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How to Start a Business by Asking the Right Questions

October 3, 2009

Starting a Business?: 3 Questions to Ask

Berta is a talented in two areas and she’s undoubtedly very skilled and experienced at both. She can choose either to launch a business, but as with most new entrepreneurs, she’s unclear on where to start and she’d like some guidance on business planning and next steps. Berta has tried multiple times to create a clear plan for her business, but struggles with moving forward.

Whether you are a new or established entrepreneur, you want to be sure you are crystal clear on 3 critical things in your business endeavor, as it may be responsible for the uphill battle we often experience as small business owners.

Ideas Galore!

As entrepreneurs, we’re gifted with what seems like a steady flow of new ideas. It’s how we were created and it’s the reason most of us are “unemployable.” :-) Working for a boss never fits. We have too many ideas and the working world always feels too confined. And they’re great ideas as well. If I were to put 10 entrepreneurs in a room, there would be no shortage of powerful ideas that we’d all be eager to launch into. We get so excited about our knowledge, our expertise, and our ability to share that expertise, that we forget one key thing about our business endeavor…

Skill/Passion Does Not Equal Success

When we become excited about a new idea for business, we often focus on what we are good at. That’s not inherently a bad thing as you should indeed enter business with some degree of expertise in your field. But the mis-perception is that our skill and passion creates entrepreneurial success. It does not and this is often quite baffling to entrepreneurs who simply cannot understand why they are not successful even though they KNOW they are talented. There are countless talented entrepreneurs who fail in business. Why is that? Well, it has to do with…

3 Key Steps In Business Planning

Business planning for solo entrepreneurs can be quick and simple if you do not require funding to start your business. I don’t believe in spending days and weeks “planning.” If you have a solo business, it should take you 2-3 hours tops to write your business plan and then you leap into action to start bringing in the clients and cash. We’ll assume Berta’s path is solo entrepreneurship. Here are 3 critical questions to ask about the business endeavor:

1) Who will I be selling to? Who is my ideal client? Many entrepreneurs are unable to articulate this with crisp clarity and they become confused with trying to create products and services for ‘everyone’ which then attracts ‘no-one.’

2) What exactly is the problem I’m solving for them? Without this knowledge, it’s hard to get the attention of your ideal customers and it’s hard to say you provide the ideal solution.

3) What exactly will I do to attract clients and customers to my business? This means consistent marketing actions that would bring in a steady stream of customers into your business. Marketing is the gas in your business engine. Without marketing, it would be difficult to move your business forward. I usually take clients through a 9-step business viability assessment to clearly evaluate the strength of your business endeavor. I found that this type of assessment is critical for new entrepreneurs and for those who have been struggling to get customers. The 3 questions above is part of this assessment. #3 above is where I see most entrepreneurs failing. They have the great idea, they may have an idea who they’ll sell to, but no plan, strategy, actions or repeatable process for how to actually attract customers.

Learning More About Your Customers:

Berta also asked about market analysis and research. When you get crystal clear on who you are creating your products and services for, those are the people you want to connect with to discover their key needs and the solutions you can provide to them. I would also suggest looking at companies that may already be doing what you desire to do (or something similar) so you can check out different business models to get clearer on launching your own.

About the Author: And now I’d like to offer you the FREE Audio for solo entrepreneurs “How to Create a Steady Stream of Clients And Cash For Your Small Business” Copyright © 2008 Allison Babb International LLC. Allison Babb is an author, speaker and Small Business Coach to solo entrepreneurs. She is also the creator of http://www.TheSmallBusinessSuccessMovie.com

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