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Starting A Business

5 Questions To Create An Online Business That Works

Rich Schefren is one of my business heroes, and here he gives you five questions to answer to help you find an online business opportunity that will work.

The questions are:

1) Who is Your Target?

2) What Specific Problem Are You Solving?

3) What is The Market Size?

4) What is Your Business Model?

5) What is The Solution?

Here is the video.

in Business Start-Ups, Internet Marketing

Small Business Design – Is It Necessary?

I’d better make it clear what I mean by small business design. It has little to do with website design or graphic design.

What I mean by small business design is carefully planning out:

  • Who the business will serve.
  • Why the business exists.
  • What benefits the key stakeholders of the business will get – how customers will benefit, how employees will benefit, how suppliers will benefit (including finance providers) and how the owner will benefit.
  • What the business will do.
  • Where the business will operate.

And then building a business that turns the design into reality.

Perhaps less obviously business involves a similar group of negative answers:

  • Who the business won’t serve.
  • What pains and penalties you won’t allow the key stakeholders to suffer.
  • What the business won’t do.
  • Where the business won’t operate.

Business design is about focus and clarity and that’s particularly appropriate in a small business.

Nearly all small businesses have limited resources and like sunlight through a magnifying glass, great power comes from concentrating energy in one small area.

Quoted failure rates for small businesses are terrible and while I feel these are often exaggerated by business advisers and consultants to sell their services, the fact remains that many small businesses fail in one of two ways:

  • A public failure when the business goes bankrupt and creditors and investors lose money.
  • A private failure when the business is closed by the owner after an unprofitable struggle. Third parties don’t lose money but a business owner often loses his or her life’s savings, suffers a huge blow to their pride and is forced into a job they don’t want.

Why does this happen?

Often because the business is managed in a haphazard manner.

There’s no clear business design which focuses attention on the right things and avoids distractions that don’t fit.

Without a clear small business design, the owner is likely to jump from one nice sounding initiative to another, either at their own whim or that of marketers with a new shiny money-making button.

If you’re an email inbox victim and you find your agenda set by what you read first thing in the morning, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

It’s the difference between one housebuilder working to a clear set of architect plans and another who makes it up as he goes along, on a whim and influenced by what he saw each morning on his way to work.

The second is pretty scary if you’ve got a financial interest in that house. It may turn into a masterpiece but the odds are that it won’t and it will take much longer to finish since the builder keeps knocking down what he’s done and starting again.

It’s the same with a small business.

As the business owner, you have a huge financial stake in its success but if you don’t have a clear business design, you’ll keep undoing the progress that you made yesterday because you’ve changed your mind.

My advice is to get clear on the business design you want and what it takes to build it. Be intentional.

When should you start working on your small business design?

First choice, yesterday, second choice today.

Not tomorrow… because there’s a danger that tomorrow never comes and your business design is much too important to leave as one of those “nice to do when I can find the time” activities.

Business design is easiest when you’ve got a blank page to work with – when you’re thinking about starting a business and all the options are in front of you.

It’s harder – but still essential – when your business is up and running.

Yes change has to be managed and yes some people involved in the business may not like the change but many more will love it because their jobs are more secure and enjoyable if your business is well managed.

A business designed to fill the needs of a particular group of customers will be able to develop special expertise, skills, products and services which raise it out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary.

I asked at the start, “is small business design necessary?”

I believe it is critical if your business is going to be as successful as you want it to be.

in 2 – Your Inner Game, Business Start-Ups

Will My New Business Idea Succeed?

Entrepreneurs often suffer from having far too many business ideas rather than too few.

It’s something that sets them apart from the rest of the world.

These people see a problem and their imagination fires up with clever solutions that could be big moneymakers.

These serial entrepreneurs need to carefully filter these ideas. [continue reading…]

in Business Start-Ups

What Should I Do Before Starting A Business?

It’s very exciting to think  or even dream about starting a business but you need to get down to practicalities very early on in the process if you’re going to turn your dream into a successful reality. Mistakes made early on can prove to be very expensive to correct.

What Should I Do Before Starting A Business?

1 – Start Your Own Business Diary

It’s a good idea to start a business diary to record your thoughts, feelings and beliefs as you begin the process.

There are two good reasons for doing this: [continue reading…]

in Business Start-Ups

What To Do If You Want To Start A Business

Many people dream about “being their own boss” and, perhaps, you’re one of them.

Others find them forced into self employment and starting a business because they were made redundant from what they thought was a secure job and either, are struggling to get another job or don’t want to go through their recent traumas again.

I started my consultancy/training/coaching business in 1995 and I’ve never regretted it even though I had a few nights where I’d wake up in a cold sweat, wondering what I was doing.

The Different Ways You Can Become A Business Owner

There are many different routes into becoming a business owner:

  1. Starting a business from scratch on your own.
  2. Starting a business with a partner.
  3. Buying a business on your own.
  4. Buying a business with a partner.
  5. Buying into an existing business, perhaps because the existing business owner either needs more cash or wants to reduce his or her hours of work.
  6. Buying a franchise.

[continue reading…]

in Business Problems And Mistakes

Will It Fly? by Pat Flynn – 5 Stars

The full title of this book by Pat Flyinn is

Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money“.

In my review posted on Amazon.co,uk, I gave the book a rating of FIVE STARS. This means it is one of the few books I consider to be excellent.

Here is my book review.

An excellent guide to test-driving your new business before the blood, sweat and tears start to flow

This is a super book to help you assess your exciting idea for a new business before you fully commit to it.

Whilst many of the ideas can be carried across to the physical world, it’s particularly suitable for information marketing and app/software development. [continue reading…]

in 2 – Your Inner Game, Best Business Books

The Golden Rule For Start Ups by Bafs Folarni

The full title of this book by Bafs Folarni is

The Golden Rule For Start Ups: A Guide For Emerging Business Owner

In my review on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it One Star.

Don’t bother with this one, the clue is in the careless way its on Amazon without any capital letters

It takes effort to write a book, even an extremely short book like this and I don’t like to be too critical.

However this isn’t close to the standard that you’d expect from a book selling for close to £7. [continue reading…]

in Business Start-Ups

How To Prepare For The Dragons’ Den: The Three Big Risks

In this blog I will explain how to prepare for the Dragon’s Den by looking at the three big risks any new business faces.

Dragons’ Den is a TV show in the UK where entrepreneurs and inventors pitch their ideas to five multi-millionaires who will choose whether to invest in the business opportunity, and if they do decide to invest, how big a share they want.

The show has proven to be very popular although the ideas and the performances of the entrepreneurs have varied from excellent to woeful.

The new series starts on the BBC this week so I thought that it would be a great idea to give the entrepreneurs a few pointers before they start.

What Are The Three Big Risks Of A New Business?

When new business start-ups contact me, I apply a simple way of looking at their business that focuses on three areas: [continue reading…]

in Business Start-Ups