company. Your vision tells you — and others — what business you're in and where the company is headed. As you're developing your vision, focus on what you want to create. Most successful businesses feel a need and then find a way to meet it.
2. Determine Your Mission.
Your mission statement is not the same as your vision; your vision is about where you're going, and your mission statement is about your planned impact on your customers and society.
3. Fix Your Purpose.
Your purpose statement sets forth what your business stands for. It lets people know why your business exists — not what you do, but why you do it. From the customer's point of view, it clarifies what your business is all about. The purpose should be compelling and bring meaning to your employees (once you have them).
4. Find Your Validation.
Is there a need in the market for your vision, for your product or service? Figure out where you stand. Market research allows you to attract attention and create interest, and it gives you the credibility you need when you're starting up.
5. Develop Your Skills.
Are there new ones you need to learn, or old ones you need to brush up on? Will you go DIY or hire a pro? Mapping out the skills you need — and the ones you need help with — is important.
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6. Figure Out What Sets You Apart.
What's your competitive advantage? What is the unique proposition you have to offer your customers or clients that will make your business a success? What will bring them in? What will make them stay? These are the points that make or break a business.
7. Set Your Values.
Most companies have a mission and vision but few express their values. A set of company values provides a playbook for the choices you make and the actions you will take in your business.
8. Work Through Your Pitch.
Start working on your elevator pitch. How will you talk about your company and express what it does? Keep it concise, understandable, and straight to the point.
9. Plan Your Steps and Timeline.
Outline your goals and set a timeline for reaching them. Attainable deadlines ensure that you don't spend a lot of time making lists and talking but not actually getting anywhere. Develop both short- and long-term milestones.
10. Create Your Map.
This is, in essence, your business plan — comprehensive, with definitions and details for each point. You should have both monthly and yearly points, along with notes about what is required at each step for implementation.