from Inc.com Zine 10/15 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
If you’re serious about starting your own business and you have a full-time job that you can’t walk away from, it’s possible to get there from here. Follow these 17 steps to begin creating and successfully growing your business without leaving (or short-changing) the job that pays your bills. Following these steps is like having your own Business Coach. Try them out, make them work and you’ll make it happen!
1. Create your Vision. The first step in establishing your business is having a Vision for your company. Your Vision tells you –and others– where you’re headed. As you’re developing your Vision, focus on what you want to create. Most successful businesses discover a need, then find a way to meet it.
2. Write a Mission Statement, to describe what you plan to do & why + your planned impact on your customers & society.
3. Your Purpose Statement sets forth what your business stands for – its core values. It lets people know why your business exists–not what you do, but why you do it. From the customer’s point of view, it clarifies what your business is all about. The purpose should be compelling and bring meaning to your employees .
4. Determine the Need. Is there a need in the market for your product or service? Figure out where you stand. Market research allows you to figure out how to attract attention and create interest, (or get help in this area) + it gives you the credibility you need when you’re starting up.
5. Develop your Skills. Are there new ones you need to learn, or old ones you need to brush up on? Will you go DIY or hire a pro? Mapping out the skills you need–and the ones you need help with, – very important.
6. Figure out “Why your Different”. What’s your competitive advantage? What is the unique proposition you have to offer your customers or clients that will make your business a success? What will bring them in? What will make them stay? These are the key points that make or break a business.
7. Set your Core Values. Most companies have a Mission & Vision, but few express their values. A set of company values provides a playbook for the choices you & your people make and the actions you will take in your business.
8. Work on your “L” Pitch. Work on your Elevator Pitch first. How will you talk about your company and express what it does? Keep it concise, understand-able, and straight to the point.
9. Plan your Goals & set a Timeline for reaching them. Attainable deadlines ensure that you don’t spend a lot of time making lists and talking, but not actually getting anywhere. Develop both short- & long-term Goals & milestones along the way to check how you’re doing.
10. Write a Business Plan–comprehensive, with definitions & details for each point. You should have monthly, quarterly & yearly goals – along with notes about what is required at each step for implementation.
11. Delegate. Doing everything in your company yourself is a sure-fire path to failure. The most successful leaders know what they are best at and learn to delegate or out-source the rest. Even if you don’t have any other employees, you can learn to delegate and find strength in diversity by asking friends & family members for help.
12. Cultivate a Circle of Advisers. Start now, to develop an inner circle of people who can give you feedback, coaching, & guidance along the way. Starting a business by yourself can be daunting. Network and ask people with successful experience to help you.
13. Walk the Line. Make sure that what you are starting does not infringe on or take advantage of your day job. You want to walk the fine line between creating something new, but not stepping on the toes of those you work for now.
14. Be Respectful. Don’t work on your new business from your current office. Get things done on your lunch break, weekends, & after hours. Show respect to your current employer; they’re helping survive, while you strive for you new business.
15. Learn about Funding. Every new business needs a lot of $$ to get started. Where will it come from & how will you raise it? Read, study, & network to learn how Angels, Venture Capital & Crowd-funding works. You must become good about speaking about money, because funding is one of the most important resources for starting & growing your business.
16. Have more Patience. Anything great takes time. One of the best qualities you can develop while you’re starting to build your business is patience. Remember, not everything needs to move at the speed of light.
17. Take the Leap. (of faith) There will come a time that your new business will start to be supporting, a time when you really feel you have your feet under you. If you’ve done as much of the startup homework as possible while you are still employed, and if you have enough savings to get by for a sufficient amount of time, then it may be time to take the leap.
Conclusion. Starting your new business while working a full-time job is daunting, but it can be done. Many entrepreneurs before you, have blazed this trail. Follow in their footsteps and start creating your new successful business today.
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