Start Smart – First Steps to Starting a Successful Business

Is Business Ownership Right for You?

  • Variety of Assessments widely available online to help you decide if you are ready
  • Goal of the assessment is to help you determine whether business ownership is right for you LONG-TERM.
  • Assessments – Topics general focus on 4 main areas
    • Reasons: What are your reasons for wanting to start a business
      • Right ones – opportunity exists, a unique idea for solving a problem, you have experience in the industry, you have the resources and money to invest
      • Wrong ones – you hate your job or have no job, you hate your boss, you want to work less, you think it will be easier than your current job, you want more flexibility
    • Mentality – What are your personal characteristics and do they align with those needed to be a successful owner?
    • Lifestyle – Can you handle the lifestyle of starting a new business?
    • Skills – What skills do you possess and
  • Signs you are ready:
    • Passion for your venture
    • Truly believe in your idea
    • Appetite for learning
    • Ready to face failure
    • No major life changes – such as recent loss of job
    • Experienced in industry
  • Sign you are not ready:
    • You need to profit quickly
    • Low appetite for risk
    • Scarcity mindset – Thinking “there’s a finite number of opportunities and resources” can lead to bad decision making/pursuing avenues out of desperation
    • You don’t understand your numbers
    • You’re not willing to market your idea
  • SBA assessment (I wasn’t able to find this easily by searching SBA website)


What “Problem” Does your Business Solve?

  • Clearly understand the problem or source of pain that your product/service solves for a customer.
  • Focus on empathizing with your customers and understanding their needs.
  • Determine what’s unique about your solution and how it differs from the competition.


Research before Investing Money into your Idea

  • Invest time researching
    • Customers – Researching your customers is important because:
      • Understanding them can help you develop a marketing plan that will capture their attention.
      • Will be able to quantify your potential customers, can form the basis for your estimated sales.
      • Understand their problem better and how it affects them
    • Competitors
      • There are always someone competing for the customers you want
      • Researching who they are, what they do, how they do it, and how they communicate with their customers can help make decisions that allow you to stand out and be unique.
    • Industry
      • Identify recent trends in the industry – this may help you compete against your competitors, find new customers interested in your product/service
      • Consider how COVID has changed how your potential customers’ behavior, how they shop, what problems they may experiencing, how it has changed the industry
    • Can help you develop a unique value proposition
      • Value proposition – is a simple statement that summarizes why a customer would choose your product or service. It communicates the clearest benefit that customers receive by giving you their business.



Develop a Road Map

  • Road map– is a planning process that defines a goal or desired outcome and includes the major steps or milestones needed to reach it.
  • Road map – next key step in the road map is to evaluate the financial needs for the business and how to price your product or service.
  • Work with a Nevada SBDC business advisor to develop the road map.
    • Expertise in making sure your road map is complete
    • Can identify bumps in the road you can avoid
    • Help navigate detours that may arise.

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