Many of my private coaching clients are women who want to build a business. But they don’t really know where to start and don’t have a formal education in how to go about setting up their own shop.

Let’s go through the steps that are needed to build a successful business. It doesn’t always take a lot of money to start one. Here is a great article on The $100 Startup.

It all starts with an idea.

1.) Start with your idea. Every invention, ground-breaking method, service, or business starts with the same thing. Your idea. If you are thinking “what if” there was a way to do something better, faster, different – you are on the right path. That’s how we all start.

2.) Define your idea. Next you define your idea and give it form. This is the part that I call create “it.” What is “it?” What does “it” feel like, look like, who does “it” serve, who will buy “it,” what does “it” do? This part happens on the drawing board. I cannot overemphasize the importance of this step. This is the part where I often give tough love to my clients. If it hasn’t been done before then either the world is stupid or you are. Wait, please take no offense, I am going to explain. If nobody has thought of this great idea of yours you are either a genius because you know much more than others or you believe that nobody in our entire universe has figured out how to do this successfully. What if it can’t be done? There are three things in business: price – quality – service. You pick two. You can never offer three. Violate this at your own risk. US chain Walmart offers price and quality. Definitely not service. Target offers price and service, definitely not quality.

3.) Run the numbers. Sometimes a great idea can’t be successfully executed because the numbers don’t work. If you can’t make the numbers work you can’t do it. The TV show Shark Tank has shown us many great ideas that don’t make any economic sense. Under no circumstances can you get into a venture without knowing what your break-even point is and when you make money. And while we are that – please make sure that your salary is part of the plan.

4.) Do a limited beta launch and test “it”. Thoroughly. Don’t insist on your way being the right way – no matter how passionate you are. Many times entrepreneurs want to convince the world that they need this product. Build it in such a way that your buyers can’t believe they could have existed without your product or service before you offered it. Take Facebook as the best example to demonstrate the point. They continue to tweak and test and improve. How did we even live before Facebook?

5.) Time to launch. A launch does not mean that you open your door, put the sign out and wait until someone just happens to walk in. This strategy doesn’t work in a brick and mortar business and it certainly doesn’t work in the internet world where you compete with millions of other sites. You do need to do a real launch. That is what I have been able to assist some of my clients with. When you do a launch you need to offer something that’s “magnetic,” something that offers great value so that people want to come and check out the cool kid that you are. All launches have special something’s attached to them. When you buy during a launch you usually get the best deal that there ever will be. A launch is not a sale. A launch is a one-time opportunity to tell a lot of people about something very cool. A sale is an event that can be repeated.

Remember, it takes time to build a successful business.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions about your business or what steps to take.

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