• Are you starting a business just because it’s the done thing?
• Perhaps to fulfil someone else's dreams & aspirations?
• Just to get away from a boss?
• Just to prove yourself?
Starting a business is a lot of hard work – the wrong start-up reason may undermine your resolve to make it a success.
2. Do a marginal profit analysis.
Shamus and Paddy went into business selling watermelons for 90 cents each. Unfortunately the marginal cost was $1.10 each. “Told you we should have gotten a bigger truck” said Paddy.
3. Estimate cash needs.
Up-front costs are typically higher than ongoing costs. Don’t expect your new business to carry full load for 6 to 12 months. Budget your cash reserves to suit.
4. Understand your market.
At the macro level, learn what the National economy is doing. On a micro level understand your customers and competition and where and what your niche is.
5. Price your product below the expected price.
Consumers have a good idea what an item should cost. If you are below this expected price you have a good chance to make a sale.
Scour your competition regularly to understand expected prices.
6. Be observant and agile.
Maintain a watchful eye on the competition, the economy and changes in technology and maintain a readiness to change what you do in pre-emptive anticipation.
7. Stay within your specialization.
Hitler and Napoleon both made the tactical mistake of widening their theatre of war to the point of being too thin on the ground. You cannot be everything to everybody.
8. Watch rampant growth.
If business grows rapidly additional funds are required to maintain the higher inventory for the higher sales activity. This may drain your cash reserves set aside for emergencies.
9. Setting goals & action
Motivational tools abound and all effuse with the importance of goal setting, dreaming and visualization of your goals. The matter is well covered in the literature. You can dream and visualize every morning before you arise but if you do not follow through with action? Goals demand action.
Action often needs courage. The mere mention of the word ‘courage’ conjures up images of Audie Murphy (insert your own hero here) scaling the safety of the protective mound and against enemy fire from front and both flanks, shoots down the enemy machine gun emplacements, then stands proudly on the podium accepting a bravery award.
Stupid risks are not encouraged, rather the lowest risk for the best return is the better course of action.
Courage is not the absence of fear but a determination to proceed in spite of the fear. Fear has been described as today’s down payment on tomorrow’s bad news. No refund if the news is not bad. Fear is an emotion that gets in the way of courage. Courage is the enforcement of prior rational decisionmaking in the face of often overwhelming imaginings.
Courage is characterized by the presence of trust. Trust in your own abilities, trust in your judgment and trusting in the abilities of those you depend on.
You need courage for any worthwhile endeavour.
11. Do what you love and love what you do. (Oops now 11 Commandments)
Passion is a powerful motivator. Passion will scale mountains for you. Passion will keep you there when all others have fallen by the wayside.
"The greatest asset you will ever have is YOU"