Before you go any further, you must decide why you are going into business. Put this book down for a few minutes and think about it right now it’s important! Before you even think about setting goals such as profit or sales targets, you must know what you hope to achieve with your business as a whole. Do you want to be your own boss? Do you want to work fewer hours? Or more? Do you want more variety in your job? Or to travel as part of work? Do you want to start a business with your partner? You must be able to clearly state what your personal goals are, so that you can structure your business and create systems to meet these goals.
Many people don’t think about this before getting started. They simply plan the business around their business goals, and then once they are up and running they find that they are working more hours than they did in the past, when they really wanted to work less. Or they hire staff to keep up with demand, when they really wanted to work by themselves. This is a result of putting the business ahead of personal aims. And it’s a mistake! Your business should be structured to meet your life goals, not your profit targets. Sure they are important, but are you going into business just to make money, or to improve the overall quality of your life?
You can set your own personal goals and desires for your business, and then build a successful business around these. Believe me, I know. I’ve done it more than once! Don’t be lulled into going with the conventional wisdom, such as you need to work 9 to 5, or you need to have lots of stock in a warehouse, or you need to spend lots of money to get started, or you need to hire lots of staff. Build your business how you want. Create your own business goals. For me, this is the essence of being an entrepreneur and most people get it wrong! They never think about escaping conventions. If you are going to keep playing by everybody else’s rules, why start your own business?
For example, if your goal is to create a business that allows you to travel, you can use the internet as your main distribution channel, arrange to have the products drop-shipped automatically when an order is placed, and do most of your customer service via email. Then you could be on safari in Africa, or at the top of the Eiffel Tower, or watching the sun set on the Gold Coast, and you could still run your business (as long as you can access the internet!). This isn’t a traditional business model, but I’ve seen people have great success doing this.
Maybe your goal is to work fewer hours. You need to create business systems that don’t require you to be constantly available during normal business hours. How do you do that? Outsource your customer service. Automate your ordering and shipment. Only take appointments in the morning. Sell a product rather than offering a service. Or maybe your goal is to work more hours (maybe the kids are driving you crazy), so you need to create business systems that will allow you to do this. Figure out what motivates you, what you are striving for, and then build your systems around this.
You must set both personal and business goals to be a successful entrepreneur. You will need the personal goals to help you when the going gets tough. If you have to work late or on the weekend while your friends go to the pub, or that crucial order is accidentally sent to Siberia (again), you’re going to have to remind yourself why you are doing this. And you need the business goals so that you and others in your business know where you are headed, and you will know when you get there.
Only once you have established your lifestyle goals for the business should you get down to the detailed stuff, such as profit levels, number of customers, and inventory turnover. All of these goals should be considered secondary to your primary aim of building your business how you want it. Think about what targets you want your business to reach. Do some research. Find out what other similar businesses earn, how many customers they have, what their profit percentage is. Also use your own experience if you are familiar with the industry.
HEY, did you know i’m running a contest while I am away…
Firstly, here is what is up for grabs…
- A signed copy of my book, which these excerpts come from – ‘How To Turn Your Million Dollar Idea Into A Reality’ [valued at AU$29.95]
- Unleashing The Power Of Publicity Audio CD – Interview with Pete Williams & Dale Beaumont [valued at AU$27.95]
- Business Essentials Audio CD – Interview with Pete Williams (May 07) [valued at AU$27.95]
- Why We Want You To Be Rich Book – Robert Kiyosaki & Donal Trump [valued at AU$29.95]
- and… A Hand Crafted Pen Crafted From The Authentic Timber of the Melbourne Cricket Ground[valued at AU$189.95]
- Total Value: AU$ 305.75
There are two prize packs to be won.
1. Post a ‘review’ of one of these book excert posts, on your blog, with a link back to the relevant post on my blog. Does that make sense ? I’ll see the link or the trackback.
2. Include an email address in your post unless your whois information is correct.
3. Promise to give a review of the entire book on your blog once you have received it and read it.
4. I’ll randonly draw the 2 winners when I get back after April 18 2008.
It’s that easy!