Startups: Building the Business You Want Before You Start

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Shutterstock_210979942When the economy is struggling and unemployment is high, many people who can’t find work choose to start businesses. This is the first in a series specifically for startups and the issues they face while trying to survive the tough early years.

One of the first things a business owner should do before they even open a business is to clarify what they want their business to look like.

If you decided to build a house, you wouldn’t just start construction.  You would first meet with an architect and have them draw up blueprints based on what you want the house to look like.

This is just as true when you start your business.  You could just open your business without this step, but don’t be surprised when you end up running a business that you don’t like.

Before you launch your business you should have answers to the following questions:

  1. What is your long-term vision for this business?  You will run it much differently if your goal is to grow it to a point where you can sell it, rather than if you plan to run the business for years into the future.
  2. What are your personal goals?  How will opening your business help you reach these goals?
  3. Why do you feel this business is a good business opportunity?  Why do you think you can make money in this new business?
  4. Who will be your customers?  What is it they want?  What do they look like?  What motivates them to buy?
  5. Why will people buy from you?  Or put another way—what will you offer that is so different from what the current businesses offer that customers will switch to you?

Your answers will most likely change as your business launches and you start to interact with your customers.  But thinking these items out in advance will help your startup company get moving in the right direction.

Action Tips:

  • Take some time to answer the five questions listed above.  Write them down, study your answers and design your new business accordingly.