Business Development: Deciding What Business to Pursue.

Sometimes you see opportunities to go into business for yourself. Sometimes those opportunities come out of the woodworks and you are overwhelmed. Maybe you have 100 ideas about a new business to start and don’t know which one to pursue. When that starts to happen I recommend you conduct a personal SWOT analysis. SWOT is an analytic tool to determine strengths and weaknesses, usually, your business versus your competitors. In this case, it’s just you so the SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Talents (as opposed to threats in the original SWOT). We will go step by step through a personal SWOT analysis and get you on the road to figuring out what business you should be going after. Remember, this isn’t the only step, if you decide on a business you still need to do a Market Analysis to determine if it’s a viable business.Copy of DSS SWOT

Strengths

You are going to examine what advantages you have that others may not. What education have you received, what certifications? Are there skills you have that you do better than other people? What have you accomplished that sets you apart? What kind of a network have you built?

Weaknesses

This is examining your weak points. Failure to understand where we need help can sink us fast, so be honest with yourself. What don’t you like doing or aren’t very good at doing so you avoid it? What skills do you still need to work on? Where are your education gaps? What are your negative work habits? Are there personality traits that limit you?

Opportunities

Looking at the business and personal opening that might be available to you. In what industries are you connected? How extensive is your network? How is your network constructed, as in what types of people? What equipment do you own or have easy access to? What are your capital resources?

Talents

These are your inherent abilities rather than trained or learned skills. What are you naturally good at? What do you do that feels good? What kind of tasks give you a sense of accomplishment? What do you get compliments on that isn’t something you learned?

Once you have all of these written down a better picture of what business you should be involved in will come to light. The more strengths, talents, and opportunities that align the better your chances of sticking to it and making something a viable business. Get a couple of ideas together then start your market analysis to see where your efforts should go. Keep in mind you don’t have to start at the top, get a minimally viable product and start from there.

 

Defining Success

Defining Success

When you have your own business there is no one who can define success but you. In a regular job, you have metrics you are measured by, above this number is good, below it is bad. When you are the boss those numbers don’t come from an outside source. Some numbers have a bearing, for example, above this many sales and we can pay all our bills and below we can’t, but those don’t necessarily define success, they just define reality. So, what does success mean to you? I have run businesses where success wasn’t measured with money or other standard business metrics, it was measured by how much I learned and grew. Others were more practical, I make a certain amount of money and keep expenses below a certain percent and I was successful. Currently, it is more complex with a monetary component and an educational one.  I have a goal for the number of people I want to teach but still provide a reasonable living for my family.

Above all make sure your success is internally defined and not externally. If you look to outside sources to define your success for you or try to keep up with someone else, your chances of success diminish significantly. It’s ok to use outside info to make your definition, for example figuring out costs for maintaining a lifestyle, but the motivation and the drive for success has to come from within. When your definition comes from an internal source you are motivated and driven to achieve that success and it will be easier to drive toward. Make sure you write it down so that once you get there you can celebrate that success and maintain it. Without that definition in writing it is easier to lose focus and remember why you are doing what you do.

Business Development: What is Your Why?

Starting your own business and going the path of an entrepreneur can be daunting. The security of a 9 to 5 job is appealing as well as the allure of a steady paycheck. It’s a wonder anyone even makes an attempt with so much uncertainty.Untitled design (12)

One way to get through the initial doubt is to firmly fix in your mind the reasons you decided to strike out on your own. Rember your why. It’s important to write these reasons down and keep them in a place you see often as they will help when times are difficult (and they will be). Your reasons why you are going on this journey can shift so keep the list updated.

Keep revisiting this list to keep you motivated and on track for growing your business.

Do You Have a Plan?

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” – Mike Tyson

Every business will eventually get “Punched in the mouth” and needs to know what the plan is for when that happens. Sometimes that plan goes right out the window, as Mike Tyson explained, and sometimes it’s followed to the letter, though not often. Having a plan in place gives your business a fighting chance when things go wrong. Succession planning, crisis planning, disaster planning, it all needs to be done because it can happen to any business any time. As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” Sometimes the plans don’t hold up but since the resources are gathered and ready you can adapt the plan to suit the situation. If you have no plan you not only don’t know what to do, but you have no resources to do anything about it. My tip? Look at the worst-case scenario and be ready for it, just be glad when it never comes. _Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth._

Market Research: Some Easy Ways to Get Started

While it takes time to set up your market research question and prepare your research correctly it doesn’t have to be hard to set up the research itself. Some research is accomplished by using available data. As long as it fits your research question there is no reason to dismiss information that is already out there. Surveying customers is also relatively simple as long as the questions are set up correctly (a discussion for another day). We will go over these methods of gathering information and hopefully this infographic will get you thinking about what information you might need to answer your research problem.

Market Research - 5 Easy Ways to conduct Market Research

Market Research: The Beginning

The biggest problem I see with folk doing their own market research is they don’t clearly define the question they want to be answered. Usually, people skip right to the survey or questionnaire and miss the point of market research, to find the answer to a specific question. Occasionally you can answer more than one question but I never advise it. Focusing on the core question is the best way to get a good result from your efforts. Defining that question takes time and effort and seeing how much it will cost you to do the research (in time or money) getting the question right is crucial. Here is an infographic to serve as a guide to defining your market research problem.

Market Research - 5 Steps in Market Research Problem Formulation (1)

The Instagram Age Still Going Strong

If you have a visual aspect to your business you owe it to yourself to be on Instagram. It is the number 14th ranked website in the world and has over 800 million people as part of it. The beauty of Instagram as a marketing platform is the ads aren’t as developed as Facebook so it still feels like an ad-free platform. With a plan to share visual an interesting content you can gain a wide following to market your goods or services to. Here are some statistics on why you should be paying attention to this powerful tool.

Instagram - Stats

Why LinkedIn is Still King of B2B Networking

The 20th ranked website in the world and the number one business to business (B2B) networking site, LinkedIn is still the top place to go for business purposes. The groups can have great information as well as people publishing content on the site giving out expert advice make it a valuable information source. It’s hard to imagine some people haven’t harnessed the power of this site. This week we will talk about getting more business through LinkedIn and how you can get my LinkedIn best practices guide.

Linkedin Why Linked in should be part of your Digital Strategy

What Can a Business Coach do for You?

I hope you all have been enjoying the posts, infographics, and knowledge I have been passing on to you good folks. Today I’d like to talk about what a business coach can do for you. Small business owners wear many hats and are expected to know every aspect of business. Of course, it isn’t realistic and that’s where I come in. I help fill in the gaps so all those important things don’t fall through the cracks. Social media, marketing, sales processes, customer support, business plans, content management can all have an impact on a business’s success but is a ton for a small group or individual to manage. Some clients need advice, some need training, some just need me to get the job done for them. I am a force multiplier for small businesses helping them get more done than they could do by themselves. Of course my first consult is free (otherwise how do we know if I can help) and it isn’t meaningless fluff, you will walk away with usable information even if we aren’t a fit. Give me a call and get your business the help it deserves. (435) 554-8209 https://www.facebook.com/mybusinessadviser/

Coach Should You Have A Business Coach-