STEPS TO STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS

They are so many variables to look at when you are planning to start a business. Here we look at the common factors that can act like the basic things to consider.  

  1. First Conduct a personal evaluation – Begin by taking stock of yourself and your situation. Look at things like:
  • Why do you want to start a business? is it Money, Freedom, Creativity, or some other reason?
  • What skills do you?
  • What industries do you know about?
  • Would you want to provide a service or a product?
  • What do you like to do?
  • How much capital do you have to risk?
  • Will it be a full-time or a part-time venture?

Your answers to these questions will help you narrow your focus. This step will help to get thinking and planning. In order to start a successful business, passion alone isn’t enough. You need to plan, set goals and above all know yourself. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? How will these affect day-day operations? You could conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) analysis on yourself to figure out. It is better to enter a market you like and know well. As you get started, your business will likely dominate your life therefore choose something that is stimulating and not dull since you are going to be in for the long-haul.

Good questions to ask yourself include:

  • What would you do if money wasn’t the problem?
  • Is money really important? or rather, is making a lot of it really important? If it is, you’re probably going to be cutting out a number of options.
  • What things really matter to you?
  • Do you have the support of your family, especially your immediate family? They will have to make sacrifices at the beginning, so it’s important to have them behind you.
  • What do you admire in business? Perhaps in the industry you’d like to go into? What do you admire them? What are their likable traits? What can you learn from them?

Being able to answer these questions, and asking more about yourself and your abilities will get you thinking about your goals and about what motivates and inspires you. Use this time to make sure that you are matching the business you want to start to your personal aspirations.

2. Analyze your industry – Once you decide on a business that fits your goals and lifestyle, you need to evaluate your idea. Who will buy your product or service? Who will your competitors be? At this stage you also need to figure out how much money you need to get started. You can do this by doing Google searches, going out and speaking to people already working in that industry, reading books by people from the industry, researching key people, reading relevant news sites and industry magazines and taking  a class or two if possible. If you can’t perform research on your own, you can seek advice from government departments that are concerned with business start-ups.

You can seek information from the following sources:

  • Advertising representatives for statistics and data on your competition or the industry.
  • List brokers (to get an idea of the number of prospects out there)
  • Students who will likely be happy to perform research for you at an affordable fee
  • Suppliers of your industry ( to get a sense of demand and for market information)

Evaluate your market – How urgently do people need the thing you’re selling or offering right now? In order to identify how attractive  your prospective market really is. You can consider the following:

What is the market size? Are there a lot of people paying for this thing?

How easy is it? and how much will it cost you to acquire a customer?

How much money and effort will it cost to deliver the value you would like to be offering?

How long will it take to get to market?

What size up-front investment will you need before you can begin?

Will your business continue to be relevant as time passes? If your business is only relevant for a specific period of time, you will also want to consider your future plans.

Consider the consumer needs currently not being met by businesses in the industry. This is a good time to take a look at potential competitors. Note that the presence of competitors is often a good sign. It means the market for your product or service already exists, so you know that from the outset, you’re not flying entirely blind. You can learn more about your competitors, like what they provide to their customers, how they attract attention, and whether or not their customers are happy. If you can figure out what’s missing before you get started, your job will be made much easier when you finally set up shop.

3. Make if Legal

Registering your business is the first step toward making it real.  Take time to know the pros and cons of different business formations. If possible work with an attorney/lawyer to iron out the details. You will need to get the proper business licenses and permits.  This is also the time check into any insurance you may need for your business and to find a good accountant. We have the following types of business formations:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Take time to know the pros and cons of each of the above business formations. You will also decide on a business name and research on the availability for that name.

4. Start the planning Process – If you will be seeking outside financing or by yourself, a business plan is a necessity. A business plan will help you figure out how much money you will need in order to get started, what needs to be done, and where you are headed. This is like a road map-something you will use to help you chart your progress and that will outline the things you need to do in order to reach your goals i.e. Outline key milestones you hope to achieve, and regular progress checks where you review and revise your plan.

A business plan can be used as a pitch to investors and banks, or it can be used to attract potential partners and board members. Also it can be used to define your strategy, tactics, and specific activities for execution, including key dates, deadlines and budgets, and cash flow.

A standard Business plan comprises of nine parts, including:

  • The executive Summary
  • Company overview
  • Products and services
  • Target market
  • Marketing and sales Plan
  • Milestones and Metrics
  • Management Team
  • Financial Plan
  • Appendix

You can check online of information on how to write a business plan.

5. Get financed – Depending on the size of your venture, you may need to seek financing from an ‘ angel’ or from a venture capital firm. Most small business begin with private financing from credit cards, personal loans or help from the family. As a rule, besides start-up costs you should also have atleast 3 month’s worth of your family’s budget in the bank. In order to finance your company, you will need to match the company’s needs to the appropriate financing option.

The main types of investment and lending options include:

  • Venture capital
  • Angel Investment
  • Commercial Banks
  • The small business administration
  • Accounts receivable specialists
  • Friends and family

6. Set up shop

Your business plan has been laid out, the money is in the bank, and you’re ready to go. There are more things you got to do like: Find a location, Negotiate leases, Buy inventory, get the phones installed, Have stationery printed. Hire staff. Set your prices etc. Sign up to access any book of you choice

You Business location, will dictate the type of customer you attract, what types of promotions you can run, and how long it will take you to grow. Consider the following factors when you are setting up a shop:

  • Price – can you afford where you want to be? If not keep looking
  • Visibility – Will people be able to find you easily? Will they see your promotions and offers? Are you in the center of town or further out? How will this affect you?
  • Access to parking or public transportation – Can people easily find you from available parking options and transportation routes? If they have to look too hard, they may give up.
  • Distribution of competitors – are there many competitors close to you? If so, this may be a sign that the location is premium for the clientele you wish to attract. It may also mean you do no business. Consider carefully how you wish to approach this type of situation.
  • Local, city and state rules and regulations – Look into regulations, as some  areas may be more stringent than others. Ensure there are no restrictions that will limit your operations or act as barriers to your store.

Your Marketing will set the stage for the future of your store. It will set expectations, generate hype (if done well), bring business in from day one and ensure that people know where you are and what they can expect from you.

Your store’s layout design and placement of your products will decide not only the overall atmosphere of the store, but what products people see and buy.  Consider the areas you want well-lit; how you will display products ( if necessary); what various colors will make people feel, and how people will move through your store.

Your choice of products and how you decide to price them will create a reputation. Rather than stock everything of similar price range consider only choosing those items that will create the feel you want to become known for.

7. Expect to make Mistakes – Whether you are starting your first or third business, expect to make mistakes. This is natural and so long as you learn from them.  Be open-minded, creative, adapt, look for opportunities and have fun doing your job.

 

 

 

 

 

RULES TO WEALTH CREATION

I have read quite a number of books on wealth creation. But one thing i have come to notice is that they all point to common factors that am going to discuss here.  These rules are not limited to what is discussed here but they are some of the paramount factors that you need to consider if you plan to create wealth.

  • Take responsibility – You need to take responsibility of your life. Nobody else can change your situation. The circumstances that you find yourself in today are not anybody else’s fault.
  • Spend less than your earn – The little money that you can refrain from spending could go a long way in helping your financial situation get better. Like that coffee that you take out every evening. You can save a lot if you just prepare your own coffee at home.
  • Know what put money in your pocket and what removes money in your pocket –  You need more things (assets) that put money in your pocket and less of those (liabilities) that remove money from your pocket.
  • Do not borrow to consume – Do not borrow money to buy things that would take money away from you. This is like taking you some steps backward. Borrow money to buy assets that will put money in your pocket i.e. take you forward.
  • Multiply your resources – Wealth creation is all about the ability to multiply resources. Start with evaluating how you use the resources called time. Do you spend more time doing things that remove money from your pocket or things that put money into your pocket?  Use your time wisely and multiply your knowledge, skills, networks and this will ultimately lead to multiplication of your financial resources.
  • Know the reason why you want to make money – Money is a tool to help you achieve the things you want in life, and it is not in itself what you really want. Identify the deeper reason why you want to become wealthy. Sign up for a free book
  • Keep the right company – Keep the kind of company that provides an environment that is conducive to wealth creation. The people who complain about being broke all the time are not the right company for you.
  • Cash flow is the king – It reaches a point in life where your income moves from being your ability to work 9-5 everyday to your investments. Your investments will need to be generating that income to keep you going. 
  • It is not about you – Creating wealth cannot just be about you. A selfish attitude leads to small thinking. When you combine a bigger picture that includes family, community etc. you see things in a whole different perspective. 
  • It’s a process not a one-off deal – A huge a mount of money will not fall on your lap one day and sort all your problems out. You will need to get a life changing deal. The process of wealth creation is a choice not a chance. Having a vision as opposed to just focusing on survival. Action not just ideas. Empowerment not creating dependence.

 

HOW TO INCULCATE BUSINESS CULTURE TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS

Business culture can mean many things, depending on how you view it. It can either be a brand, motto, values, behaviors, uniforms etc. It could also be service level, return/exchange policy, or customer appreciation gestures.

When we talk about culture we mean a set of attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and customs. These cultural traits are ingrained in the members of the business, team or group, and then accepted as the norm. Beliefs about the role of the business, and how business activities fall into this understanding of culture, is typically dictated by how employees interact within their own cultural boundaries. Business culture will determine what kind of customers it attracts, the service it delivers and its growth.

The customs of the business culture might be the dress code, communication style, the physical environment, or even the level of formality.

Dress code in the work place projects an image about the company to the potential and current customers. If there isn’t any dress code requirement by the business, employees will definitely attempt to wear whatever they deem fit or appropriate, and this may not always be acceptable. When a business cares about its image, the customer will certainly feel valued. Business owners should protect their interests by having a written dress code policy.

Another custom is the communication style, if the communication within a business is relaxed and unprofessional, the same will occur when meeting with the customers. Communication style is important part of a successful business. If communication breaks down within an organization, service and sales will be compromised. It is therefore paramount for businesses to set forth expectations for communication protocol, in order to prevent lost sales.

We also have the physical environment, having a good physical environment that is inviting, will encourage more customers to come to your business.  Professional office environments must be maintained and inviting otherwise customers will likely avoid visiting or directing new business to the company. 

Large and small business cultures requires the same ingredients, just on different levels. Both require an established dress codes, communication process, clean facilities, and most importantly employee agreement. If employees don’t buy into the company culture everything else  won’t work. Company culture should begin in the early stages of training, train to retain employees that believe in the company culture. The workers that believe in their company culture will stay and share it with others. Sign up for Audio Books here

 

 

 

GUIDELINES TO BUILDING YOUR WEBSITE

Now you have put in plans to set up a business, the next thing that comes to your mind is to have a website for your venture. At this point you aren’t sure how you are going to build your website to reflect what your business offers. Here you are going to get the tips that will guide you to build the best website for your business.

You can have basic 5 pages for a start; these are:

  • Home Page
  • Promotional Landing page
  • About Page
  • Products & Services Page
  • Blog Page

HOME PAGE

The Homepage is  very important because it is often the first page many site visitors see. Your home page must sell what your business is, what it’s about and who it’s for. It must represent your brand. Your Homepage needs 3 elements to do this:

  • Tagline -This tagline must sum up what your business does for your community in one or two sentences. This is like your mission but make sure your focus more on the customer when writing this.
  • Testimonials -They must be about your brand.
  • Images – Use images of what your ideal customer looks like while or after using your product or gift. If you are promoting something on men then have men, likewise for women. Get a free book by clicking this link

The Homepage must also focus on what you want as a business i.e. Registrations. For this reason, the homepage needs to highlight a free gift you are going to be giving your followers in exchange for their name and email. The most successful technique for getting someone to register is to give him or her something of value in exchange for their registration data.

The Homepage also needs a registration or data capture component. Don’t tell your viewers about your great free gift and then make them leave the page to get it. Put a registration form right next to your free gift promotion. Make it simple for your viewer to join your community. Your free gift isn’t your brand. Your free gift is an extension of your brand.

THE ABOUT PAGE

The about page is the second most visited page on a website, especially a website of a newer unknown brand, for this reason take this page seriously.

The purpose of this page is to tell the viewer a little about your company. Do not fall into the trap that the viewer actually cares, write as if you are telling the customer what you can do for them and how you came to be their best solution. If you decide to write about the founder’s birthplace and social life then you are going to quickly lose potential customer.

Always be selling the customer about what you can do for them-even on your about page. Talk about your mission or your ”why”. Talk about your mission or your passion. The passion translates into your being the best and always reiterate your tagline that sums up what your business does for your community in one or two sentences.

PROMOTION LANDING PAGE

This is the most beautiful of all the pages. It is also the simplest of pages. It completely follows, the ‘solve only’ one problem at a time with one solution rule.

This page has zero external links. There is no link to the homepage, the about page or any page. There is no choice to do anything but to register. There is a picture of your free gift, a list of why your viewer needs your free gift and a registration form that must be filled out in order to get your free gift. The only things you can add are testimonials, a list of features and benefits.

This is the simplest and most successful page you’ll create. There are no distractions and there is nothing to delay a decision. Just simple transaction; gives us your data and we’ll reward you with a gift. Your viewer gets the gift or they leave. Later when you begin to advertise your free gift to the world in order to grow your database, this will be the page you place the Ad.

BLOG PAGE

Your blog page has one purpose: Attract people to your site. This means Google or other search engines will see your blogs and offer it to people looking to learn about simple topics.

Write your blogs using Keywords, Terms and Phrases that your ideal customer would type into a Google search bar when google sees that, your blogs are using the same terms as your ideal customer is using, then Google will show your blog to your ideal customer. It is free advertising.
Since a lot of people who are new to your site will becoming to your blog page, wouldn’t it be a great idea to place a banner on your page promoting your free gift.  Offer a way for the users to share information like Email, Facebook, Twitter this is like free marketing for you.

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES PAGE

This is the least important page. Your website purpose is to capture data. You do this through your free gift and your blogs. Your Homepage and your about page just need to keep the viewer around in case your first attempt to get the viewer data doesn’t work.

Your website’s purpose to most people’s confusion is not sell products. Digital marketers know that emails sell, not websites. Websites get you the emails. For this reason, you can place the product and services page behind the veil i.e. the contents on the page are only accessible after registration.

CAPTURING DATA

CREATING A FREE E BOOK– This is the best free gift you can give to your customer.  This can prove to your customer that you know what you are talking about. When you are writing, you are sharing and that can turn into a real bond. Books often create the best, most loyal customers.

HOW TO STRENGTHEN YOUR BRAND

Once a customer registers, they are automatically, placed into a drip campaign. A drip campaign automatically sends your community emails that you have pre-written. e.g. After 3 days you can send them a valuable content rich email

These drip emails sell nothing, but deliver high quality information. They should explain what makes you knowledgeable and an expert.

Continue to send drip emails 3-4 times each with a new message, make sure each emails uses responsive design so it can be displayed properly on smartphones. By the time the drip campaign is done, your readers should think of you as an expert and a friend.

After the drip campaign is done, send your new friends an email, every time you create a new blog like weekly or after 2 weeks. Keep this emails short, give a summary of your blog and a link to read the blog and as with the blogs make sure every email reminds the readers to share with their friends.

MONETIZE AND FUND GROWTH

You sell by sending everyone in your database an email educating them of the product and its benefits. In each email be sure to still provide value by teaching something, don’t just sell treat them as friends too.

HOW TO CREATE YOUR GOALS

Everyone should have a goal in life. Goal setting is the first step to you becoming successful in any endeavor you choose to pursue. When you set a target, and concentrate all your efforts in achieving that target, there is a power you feel inside you-goal power. This power makes you decisive and ultimately makes you successful. In fact having a goal makes you powerful.

So what is a goal? a goal is something you plan to achieve e.g. have a 30 unit property in 2 years period. Whatever goal you set, you should make sure it is something that is achievable. Goals that sit and are not acted on, are simply dreams. Note that there is no real power in dreams unless they are acted upon.

Your goal should be Measurable, goals that are vague are hard to attain and are even harder to stick to. If there is no time limit, dollar amount, rank comparison, how will you know you have arrived?  A good goal can be like to achieve a profit margin of $ 20000 per year.

Your goal should be Measurable attainable, have realistic and attainable goals otherwise they might never be acted on. Goals that are set too high can trigger feelings of failure if not attained. Goal setting requires you to be honest with yourself and reflect on what you want in life.

Goals need to pass the SMART test i.e.

  • S-Specific
  • M-Measurable
  • A-Agreed upon in writing
  • R-Realistic
  • T-Time activated

A goal that is not written down is a wish. You goal may evolve over time, Overtime as you are working to achieve your goal, your experiences will make you smarter. You may see things in a whole new dimension. Your goal may shift as a result of new awareness.

Make yourself accountable to somebody, goals are easier to attain when there are one or more people supporting and encouraging you at same time challenges you when necessary.

Setting your goal is certainly an important first step, but what you do after that really will define the level of success you will ultimately achieve. To achieve your goals, you can do the following:

  1. Communicate
  2. Plan
  3. Persevere
  4. Stay focused

Communicate your goal clearly, if you share a well written goal this will put you in driver’s seat. After setting a clear, defined, measurable goal, you need to layout your plan to achieve it. This means that you need to draft a plan and set milestones so that you know when you’ve achieved important steps a long the way. Milestones maybe behavioral change to-do-list of financial freedom to-do-list

Every project brings obstacles with it therefore you need to persevere and drive through all obstacles while at the same time keeping your focus. Note that the more you get to achieving your goal, the more opportunities will come your way. Do not allow these opportunities steer you away from your goal. Focusing on your goal requires discipline on your part.

Goals have to be clear, and in writing. If they aren’t in writing and reviewed on daily basis then they aren’t goals but wishes. Note that goal setting is not an option but a requirement for success.

 

 

 

 

TIPS TO BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL INVESTOR

As we come to the year-end, many people are planning for many things that they will do next year. Maybe one of them is to become an investor. Note that investing is not just rushing and setting up a business and wishing to multiply money but it is a calculated move based on informed decision. Before you set up that new business or even invest in stock take note of the following:

  1. Make a preparation through education, building mental models and continual improvement
  2. Follow your instinct, do not follow the herd, the herd will only do average
  3. Calculate the value before looking at the price
  4. Consider opportunity cost
  5. Do not rush for any opportunity but wait for the right opportunities
  6. Be decisive in your actions
  7. Measure the risk, if possible avoid it. You can have a margin of safety and limit the downside
  8. Acknowledge what you don’t know. Be ready to learn from others.

 

MONEY SPENDING AND SAVING TIPS

It is not how much money you earn that makes your financially free but how you use the money your earn. Many people when they have problems with money rush to get more money. This actually is the wrong assumption. In fact when they get more money they actually get into more financial problems. Wherever you earn money the first thing you should do is to get to know how to keep the money and have the money work for you. Getting financial education on how to invest your money is paramount to your being successful with regard to money use. The following tips will help you make good informed decisions with regard to money use and saving:

  • Keep savings and checking accounts at separate banks
  • Be patient to have that car, home, vacation etc. Save until you have enough cash to these things
  • Have an emergency fund to guard against job loss, or any big expense that might come up
  • Prioritize on long-term. Invest before you spend the money on short-term needs
  • Stick to your budget

 

GOAL SETTING

Goal setting is one of the most important discipline that you should have in order to be successful in life. This discipline can be learned through practice and repetition. You can do this by taking 4-5 mins every morning to write your top goals. By writing out your goals at the start of each day you program them into your subconscious mind. This will activate your mind and make you more alert through the whole day enabling you see possibilities and opportunities in achieving your goals. Therefore make it a requirement to set your goals at the beginning of your day and see the change it will bring in you achieving the impossible.

WHAT SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DO DAILY

  1. They build networks
  2. They work smart and invest
  3. They do not involve themselves in gambling.
  4. They set goals and make sure that they stick to them
  5. They maintain a To do list
  6. They learn continuously