The Preamble – Is being a Business owner what I really want to be?
The purpose of this FIRST BOOK in the Guide is to encourage you to pause your DREAM for a moment and to think long and hard about what it is you are hoping to achieve: is your head in the right space, do you have an idea of what type of business you will launch, are your financial ducks in a row and is the family behind you?
This book is a journey of questions, that you, as a prospective home business owner need to answer. It is a self-evaluation of whether this choice is the right fit, but more importantly, it will underline the fact that anyone, irrespective of skill level, background or experience, can, if the commitment and determination to succeed is there, start their own business.
The book will explore your idea or concept of being a home business owner. Is this a genuine desire or a passing fad? What are your goals and what is the underlining reason for taking such a life changing decision? Do you have the commitment and determination, and yes, the passion, to make your idea a reality?
Establishing the Company and defining its purpose
In the second book in the Guide, the reader is introduced to the necessity of creating a PLAN for the BUSINESS in order to formalise the way in which the company is going to be structured and operate.
The importance of ensuring that there is a workable and implementable PLAN is reinforced throughout this book.
The major topics that will be explored include:
What type of business will be registered?
An introduction to the different types of company structures that are available to the entrepreneur.
Forming your Company. All the things that a new business owner must consider when establishing a new company.
All that legal stuff.
A brief overview of the legal and statutory requirements that go together with the formation of a new company. What to be aware of and what not to forget to do as regards the legal aspects.
Intellectual Property, Trademarks, Copyright & Patents.
An introduction to what Intellectual Property is all about and what is recommended when it comes to protecting the rights of the company and/or its brand and products.
Planning your Business.
The re emphasis on the importance of research before implementing any of the steps in your Plan. Know what it is you want and then do the required investigation.
Defining the business.
This is STEP ONE in compiling your Plan for the Business. What exactly is the business going to offer to the market? This section shows how to define both a long and “elevator” pitch describing what it is the business does.
Before starting any new venture a thorough understanding of what is needed in terms of equipment, financing and operating requisites is essential.
Defining the Product, penetrating the market and preparing the way for future growth
In this, Book 3 of the Guide, STEPS 2, 3 and 4 of compiling your PLAN for the BUSINESS will be covered.
Step 2 – The PRODUCT. The importance of defining the product, its variations and how it will be presented to the customer is discussed. Calculating the cost elements of the product, deciding on the most suitable profit margin and how best to position the selling price is explored in some detail.
Step 3 – The Marketing Plan. The difference between the concepts of marketing and selling is introduced and what is required in terms of announcing the presence of the new company in the intended market. The concept of using pre-launch marketing to target pre-launch customers is also explained. The need to understand the importance of customer relations and in particular Customer Care is highlighted.
What Branding is and how it can be used positively in your company profile is briefly examined.
Step 4 is about developing a vision for the future in terms of where the company will go in the medium to long term and the triggers that will indicate the time for growth has arrived. This is the GROWTH PLAN.
As employing additional staff is something that will probably occur as the company grows the reader is introduced to the intricacies of how and when to go about recruiting and what type of employee may best be suited to the small or home business environment.
Funding the venture and Analysing the Plan
In Books 2 and 3, we worked our way through the other 4 steps in the process of compiling the Plan for the Business, namely, Defining the Company, the Product, the Marketing Plan and the Growth Plan.
In this, the final book in the Guide, we are going to ascertain the financial needs of the business, incorporating all the activities and assets that will require money from start-up through the first crucial 12 months of operation.
Once we understand what the monetary needs are, I will take you through an example of how to compile and manage your day-to-day budget; this will help keep you aligned with all the money flowing into the business and equally important, monies leaving the company – otherwise known as your Cash Flow.
And finally, we will do an old fashion SWOT analysis of the business highlighting those aspects of the business that will require special attention.
How to be Mentored – for the Home and Small Business Owner
Being mentored is not just about how to get help to resolve a specific business related problem or to address a personal failing. It is about how to identify and implement a long-term support mechanism that could be just a phone call away, for the rest of your business career.
As small business owners we often find ourselves caught between a rock and a hard place. We know we need help but don’t have the time to find it and so we call on the nearest “we can solve all your problems” consulting type company and hope, after recovering from paying the bill, that the quick fix solution has resolved our long term problem and we can get back to our busy days.
But what if there is a longer-term solution that we could consider?
What if we could find someone with a lifetime of business or personal experiences who is prepared to share this knowledge with us – and not even charge for it!