GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Thinking about starting a business in 2017? Here are some tips from Twin Cities Business Editor In Chief Dale Kurschner,
Before You Start
- Is this the most passionate thing you want to spend your time doing?
- Is this something that addresses a need?
- Can this scale into something really big?
- How long can you go without financial stability, or even a paycheck at times?
- Make sure your healthy and mentally strong enough to do this.
- Make sure your marriage is, too, if you’re married.
- Realize this will become just as important and emotional as having a child.
Before You Launch
- Gather a ton of relevant intelligence—know your niche and industry inside and out
- Understand your buyers—and everything else they’re buying/being asked to buy similar to this
- Study the competition—not just online!
- Understand all legal, financial and regulatory requirements: local, state, fed, and international.
- Don’t go solo: start with a great team—if nothing else, close advisors first, then good partners and employees.
- Bounce things by a lawyer who knows this space.
- Articulate your vision, mission and purpose in a good business plan complete with a:
- market landscape analysis
- description of the need your company will uniquely address
- estimated universe of people who can benefit
- description and examples/images of how your product will do this
- bios of the people who will make this happen
- list of competitive challenges and brief answers on how you’ll address these
- pro-forma that are based on real-world example
- feasible “exit event” or line of succession.
- Choose your leadership approach: how much time and help will you provide employees who don’t perform well at first (and how long is “at first?”).
- Always have three plans of action for major moves, such as seeking financing, strategic partners, excellent talent or other things critically important to your business.
- Be ready to change things, quickly!
- Schedule time every week to work on the business, not just in the business.
- Plan to have the time necessary for your upcoming crash course in managing financials, managing people, talent management—attracting the right people and then them—sales and marketing, law as it pertains to your industry, accounting, public relations and more.