This applies to anything you do from now on! (Keep in mind this is based on thirty years of tried and true methodology, and can be applied to any task with great success) This should be the first and foremost requirement to any serious venture.
Spend some time to think about what you want to accomplish, as much time as it takes! Take a deep breath or two to clear your mind, because what I am about to tell you will allow you to make the best decisions in your life. Put aside all the things that trouble you and cause you to think about negative things, these are clouding your mind and affecting your judgment. Because, the information you are about to replace it with, will make them all go away. Seriously, sleep on it tonight so in the morning your mind is clear and some of this will sink in.
What I think about are: positive (happy) thoughts, where do I want to vacation, where should I send my college student next year, what color should my next new car be or maybe I’ll sign up for that flight school I’ve always wanted to attend.
Stop here: Just do it! (You will thank me in the morning, this much I can promise.)
(This is the part where you get your pen and paper out, and use them!)
These are essential to anything you want to accomplish, and they are used as a method to track your progress as you strive toward the ultimate result of the plan you have chosen to follow. We in the business world refer to them as “Mile Stones”.
A goal (or mile stone) can be anything from; “getting up out of bed an hour earlier each day to work on my business” to “One year from now, I will have a million dollars or more in my savings account”. It has been done before and you can also do it!
One important thing to remember is, you cannot reach the second one, until you complete the first. Look at it this way, mile stones are exactly what they sound like. Think about the last time you traveled on a freeway, or interstate. On the side of the roadway are little signs with numbers on them. They are mile markers, you can count how many mile markers you see from where you enter the roadway, until you exit it. One thing for certain, you can’t reach the second until you’ve driven the mile it takes to get to it. You would have to be able to either travel at the speed of light or be able to travel in time to the future. Even if those modes of travel were possible, guess what you still reach one at a time.
A business is exactly like the scenario I just presented. Remember, (get out of bed earlier and having a million dollars in the savings account) one mile at a time will get you to the bank where the money is. Now for the hard part, I need you to think about a couple of things before we go to the next aspect of building the business you are considering. After all, you are reading this because you are serious about just that. Right?
Write this down, this is the meat and potatoes of the feast you are cooking up!
· Choose an ultimate goal for the first year’s end of your business..
It can be total revenues for the year or projected income per week, month, or year. Keep in mind several aspects; “don’t over do it” set your goal to a level you think you can achieve with the amount of time you have available. You may find some short cuts as you progress. This is something only you can decide.
· Write down where you are now.
This is intended more for those who have an existing business, but do it anyway it will help you in some of the decisions you will encounter down the road.
· How many people are associated with your business directly.
Again this is intended more for those who have an existing business, but do it anyway it will help you in some of the decisions you will encounter as you progress. I’m talking about your wife, girlfriend, children or any partners you may perceive as part of your business.
· What resources are available for us (me) to start our (my) business?
This will take some time. I’m talking about money, office space, computers, phones, transportation office equipment, supplies, current expenses and whatever you think your business may require. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life doing this, it will help you plan your milestones.
· How much time between you and your partners are you willing to spend on your new venture.
This is easy try to be precise. You’ll find that sometimes this will automatically answer an important question for you. “Do I really need a partner?” This is one of the most important aspects of starting your new business. It will have the most effect. Note: The above information you just wrote down is to be regarded as confidential, to be used only by yourself and your business partners. If anyone ever asks you to disclose such information while discussing a product or services, the chances are very good that they are attempting to scam (hard sell) you or sell you something you don’t need. In the Internet business community we call this “phishing”. It is for you to plan your business.
“Congratulations you have just completed your first Milestone!”
Before we continue: I want to give you some valuable advice. One of the largest hurdles facing most business owners and partners is “FEAR”. That’s right, fear! It can destroy all your dreams and hopes of what you are about to endeavor. I want you to remember one thing, go back to the beginning of this document and complete the section “Mind Set” if you catch yourself getting caught up in the fear thing. Believe me when I say, by the time you complete reading this document you will have eliminated any chance of fear effecting your performance. Now we can get started on your business.
One of the most valuable tools in any business is a detailed plan of the steps required to achieve the ultimate goal. Refer to the list of information you wrote down on that piece of paper during the last step. (your first milestone) This isn’t rocket science. Using your information, figure out how many steps (mile stones) it will take you during that first year to implement what is required to achieve each mile stone using the resources you have. As time goes on you will need to change a few and add a few as your business grows. You should plan to meet (with all your partners) frequently during the start up period to implement these changes and track your progress.
Start-up will take the most time and effort, this is where you conceive what your business will be and how the process will begin. You should plan to have daily or weekly mile- stones during this period. Each milestone can contain multiple tasks and these tasks can be divided up among your business partners. Use the time commitment portion of your list to decide who gets to do what and when. Keeping in mind that the most time consuming tasks must be given to the person or persons with the most time available. You must review the assignments together and decide if the skill sets of each person match the task they were assigned.
Make a list of the tasks that need to be completed. Weigh the importance of each task on the list and assign a level of importance to them. Re-arrange your list as time goes on to assure the most important tasks get completed on time. You may need to adjust your list to accommodate resources such as working capitol or equipment required. As time goes on your milestones should decrease from daily to weekly, from weekly to monthly, then finally from monthly to quarterly. It is rare that any start-up company would achieve quarterly milestones during the first year, but not impossible.
Now, pay close attention, this is critical: Do some math. Figure out a budget that is comfortable for all your partners. Making allowances for the things that are only required for your business. Don’t get frivolous with expenses, allow for only what is required to succeed. You don’t need brand new equipment or top of the line super computers to succeed.
As you get to know some of your competitors on the Internet you will find some of the top million dollar companies were started on a kitchen table with nothing but a beat up lap top and a cell phone by a collage student with $200.00 in the bank. No kidding! I’m going to revert back to the beginning once again. If you want to succeed you must sacrifice, especially in the beginning. Don’t over extend your business with debt. Try to re-invest as much available capitol as you can and you will become profitable sooner.
I have helped to start many business ventures myself. Believe me when I say: “Highly leveraged companies (ones with larger loans) do not last long.” Debt creates a psychological effect leading to poor performance throughout the organization.
Now once you have a comfortable budget that everyone is happy with. Apply it to the list of tasks and try to arrange it all to best suit everyone’s interests, keep it on track with what your goals (mile stones) are for your company. When you all agree that your plan is ready to start. Put it down on paper and title it business model.
Your business is now ready to start-up. Just come up with an idea for a product and company name, implement them into your business model and create a document containing a timeline indicating all of the milestones, completion dates and responsible parties. It is important to include pertinent information such as an address of the location and contact information for at least one of the partners and list of all the names of your direct associates with signatures and dates. You may choose to assign officers to your organization, if so list them with their titles at the end of the document then sign and date it. Make sure the company’s name and the title “Business Plan” are at the top of the 1st page.
Keep multiple copies of this document and make sure all copies are up to date. In the future you can use this document to assist your application for a business loan or even lease or purchase some real estate for your business. Obtain a copy of each of your partner’s resumes to file along with this document as an attachment. You can now apply for your tax number and register with the IRS using these documents. It is a good idea to do a search on your companies name first, to avoid any duplication. You can do that on the Internet. Your business is now a reality. Welcome to the business world!
“You’ve just graduated business 101!”
How’s that fear factor? Are you scared yet? Guess what, that is the basic strategy used in creating any business. Even IBM, Microsoft, and all the automotive giants started out like this. If you completed the previous assignment (or at least a close proximity) not only did you start your own business. You have just viewed (as a graduation present from us) one of the hottest products on the Internet today. Yes, I’m not joking! You have just read a $100.00 e-book.
Let me explain: You know that saying “Information Super Highway” this kind of gives it a new meaning. Don’t you think? Hey, is that a light bulb over your head? Give this a thought, it took me about 4 hours to compose this document and cost me nothing to produce. Yes, just my time. It took me that long because I am a terrible typist. It cost’s me only about $25.00 a month to host a web site to offer it to my customers.
Here is another idea to ponder. If I was to offer this to someone else as a product to promote and give them a commission on each sale, say at 50 to 70% do you think they may be motivated to do so? Look up a few lines, remember no cost (just a little time) to compose it and $25.00 a month to host it. No shipping, no handling just collect money and e-mail your customer a link to their product. (excluding over-head and a few other costs)
OK lets do some more math: If I sell one of my new products on my web site per month I make $75.00 per month instant profit. (as an example) Yes, I just broke even and my company is in the black. If he (my new affiliate) also sells one of my new e-books this month, now I make $175.00 this month. Because I am such a nice guy and a good business graduate, I pay my affiliate his 50% to 70% commission and now I made over $100.00 this month on only two sales.
Wow, I think I see that light bulb over your head again. Now comes the fun part, I can invite hundreds of affiliates to help me promote and build a huge customer base through my affiliates. Now I’ve got a legitimate business with lots of cash flow and plenty of time to rake it in and write my next e-book. All I have to do is keep the commission checks flowing to my affiliates.
The fun is just starting. Once the product sales start flowing though my web site and have gotten to a staggering amount of cash flow, (about a year or two for a good product these days) I can sell my web site, copy write and affiliate traffic for huge dough. I’m talking millions! Such deals are taking place as you read this. Remember it’s the world wide web!
You would not believe how many scenarios are possible. Here is one more option, to consider you could also market your e-book through another type of promoter of such products. One that makes money by charging you every time a customer clicks on your product banner. They tend to have tons of traffic (Potential Customers) and tend to generate lots of sales volume. In this scenario you must be careful, your product needs to have a good conversion rate (sales per view) and the margin needs to be set to offset the cost of clicks (PPC) you are paying for. For this method it’s a good idea to test market first.
Your company could be:
· An affiliate (for very little overhead) promoting existing products.
· A copywriter, writing e-books and articles.
· A product re-seller, buying and selling (or auctioning) products outright or as PLR product (Private Label Rights) allowing another business to use it as it’s own under specific guidelines.
And that’s not all! This is only one of many types of products available. The amount of products in this market is endless. New product niches appear every day and marketing strategies change faster than I can type.
Are you feeling the brunt of information overload? Don’t worry it’s just beginning. Now that you’ve graduated and have a little insight to one of the fastest growing market places. Have a seat, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride!
Thanks for visiting Business Graduate!
To your business success…