What do skyscrapers, your home, and a start-up business all have in common?
That’s right – they are all structures that have the capacity to remain upright because of the strength of the foundation upon which they are built.
Since The Inception discussed how to go about recording your ideas, I’m here to help you organize your visualizations in order to build components for the framework of your business. The first question to ask yourself after reviewing your vision boards, notebooks, and the rest of the ideas you have compiled, is this:
“How is my company going to improve the lives of the people I am going to reach?”
In other words, how will your business, whether it is a storefront, a restaurant, or an online store, going benefit your potential customers? What good will you bring to their lives? Remember, answering this is no cause for you to panic. The smallest items have improved the lives of millions, so your brainchild is no exception. Whether it was the idea that spawned those nifty little notes with adhesive on them, or a life-altering informational CD, it is possible to turn your vision into something tangible that can make people’s lives better.
Your answers to the following questions will help you determine the characteristics of your business as well as whom your consumer base might be. Since the ideas you have compiled have most likely inspired you further; surely there is potential for others to share in your enthusiasm.
Now we apply the practical part. Before we go into any further details about the formation of your company, you must ask yourself these questions.
What product(s)/service(s) can I create or improve that will attract return customers?
Is your company the producer of goods or services that could generate a cult following, or will your customers pop in for a time or two and have what they need from you? The answer to this will determine your approach to marketing that we’ll discuss in future installments of the series.
Who will my goods/services benefit?
This question speaks for itself. Which members of the population do you want to reach out and give your amazing product to? Be specific when you answer this question, and remember, that if one customer enjoys your product or service, chances are, they will share their enthusiasm with their family and friends. The key to honing in on your demographic is to be specific with your intentions.
Where is the most practical place for me to set up shop?
Of course, this depends entirely upon your product niche and what you are selling. For example, if you plan to start a restaurant, would it better suit you to open an actual restaurant, or to sell your food online, pre-packaged and frozen while fresh? Research the difference in costs as well as the different permits you will need in order to choose the most option that will suit you best.
When is my most realistic tentative launch date?
When do you want to be up and running by? This one is a pain to answer. Trust me. There is such a thing as launching when you aren’t ready. The opposite scenario would be to launch after too much hype, and not fulfilling the buzz. Can it be unnerving to set a date for you to unveil your creation to the world? Of course, but keep in mind that as long as you don’t release an actual launch date, saying that So-And-So Inc. will launch in December will work; even if you only say it only to yourself. Don’t forget that this is your business. You are the one holding the reigns.
Unless of course, you opt against being a solopreneur (solo entrepreneur), and choose to co-create with a person or a team of people you have chosen. I, for one, have opted to build alongside a team because I happen to be surrounded by über talented people who will exponentially bring value to my project. Chiara also chose to go the same route. She has surrounded herself with mind-blowingly fucking brilliant people to build The Indie Chicks brand with. Having a team not only distributes the workload; it helps bring fresh perspective to projects.
If you prefer to conduct your corporate symphony solo, go for it!
When you grow into the mindset of working your business as the head of your company, it helps to be somewhat of a control freak. Especially if you decide to go at it alone, every minute detail depends on you. Sounds fun, right?
During the process of answering these questions, more ideas should come to you. Think of the answers to these as the framework: they will give you an idea of execution for your project as well as a timeline for your goals. I can’t emphasize enough that you that you cannot please everyone, so don’t aim to please everyone. It is purely impossible to get everyone in your boat. Concentrate on your niche and stay there until you have room to expand.
Visit your state’s division of corporation website. Often, they have informational packets available for download that will help you better organize your ideas. It will also help you determine how to file your corporation paperwork as well as filing for necessary permits. I will go into this in great detail in next week’s Part Three of the How to Become Your Own CEO Series.
Disclaimer: I am neither a business, financial, nor legal expert. This is not meant to be legal advice. I am, however, a fledgling entrepreneur and I believe wholeheartedly in The Indie Chicks poster at the top of this piece. I’m writing this in order to empower you because if you are a fan of The Indie Chicks like I am, you might just be one of the brave few who can improve the way women in business run this world.