What are the first steps to take when opening your business? The most common responses are to open a bank account, set up a website, and get business cards.
Yes, all of those pieces need to be in place. However, none of that will matter if you don’t answer these three questions first.
1. What are you selling? This includes the way it is priced and packaged.
It’s a common occurrence that a new entrepreneur starts to network and talk to people. It’s a great conversation. They have nothing to contribute beyond the conversation. To have a productive conversation, you must be able to explain what you sell, how you can get it paid, and how it costs. This will allow you to help the other person or make connections.
2. Who are you most interested in working with?
You are more likely to say yes when you first start out. This is because you believe that experience and money are essential. There are certain people you shouldn’t be working with.
Think about the qualities you would like to work with. Who is most likely to benefit from your products and services? And who would drain your energy and time even if you could help them? You can be sure that they are the ones who complain most. This will ultimately cost you the most. You can say no to people if you aren’t ready to accept the right clients.
3. What is your contribution to the company? How and why do you have the qualifications and experience to provide the service or product you offer?
Many of the people I have spoken to tell me they are ready to get started once they have received one more certification or when they have another piece. Don’t wait. You are likely more qualified than you think unless there are specific legal requirements. Everybody you meet brings value and knowledge to your life.
Let’s not forget this. There are people out there who are more qualified than you and someone you can help right now. My mentor always said, “To a fourth-grader, a fifth-grader is a star.” There are others who could benefit from your expertise, even if you don’t rank at the top of your field.
There is always someone in need of your help today. What can they do with your help? What will they do differently? How much will that change their lives? How much value will they receive by working with you now, before you earn that additional certification?
One more thing. Even if your service is not perfect, it’s okay. As an example, I am a coach for business. My business is not perfect, and I don’t always do all that I should. Sometimes I just think, “Yeah, that’s a great idea. If only I did that.” It is vital that you work on yourself and that you stay ahead of your client.
Just a few moments ago, I went back and reread what I had written. Since 2002, I have been in business. I believe in the words I wrote. I also know that you must constantly revisit these three points as your business grows.
Your starting point is the business you start today. As your business grows, it will evolve and change. Do not wait to be able to answer all three questions. Get started now and have some fun.