Starting a Business: Article 1 - Foundation
Build on Your Strengths
If you’re looking to start your Business, this article is for you! There’s an entrepreneur in you ready to be discovered and now is the time for you to stop, think and move in the direction of your dreams! I guarantee you, that you have the potential to become a successful entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurship doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to become the next Steve Jobs or create the ‘new’ Facebook, but if you think of what a successful business is, you need to understand the following, firstly the purpose of your business, secondly your business needs to grow and lastly it needs to impact people’s lives positively. From this perspective, success is within your grasp.
Also note that there are no easy steps to success, that doesn’t exist. A successful business will not happen overnight, but rather I want to encourage you to focus on doing the right things over a sustainable period of time and see the beauty in hard earned success.
In order to launch your business, you need to have the right foundation in place. By executing the three steps in this article, you will be in a position to build a foundation and with the right foundation you can successfully launch into the next phase, which in the context of this article is starting your business.
Step 1: Building Business on Your Strengths
When starting a Business from scratch, you need to be sure to build business on your strengths. In today’s age, the market is too competitive to try and copy other entrepreneurs. So many entrepreneurs venture out into areas where they are not building on their strengths, this results in frustration, failure and a lack of passion.
To discover your strengths, you need to answer the following three questions:
- Talent / Ability: What am I skilled or talented in?
- Business Industry: What business industry am I passionate about?
- Business Model: How can I turn my skill and passion into an economic engine?
In ‘Starting a Business – Video 1’ you will see that I illustrate these three questions in three circles which leads to identifying your sweet spot. To watch the video, CLICK HERE.
If you haven’t launched your business yet, it’s vital to first answer these three questions before finalising your business idea. The biggest advantage in discovering your strengths is that it will help you to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Step 2: Write Down the Business Vision
If you don’t write it down, you don’t own it. Before starting a business, you need a plan of action focussed on how you will do it. A clearly written plan with goals and deadlines, becomes a vision. A vision will discipline you and keep you accountable. The vision written in the correct sequence also becomes your business plan from which you will build your business. Although a 50-page business plan is outdated, a business plan of some sort is still vital. For more information on a Business Plan CLICK HERE.
A business plan consists of the following three aspects:
The purpose of the business consists of a clear idea, a clear mission statement, as well as clear values for the business.
A clear strategy of how the business model will be viable, your concept will be unique and your point of entry in the market.
A detailed, tactical step-by-step approach of how the business strategy will be executed and the vision will be accomplished.
If these three aspects are clearly identified by an entrepreneur, it needs to be written down on paper.
- Goals / Deadlines
For every tactical step you have on your plan of action to start your business, you need to keep yourself accountable with a deadline.
Finally, you need to make a conscious decision to commit to the vision of your business. The word decision comes from the Latin word ‘to kill of any other alternative’. It’s time for you to kill of any other alternative and focus on what’s important. Where focus goes, energy flows and results show.
Step 3: Think Different
After you have successfully identified your strengths and written down your vision, you need to identify what differentiates you in the market.
Steve Job’s believed that you never look at your competition and try to be better. But rather, you look at your competition and try to be different.
#Question: What makes you different?
If I put you next to four competitive businesses, why should I choose you instead of your competition?
Most entrepreneurs state that they have a better price and service, unfortunately that doesn’t make you unique. If all four businesses also mention that they have the best prices and service delivery – your competitive edge will disappear.
#Hint: If you can clearly identify your talent or ability and make that gift more valuable, you’ll start the process of uniqueness.
To understand your unique competitive advantage might take some time. However, I want to encourage you to buy out the time and think about your unique abilities! It is such an important foundational building block and needs proper clarification and attention in order to differentiate yourself from the competition.
At the Entrepreneurship School we have a Business Programme that addresses all three steps in either starting or growing a business. Recently, Niel Smuts from Sparkdust came to us, as he was running a Business part time and couldn’t make the leap to quit his 8 – 5 job and go in the direction of his dream.
We assisted him firstly to identify his dream and we helped him to write down a clear vision. Secondly, we started working on his Branding, Marketing and Sales. Sparkdust started to receive leads within the middle of the Business Programme and Niel managed to convert the leads into more than R80 000 in sales before the end of the 12-week Programme. The last step was to encourage Niel to quit his job and focus fulltime on his business.
To read Niel’s testimonial CLICK HERE.
For more information regarding the Business Programme visit our website at CLICK HERE.
Lastly, I want to leave you with the words of Henry Ford “whether you think you can, or you can’t either way you are right’. It’s time to believe and take the leap of faith into the next phase of your life!