By Bill Sonsin
Question: How do I start my own business?
Answer: The best way to go into business is to go into business. But first, you should write a business plan. In previous articles, we have often discussed how to organize a business plan. We also discuss this subject at length in our workshops. But, to start writing a business plan, simply start.
When taking a trip, it's easier to arrive at your destination if you take some time to plan first. Before pulling out the maps and guidebooks, you no doubt did some conceptualizing. What route you will follow? Where might you logically stop for meals, gas, and overnight? Business planning is no different.
You have to translate your thoughts about starting your own business to a written plan.
Go to your favorite creativity place with a pad or notebook and your favorite pen. Dream about that business you want to start. Start writing your ideas down. What will it be? Where will it be? How big will it be? What types of people will you need to hire? Who will your customers be? How will customers learn about the business? What will you need to do from now until you open the doors?
Evaluate financial considerations. What might your business sell its product for? What will it cost to manufacture or acquire the product for resale? What will you have to pay for space and employees? What are possible sources of funds?
Think about what you personally are able to do and what do you need help with? Write all of this down, too. If you don't know much about accounting, then you will definitely need someone to help you with the financial aspects of your business.
Don't try to organize at this point. Just get all of your thoughts down on paper. When you can't think of anything more, walk away for a day or so and then come back. Read what you have written. You've probably come up with some more thoughts.
Write these down, too. Now, organize your thoughts on several sheets of paper into logical groupings, such as marketing, financing, people, and product creation.
Once you get started, it gets easier and your enthusiasm grows. To paraphrase a well-known shoe ad, "Just Do It."