Startup Coaching - New Business Start-Up Step 1 of 8 12% Opportunities This opportunity has very low overhead, so I'll have flexibility and be able to afford the learning curve. People WANT this product or service. (They may also need it.) I have at least 6-12 months of expenses (both personal and business) in the bank before starting. People know what it is that I am selling; it is familiar. I don't need to spend hours educating them. I have at least 1 year of strong and successful experience in this field or industry. Even if this one fails, it will train me well and put me in touch with more opportunities. I don't NEED this business, either personally or financially. Instead, I WANT it very much. I have used this product or service, know its value first-hand, and totally believe in it. I have experimented FIRST for at least 90-180 days with the field or the business so I have evidence that it works, not just a plan or a gut sense. My family, banker, attorney, CPA, and coach are all supportive of this venture. Business Skills Influence: I am not afraid of people (especially staff, vendors, prospects, and customers). I have no problem telling them what they should do. Emotionally healthy adult: I don't get my needs met by staff or customers. I don't get angry or react. I don't take things personally. This business is a game. Eagerness to risk: I am willing to constantly try new things, innovate, make it easier and better, go for it, and risk a portion of the money I have. Adequate Reserve: I always have more than I need: time, cash, space, skills, staff, sales, opportunities. Leadership: I direct people and efforts easily and well. Problem Solver & Preventer: I easily reduce a complex problem to bite-sized pieces and then take extra steps so that this type of problem NEVER occurs again. Consistency: I have enough personal discipline to stick to this and carry it out. I self-manage and initiate. I don't need lots of support. Manager: I manage the operation, and am aware of the specific outcomes, factors, and early warning indicators that will make or break me. Respect: I honor people. I respect their unique contributions, and I include them in decisions. My staff are my customers. Dedication: I am totally dedicated to being the best, to making lots of money, and to building an extraordinary company. Notes & CommitmentsOf the items you left unchecked, what do you want to work on next? Why? What commitment can you make to check that box over the next 30 days? The Plan I have written out a step-by-step action plan for key operations, and I have scheduled time to review/update that list every quarter. I have completed a pro forma sales and expense forecast for the next 3, 6, 12, and 36 months of this business. I have outlined each person's job and how (and how often) they report to me. I track my action plan weekly to see if I am on course. I have engaged a success team that includes an attorney, a business consultant, CPA, and other professionals I know how much I'm going to do and how much I'm going to delegate. I have used well-sourced sales projections to establish inventory, personnel, and cash needs. My top three goals are clear. I've written them down and I have a dashboard system to show me how I'm performing against them. I have a detailed budget for the next 3 months, including equipment, capital expenditures, organizational expenses, and other costs. I'm willing to rewrite or even scrap my plan if the market dictates a change in what I sell or how I sell it. Sales Tools & Effort I have set up a great system to prompt word of mouth and referrals. I don't rely solely on my marketing. As a percentage of revenue, my marketing costs are relatively low The organization has a daily sales quota and I manage it. My organization is attractive rather than seductive. We attract prospects like a magnet without resorting to stunts or constant promotions. I have written, polished, and memorized my key selling points and my unique value proposition. I have the right content (website, social media, brochures) to attract my ideal customers. Every part of the company is designed to support the sales effort, from concept, to quality control, to delivery. Only those who can really sell are selling, even if that means just me. I don't train weak salespeople. I have built a relationship-based sales system that adjusts to fit a prospect's needs and wants. I know how to ask for the sale, so I get paid. Notes & CommitmentsOf the items you left unchecked, what do you want to work on next? Why? What commitment can you make to check that box over the next 30 days? Policies and Procedures I have a monthly and quarterly checklist of what must be done and by whom. My business is so well planned and controlled that if our main office were leveled this afternoon, we'd be back in business by tomorrow morning. (Or have the insurance money to help.) I have a daily or weekly checklist of what must be done and by whom. I have designed company systems to minimize paper storage and compliance procedures. Accounting/bookkeeping gets done easily, accurately, and timely. I get frequent financial status reports, and I'm not surprised by the trends. Staff meetings are creative, reportive, and focused on professional development vs. being chatty or confrontive. My team members know how to confirm a policy/procedure without having to ask me. With guidance from an attorney, I have selected the best legal form of business. I delegate decisions, even if that raises the risk that someone might make a mistake. The company has a policies and procedures manual. Profits and Revenue I've set up the company to value high profits over fast growth. I have patience for the market to decide and buy, so I'm not making decisions based on being over-leveraged. I pay cash for capital expenditures I can afford the mistakes that my team and I WILL make. My business setup doesn't require massive risk. I'm good at hearing my customers' unspoken requests. I'm not selling buggy whips: there is a strong, profitable future in my field. My target market is well defined, can afford to buy, and I can access it easily with the network and tools I have. I create and sell products that my clients tell me they need/want. I am naturally frugal, although I'm willing to invest cash in my business to make even more money. I have plans for future additional products and revenue streams. Notes & CommitmentsOf the items you left unchecked, what do you want to work on next? Why? What commitment can you make to check that box over the next 30 days? Long Term Success I continually upgrade all aspects of my operational systems for the highest possible productivity. My customers can easily articulate the benefits of my services and products. I continually add value to my product or service. My company's mission statement is authentic and reflects my feelings and thoughts perfectly. My team understands and backs our company's mission statement. I don't just keep up with my competitors. I eclipse them by setting my targets higher, deeper, and uniquely mine. I have assembled a 5-member board of advisors with whom I meet monthly and respond to their counsel. I updated my policies and procedures manual at least annually I have implemented rigorous (but lucrative) incentive plans for all key employees. I am building a strong, positive reputation in my niche. I know how to do this, and how to measure my success. Specific Outcomes I know my current and aged receivables. I know what my net profit needs to be. I know my referral rate as a percentage of sales. I know my daily/weekly sales goals and results. I have a dashboard or reporting system that communicates key performance indicators automatically. I know how quickly I collect my receivables. I know what my inventory re-order points are. I know what my gross profit margins are. I know my sales costs percentage. I know my cash flow needs. Notes & CommitmentsOf the items you left unchecked, what do you want to work on next? Why? What commitment can you make to check that box over the next 30 days? Personal Life I am adrenaline and addiction free. I have a "right hand person" or executive assistant who handles key details so that I have space. I am proud of myself as I am. My family loves and enjoys my company. I have plenty of personal funds. I don't "do" stress. Nothing's worth that. I am a model for other entrepreneurs/CEOs. I take excellent care of my health. I have something "better to do" than work at the end of each work day. I have a strong personal foundation Notes & CommitmentsOf the items you left unchecked, what do you want to work on next? Why? What commitment can you make to check that box over the next 30 days? I am...*in a position to react.responsible.I am...*profitable now.focused on growth.I am...*minimizing how much I work.pouring as many hours as possible into my business.I am...*managing tasks.leading people.I...*prioritize my tasks.follow the agendas of others. I am...*a penny pincher.frugal.I...*go for broke with every business decision.value risks and calculated experiments.I think of my business as...*my ultimate passion.a fun and challenging game.I...*control my team's actions.support my team.I value...*myself.my ego. Final Thoughts*Before the system assesses your score, what do you want to remember about this exercise? How are you feeling right now? Are there areas of your business or of your life that you want to focus on improving over the next few months?